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Thursday, 1 March 2007

Hen Party in Puerto Banus

It’s great to be a web master on gomarbella, getting to meet interesting people online and sometimes being able to help with their travels and adventures on the Costa del Sol.

In the photo you are looking at a hen party in full swing in Puerto Banus last month. From left to right meet Sheena Patel, Sonal Patel, Leena Patel (bottom left), Rakhee Somani & Rav Sura

When methodical organizer Sheena contacted Gomarbella for some travel suggestions I never thought we would end up with a great online testimonial.

"Thanks for all your help and advice Mike. You saved me the time and effort and made things a lot easier for our short stay in Marbella. We had a fantastic time, even in the rain. We used your advice to take a taxi to Puerto Banus from our Hotel and it only cost just over 5 euros, we could have walked as it wasn't far but didn't want our hair wet! The drinks, food and people were great. We