Book your hire car with Gomarbella & Spain now and Then

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Marriott's Marbella Beach Resort

Mid September 2010:

I was travelling on the Sun Coast up from Brisbane in Australia and having a lot of difficulty picking up emails on my Samsung netbook. (A technical problem which I managed to sort out!)

John and Anne wrote in: Hi Mike We are travelling from Malaga airport to Marriott's Marbella Beach Resort (Address on the hotel site is Crta. de Cadiz, KM 193, Urb. Marbella del Este Marbella, Spain 29604).

Your instructions and timetables for travel from Malaga to Marbella Bus Station are very helpful but try as I might I can't get a google maps to show me where the Marbella bus station is or where this hotel is. The best Google Maps can show me is a building site! Is our best option to get a taxi from the bus station? What's it likely to cost? Thanks in anticipation. John & Anne

Mid December 2010:

When I got back at the beginning of October I had a mountain to catch up but at the back of my mind was the email I hadn't answered so I wrote to John and Anne.

Hello John and Anne, Please accept my apologies for not replying to your question immediately. I was in Australia in September and picking up my emails and replying to my emails with difficulty. By chance I have just discovered that I published your question but did not reply. I am sure your holiday will be over by now and I hope you managed your transport to Marriott's Marbella without difficulty.

If you go to Google maps and look for
Avenida del Trapiche, Marbella, España, you will see that it crosses the A-7 / E- 15. If you then zoom in a couple of clicks on the map, just across on the north side of the A7, a bus icon will appear, that's the bus station! Marriotts Marbella is about 13 kms to the east and I would estimate the cost of a taxi ride at around €18.

I would definitely take a
taxi the first time. John and Anne, if you get this and can forgive me, please let me know how you managed your travelling.

Very best wishes from a wet Costa del Sol and thank you very much for writing in. Mike

On the 23/12/10:

Just after I posted the above, I was very relieved to get a reply from John and Anne:

Hi Mike, I'm so impressed with your thoroughness. I just received your comments about our travel to Marbella and even though our holiday is over it's very kind of you to take the time. We had a lovely holiday and, as it happens, our friends were able to meet us at the airport after all and our journey was worry free. It's a lovely part of God's earth and we hope to return. Thanks again. John & Anne Tromans

By the way, the photo above was taken with Marriott's Marbella on my left looking up towards the roundabout at the top of the rise. On the other side of the slope, there is a drop of about the same distance towards the bus stop. If you are up to pulling your suitcase that distance from the bus stop, then take the bus from Marbella bus station. Generally unless you are adventurous and you are arriving during the day, I would suggest taking a taxi from Marbella bus station to Marriotts Marbella

Gomarbella visitors sometimes ask me how to get to Marriott's Marbella from Malaga airport and also how to get to Marriott's Marbella from Marbella bus station.

Here is the full address for the resort:

Marriott's Marbella Address
Crta. de Cadiz, KM 193, Urb. Marbella del Este
Marbella, Spain 29604

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Long Term Parking Malaga Airport

Back in September I wanted to leave our car for a month at Malaga airport whilst we were away in Australia. I phoned around to compare prices and was quoted €190 for a month's covered parking down to €90 for open air parking by our old friends at Parking Car Sur.

What I like about Parking Sur is there is absolutely no fuss or wait, it's easy to find, you arrive, they walk out and take your car registration number, name, a contact telephone number and your return date and while you're doing this, someone is putting your bags into the shuttle van. Less that five minutes after stopping you are being dropped off at Malaga Airport Departures. I don't even bother to tell them I'm bringing the car anymore.

On a good day we can leave home in Marbella, leave the car at Parking Sur, be taken to the airport, clear security and be having a coffee in our favourite place to eat in the airport in just under sixty minutes.

In the picture above you will see the Malaga to Fuengirola train swinging west just after climbing out from Malaga airport's new underground train station, Parking Sur is that close to the airport.

Here are their contact details:

Parking Car Sur
Tel: 952 23 28 91
Mob: 669 803 702
Mob: 691 323 095


When we got back from Australia, the car was parked ready waiting for us, cleaned and ready to take us on the last leg home. Oh, yes, when it came to pay, the Parking Sur fellow recognised me and gave me a extra special price because my first blog about Parking Sur at Malaga airport had brought them in other short and long term clients so if you are one of them, thank you very much for that!

Monday, 29 November 2010

353 Car Rental Hire Reviews

Back in August my daughter hired a car from Cork Airport after using my Cartrawler car hire booking engine. We were pleased with the rental fee, it seemed reasonable for the height of summer. What a shock we got when the final amount was more than double what we expected!

If you read my earlier blog 353 Car Rental at Cork Airport Terminal it seems we did not pay enough attention to what was being signed for at the 353 Car Rental desk. As my daughter had mislaid the credit card she had used to book the car before flying to Cork, my wife used her card at the car rental desk to pay what she thought was the basic rental fee but actually turned out to be for other charges.

I wrote to 353 Car Rental customer service to ask for a breakdown of what had been signed for and a month later got the reply which I have set out below:

Dear Mr Drury, the breakdown is as follows:

Fuel - €66.00
Child Safety Seat - €45.40
Damage Excess insurance - €56.47
Glass Cover - €24.74
Transaction Processing Fee - €5.00
Vehicle Upgrade - €1.00
Total - €196.61

Attached you will find a copy of the rental invoice as requested. Kind regards,

Maria Reynolds
Customer Support
353 Car Rental
Phone: +353 21 4971641

Well the fuel charge is a little difficult to understand as the 353 Car Rental contract says the below about fuel charges:

Fuel Policy
Pick up full, return empty.
Your vehicle will be supplied with a full tank of fuel and must be returned empty. No refunds will be given for unused fuel. (Suppliers' fuel policies change from time to time, please confirm at rental counter). Fuel charges are payable at the rental desk unless otherwise stated in the top section of rate details.

My wife and daughter didn't question this charge when they collected the car. Were we paying in advance for the petrol? According to the contract the tank was supplied full. How could they know how much petrol we were going to use?

Insurance Charges
Here, we could have refused the insurance charges as we had taken out separate third party CDW insurance through Mondial Assistance but the girl at the desk didn't present this as an option and my wife and daughter didn't question her or tell her we already had extra Collision Damage Waiver insurance.

Moral of the Story
In brief, when you are booking your rental car through Gomarbella, take out the Mondial Assistance extra insurance, it is going to be cheaper than the insurance offered by your car hire company and this then gives you the luxury of standing back at the car hire desk and not atomatically ticking all the expensive insurance option boxes and signing the contract in a hurry just because there is a queue behind you.

You'll save a lot of money that way. Happy motoring and thank you again for booking your hire cars through Gomarbella!

P.S. The picture above shows the distance between Cork Airport Terminal building and the rental car parking area.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Marrakesh Airport Car Hire

We took off from Seville airport on Ryanair at 2.15pm last Friday and landed an hour later at Marrakesh airport in Morroco 2.15pm. This gave us an extra hour to find our way to the little village of Auorir just outside Agadir, 3 hours down the new motorway.

I had rented a car for the trip through the Gomarbella Cartrawler car hire and rental booking engine. The total cost for the 3 days rental from Marrakesh Airport was €103.67, which works out at only €31 euros per day, a lot cheaper than if I had taken our car across from Spain to Morroco on the ferry and driven all the way down to Agadir. Instead we had driven to Seville and left the car in the Seville Airport Parking

When I booked the car I took the Mondial Assistance Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) insurance offered during the booking process. Three days cover cost me €16.50 and gave me the freedom to decide later if I wanted additional cover or not when I collected the hire car at my destination.

The Gomarbella car hire booking engine advises you that if you take out the Mondial CDW extra cover and choose not to take the additional insurance offered when collecting your car at different locations, you´ll have to produce a credit card with enough credit on it to cover the Collision Damage Waiver and/or Theft Waiver fees. I phoned the Location Auto offices in Marrakesh a couple of days before we flew to check the amount that would be blocked off during my three day car rental and was told in good English that I would need to have approximately €900 euros credit on my card.

My wife and I make a great travelling team and as she queued for dirhams at the bank next to the baggage retrieval belts I went through into the main arrivals hall to find our Location Auto representatives. I guessed from my excellent hire car booking rate that they wouldn't have an office in the main building and sure enough there were Brahim and Abdechahid waiting for me in front of the other Marrakesh Airport hire car offices with a sign reading "Michael Drury". You'll see them in the photo above completing the car hire contract formalities.

Our red Kia Picante was waiting for us in the main parking area, We checked on the car's exterior, minor scratches are not noted but a tiny notch in the windscreen (I would not have noticed it) and a deeper scratch on the rear bumper were registered on the contract form. I was shown that the spare tyre and lifting jack were in place. The tank was full of petrol and I was asked to return it full.

Of the @103.67 Marrakesh three day car rental fee, I had paid €24.58 when I booked so I paid the balance of €79.09 on the very fast portable Visa machine. Brahim then blocked 10 000 dirhams on my card for which I signed. This was made up of 5000 dirhams for CDW and 5000 Theft Waiver and was the €909 dirhams I mentioned earlier. If there had been a problem, Location Auto would have had immediate access to funds and Mondial Assistance would have repaid me later. If you have spare credit on your card, this option is a lot cheaper than being pressured into taking out additional insurance through your car rental company. I didn't need to take out any additional cover at the airport.

By the time we left the aiport it was 3.30pm and we had a 3 hour journey to get to Agadir and take the ring road around it during daylight.

Just out of interest, if you are travelling with a young family here are the charges for children's seats with Location Auto in Marrakesh.

120 MAD per day (€10) Booster seat.
120 MAD per day (€10) Child toddler seat.
120 MAD per day (€10) Infant child seat.

The car was in good condition and started at a touch. We needed water for the journey so we followed a "fixer" who seemed to have some association with Location Auto as he guided us out of Marrakesh Airport on his moped to a small grocery shop and then pointed us on our way to the N8 towards the coast and Agadir.

Getting out of Marrakesh airport onto the new motorway was
one thing, getting back to Marrakesh airport on our own was another story!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Seville Airport Parking


We went to Morocco for the weekend last Friday morning leaving from Sevilla Airport so the evening before I went out onto the terrace to check distances and times to the airport in Sevilla on my TomTom. The airport is exactly 265kms or 2 hours 27 minutes from Marbella.

We were flying Ryanair from Seville, landing at Marrakesh airport and then taking a hire car from Marrakesh Airport to drive about 200 kms down the new motorway south to a little village outside Agadir.

Our route to Seville Airport took us through the Cadíz province on the Los Barrios road. It's slightly longer distancewise than going through Ronda but it´s faster and much easier driving. I love that drive through Cadiz through the cork oaks and the rock covered hills which remind me of the granite kopjes in Rhodesia where I was born and grew up.

You'll see in the photo above that the airport has a great covered parking area, ideal for leaving a car during the hot Sevilla summers. I'll set out the charges for you below.

Seville Airport Parking Charges (2010)

0 - 30 minutes 0.027 cents per minute
30 - 60 minutes 0.025 cents per minute
61 + 0.022 cents per minute

Daily parking maximum up to 4 days, €14.65
Daily parking maximum from 5th day, €11.65

If I had been flying on my own and had had more time, I would have left the car on the outskirts of Sevilla and taken the Sevilla Airport bus which runs frequently every day between the city and the airportm just to see how it worked.

Leaving the car in the covered parking from Friday 12am to Monday 16.45. when we got back worked out at just over €50. There is a low cost longer term parking solution very near the airport which I'll use next time.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

353 Car Rental Cork Airport Terminal

Back in August my daughter booked a car rental through the Gomarbella Cartrawler Booking Engine for a friend's wedding near Cork in Ireland. Booking only three weeks ahead at the height of summer she was pleased to get a five seater car from the Opel Astra or similar group for only €176.05 for five days. This worked out at a car rental fee of €35.21 per day.

This included an airport fee, breakdown assistance, unlimited mileage, tax, collision damage waiver (CDW), theft waiver (TW) and third party liability protection.

To take care of the collision damage waiver insurance, as part of the Car Trawler rental car booking process she took out a Mondial Assistance collision damage waiver for a separate fee of €28.56. As I said before it all looked like a good price considering the late booking.

Just before leaving Marbella where she had been staying with us my daughter found she had mislaid her credit card. It wasn't a problem as my wife was travelling with her and our two grandchildren and she would take her credit card to produce at the rental desk.

The flight went fine (I stayed at home) and 353 Car Rental in the Terminal at Cork Airport was easy to find, sandwiched between Europcar and Avis. The 353 rental agent at the desk started ticking boxes on a form at the rental desk and asked my wife for her credit card and to sign the form. Distracted by the grandchildren and thinking that she was paying for the actual car rental, she handed over the credit card and signed in good faith.

What she had actually signed for was extra car rental insurance, another €198.61 on top of the Mondial Assistance collision damage insurance my daughter had already paid for! My wife didn't know it but Mondial Assistance actually say on their insurance confirmation form: "Excess cover is always optional. You should decline the car rental agent's excess cover at the desk when the car is collected."

OK I can hear you saying, she should have looked at the small print before signing. I do agree with you but as an online car rental agent, I am concerned that this could be happening to other car renters.

Here's the maths now:

176.05 Car Rental
28.56 Mondial Assistance collision damage waiver
198.61 Unsolicited insurance from 353 Car Rental

403.22 Total Average daily car rental now €80+ per day.

I'm not happy about this because it might well be happening to my other clients in different places so I wrote to 353 Car Rental at Cork Airport to ask for a copy of the insurance document that my wife signed. I wrote last week, I haven't had a reply yet but I'll keep you up to date on what happens!

In the meantime as part of your Gomarbella Car Rental booking process, sign up for Mondial Assistance collision damage, don't be pressured into signing anything at the 353 Car Rental desk in the terminal at Cork Airport and if you feel you must sign - read the small print first!

Update: I did get a reply from 353 Car Rental at Cork Airport which you can read here. Moral of the story is - don't be hurried at the hire car collection desk, read the small print carefully and don't tick any boxes just because the car rental agent attending you tells you to!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Malaga Airport Bus to Granada Bus Station

A popular bus service links Malaga Airport with Granada bus station and has been operating since the new airport opened earlier this year.

Travellers to Granada pick up the Alsina Graells bus seen in the picture from the stop where the Malaga Airport to Marbella shuttle bus and the L19 service to Malaga bus station leave from, just outside Arrivals across the big covered meeting area.

In the top part of the picture you will see the moving walkway which takes passengers to the Malaga airport train stop.

The Malaga Airport to Granada service runs twice a day 7 days a week. See timetable below:

Depart: Malaga Airport: 11.30 Arrive: Granada Bus Station 13.15 Cost: €9.35
Depart: Malaga Airport: 18.30 Arrive: Granada Bus Station 20.50 Cost: €9.35

If the timetable above doesn't suit you, then check through to the Costa del Sol bus page and look at the Malaga Bus Station timetable for other buses to Granada. The L19 service every 30minutes will take you from the airport to Malaga Bus Station and from there you can book your onward bus to Granada.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Lubina Sol bus stop

This is a picture of the Aztec Country Club tennis sports complex just over the A7 coastal road from Lubina Sol. Read the whole story to find out why it's in this blog!

Hi Mike, I am trying to get from the Malaga airport to Lubina Sol which is a complex just past Calahonda, I know the way by train to Fuengirola train station and then by bus but I don't know what bus stop I need to get off at. It would be brillant if you could let me know. Thanks Mo

Hi M0, thanks very much for checking in to www.gomarbella.com blog
I must have been past Lubina Sol a thousand times but never fixed its location exactly. I went online and found this "Turn off the A7 at the second sign for Riviera. At the roundabout take the second exit right into the Avda del Golf. Drive up the hill. After 200 mtrs turn left at the mini roundabout into Calle Libra. Follow the road for approximately 500 mtrs. The Aztec Country Club, where Reception is located, is on your left."

Get off the bus at the Riviera del Sol bus stop and then walk to the nearby taxi rank which you will find opposite the blue Opencor Supermarket building seen in the photos on the Riviera del Sol bus stop information.

It's not that far to Aztec Country Club but it's uphill and not comfortable pulling a suitcase so take a taxi to arrive in style. The taxi will take you to the resort Reception. It'll be a minimum fare of 7 euros or less. Next time I'm in the area I'll check out exactly where the reception is located.

Hope that helps you Maureen, please let me know if you have time when you get back. The weather is brilliant right now.

Best wishes from Marbella and have a great visit. Mike

Hi Mike Thanks for your amazingly quick reply to my question. I will take your suggestion and get a cab from Opencor Supermarket to Lubina Sol. I will certainly send an email when I get back. I am going on the 3rd May so let's hope the sunshine holds until then. Many many thanks for the trouble you have taken. Best wishes Mo

Update: 16/10/10. I went to the Aztec Country Club today and asked about the Lubina Sol apartments. Apparently Aztec Country Club now only handle around eight of the many apartments at Lubina Sol. So the advice above is good above regarding which bus stop to get off at, it's still the Riviera del Sol bus stop but the main Lubina Sol apartments are on the sea side of the road, right next to the Riviera del Sol bus stop and will have their own reception. You'll need to take the underpass next to the bus stop to get to the other side of the busy road coming from Fuengirola.

Contact details for Aztec Country Club

General Enquiries:

Tel: + 34 952 93 44 77
Fax: + 34 952 93 28 95

Reservations:

Tel: + 34 952 93 36 26
Fax: + 952 93 90 55

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Cot and High Chair Hire from Tool Hire Marbella

I'm often asked where to hire cots and high chairs from so I thought it was time I introduced the friendly Tool Hire Marbella team shown in the picture above.

Meet the team, from left to right, Fran, Klever and Manuel. For a friendly and efficient tool hire service it's hard to beat. I'm big into DIY and I've been renting tile cutters, plumbing tools, compactors, heavy electric diggers and drills for the last 15 years from Marbella Tool Hire.

You'll find everything you need in the Marbella rental depot; cement mixers, air compressors, submersible pumps, generators, bob cats, dumpers, hedge cutters, strimmers, extending ladders, circular saws, underground fault finding cameras, welding equipment, cleaning equipment including floor sanders and polishers, water pressure cleaners and much more.

If you are in the party mood then Tool Hire will cover all your needs from tables and chairs, through glasses and cutlery to outside heaters and lighting.

You'll even find cots and high chairs for rent!

Tool Hire will deliver but I prefer to pick up the tool I need when I know I have a clear few hours to work. I like to collect the equipment on a Thursday evening just before 7pm then I know I have 24 hours to finish the job and give it back before closing time on Friday to avoid the weekend rental fee. You normally put down a deposit on the tool which exceeds the rental fee and the difference is refunded on return. One of the team will test out the tool before you take it away and then test it again on return.

Here are the contact details:

Marbella Tool Hire
Poligono Industrial La Hermita
Granito 17
Marbella 29604

Tel: 95 277 57 86

Opening hours are 08.00 to 13.30 and 15.30 to 19.00 Mondays to Fridays with shorter afternoon hours in the summer months. I mention this because more than once I've gone round on a hot summer afternoon to find the depot closed.

By the way there's always someone at work in the workshop, cleaning and maintaining the equipment so if you need one of your own tools repaired, they also offer a tool repair service.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Malaga Train Station to Puerto Banus by bus

Audrey wrote in recently to say:


"We want to go from Malaga Train Station to El Corte Inglés in Puerto Banus next month without spending a fortune on taxis! We´re quite happy to take a taxi for the last part but we can't find a bus which we could take even to Marbella... can you help?"


I wrote back to Audrey to say: "
If you visit the Costa del Sol bus page and check through on the Malaga Bus Schedule link you will find the timetable of all the Portillo buses which travel between Malaga Bus Station and the Marbella Bus Station.


Malaga bus station by the way is right next to Malaga train station. If you click through on my reply to someone travelling from Malaga Airport to Marbella, you will see how close they are. Look for "Salidas desde Malaga" - Departures from Malaga - MALAGA - MARBELLA and take the Express service because it is direct and does not stop anywhere between Malaga and Marbella.


When you get to Marbella, take a taxi from the bus station to Puerto Banus. It will be around 15 euros during the day.


I hope that helps you Audrey and that you have a good visit to Puerto Banus.


Best wishes from Marbella Mike"

Friday, 30 July 2010

Holiday activities for children on the Costa del Sol

"What holiday activities on the Costa del Sol are there for my children?" is a question I often get asked. There are so many activities for open to children open on the coast that I always recommend looking at the magazine, "Kids on the Costa", as a starting point.

If you are on the coast or newly arrived you will find this great childrens' activity magazine wherever families gather, places such as; nurseries, international schools, supermarkets, tourist information offices, family restaurants all the way along the Costa del Sol and as far down as Gibraltar.

Kids on the Costa comes out 5 times a year and normally disappears off the shelves quite quickly so if you are coming out on holiday, to be on the safe side, I suggest you visit their website at www.kidsonthecosta.es and print yourself a copy of the current edition.

You'll find contact details, addresses, opening times and prices for a host of exciting childrens' activies on the Costa del Sol including the Fuengirola Zoo very near the Fuengirola bus station and the Fuengirola train station. If the children are into animals then try the Selwo Adventure Park near Estepona and also Selwo Marina, Sea Life Centre in Benalmadena just down from the Benalmadena Arroyo de la Miel train station.

Tivoli Amusement Park is a must for the whole family it's just up from the Arroyo de la Miel train station and on the same outing you can take in the Telecabina cable cars from the cable car station in Arroyo de la Miel with a soaring ride right to the top of the mountains overlooking the Costa del Sol.

Teenagers will need less entertaining, just drop them with their allowance at the big La Cañada commercial centre in Marbella or the Miramar Commercial Centre in Fuengirola. They'll happily spend hours in the teenagers's fashion shops, restaurants, bowling alleys and entertainment arcades.

Most Costa del Sol hotels offer a great entertainments programmes which include safe holiday activity sports programmes for young children and teenagers both in the hotel and on the beach with popular mini discos every evening.

Don't forget you are also on holiday so take advantage when you can to relax with a book or a glass of wine and let the children use their imagination to entertain themselves from time to time. Best wishes to all the family for a relaxing holiday!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

moroccan restaurant in marbella

When readers write in to ask for my recommendations for a taste of Morocco I often send them off to Tangier on the ferry or even across to Ceuta (still in Spain) and a quick dip into Morocco from there. Now I am adding the Restaurant Al Manar in Marbella to my taste of Morocco list.

Hardworking Marbella Moroccan restaurant owner Mustapha offers a wide selection of deliciously spiced Moroccan dishes at very reasonable prices. A very substantial lamb Tajin with vegetables served with the traditional brown cone cover costs €8 and in fact the most expensive dish on the menu is the generous Royal Cous Cous with pinchitos Morunos at €11.00 and a tasty Shawarma chicken skewer is €3.50. All food is Halal and wines and beers are served.

If you are visiting the Marbella Monday morning market (El Barato) then the Al Manar is only one block away. Have a Moroccan mint tea with superb sweet cakes and take things easy as you listen to background music including the melodic chant of the Koran.

Dine out in style and take a taxi ride from the centre of Marbella for a minimum €6 fare and then walk back into the centre in the cool of the evening along the Paseo Maritimo from the fishing port just down the road.

I want to stress that this is the real Moroccan restaurant deal in Marbella and the best proof is that Moroccans themselves eat there.

Address and contact telephone for the Al Manar Moroccan restaurant:

Moroccan Restaurant Al Manar
Avda Gral. López Dominguez 5
Edif Bruselas Bajo
29603 Marbella

Tel: 622 196 833
Tel: 95276 46 31

Phone Mustapha 20 minutes in advance if you are driving by to pick up a Moroccan takeway, or to make a table reservation.
Enjoy his unique hospitality and style and get as close to Morocco as you can without even reaching for your passport.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Marina Rio Hotel Lagos Algarve, Portugal

The Marina Rio Hotel in Lagos as seen through the rigging of yachts in the marina last weekend. This was our second stay in the very friendly family owned hotel on the banks of the Bensafrim River and I can recommend it strongly.

It takes a comfortable four and a half hours by car from Marbella to Lagos and we were taking a chance on escaping the seemingly continuous rain that had been falling all February in Spain. Sure enough as we crossed the Centenary Bridge over the Guadiana river separating Spain from France in the afternoon the clouds cleared, the sun came out. As we drove westwards into the setting sun I put my sunglasses on for the first time since last year and enjoyed the natural warmth streaming into the car again for the first time in months.

Check in at the Marina Rio is a simple process and we were given room 201 on the corner of the building. With a parking place right outside the hotel on the pavement it was easy to ferry the bags from the car up to the room. You can see our room on the second floor on the left corner of the hotel building with a great view towards the sea, the marina in front and also the Saturday morning market right next to the hotel.

Internet access is available in some rooms and wireless is free with a strong signal on the ground floor. The Hotel Marina Rio serves an excellent breakfast. Our room rate including breakfast was €61 per day including VAT and when we checked out the total was exactly what we expected, nothing more and nothing less.

Address and contact details for the Marina Rio hotel are:

Marina Rio Hotel
Av. dos Descobrimentos
Apartado 388
8600 645 Lagos, Portugal

Tel: +351 282 780 830
Fax: +351 282 780 839

If you are arriving by bus, it's just in front of the Lagos bus station.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Cordoba Bus Station

I spent the day in Cordoba on Saturday so walked up from the Mezquita to Avenida de América to the Cordoba train station. It took about 25 minutes. The bus station is just behind the train station.

This is the address of Cordoba bus station:

Estacion Central de Autobuses de Cordoba
Glorieta de las Tres Culturas s/n
14011 Cordoba

Tel: +34 957404383

Rather than try to find the address above, it's much easier to head for the train station and walk through it or around to the bus station!

It has all the amenities of a modern Spanish bus station including a left luggage locker department. Left luggage costs €3.50 a day and make sure you have everything you need with you for the day because if you need to open the locker again to get your sun glasses out, it´ll cost you another €3.50!

There is a Caja Rural cash point next to the entrance and right next to it a set of public telephones which were being used and looked to be in good order. Opposite the souvenir shop is an open air buffet style coffee bar, ideal for a snack in between buses. The seats on the concourse are comfortable and clean.

I tested out the information desk by asking what bus I needed to take me back to the Mezquita (It's the number 3 and the nearest point is San Fernando almost down by the Guadalquivir River) I was not given the departure point but found it for myself at the furthest end of the local bus stops between the bus station and the Cordoba train station. Cost €1.10 all the way back to the Mezquita. Good value and the bus was clean and comfortable.

While you are near the Mezquita de Cordoba, treat yourself to a Hammam Arab Bath, it's a great way to round off a visit to the Mosque and get the full Al-Andalusi experience.

There are 26 long distance bus bays arranged in a circle on the far side of the bus station. Cordoba bus station is functional and perhaps does not have the same charm of the Prado de San Sebastian bus station in Seville but is ideally situated for connections with train station and within very easy reach of the Cordoba city centre.

Let me know if I can help you with travel onwards to
Marbella bus station or any other points in Andalucia.

By the way the picture shows Cordoba bus station on the right. I took the photo from the north corner of Cordoba train station which is just to my left. The local buses leave from the street you see here.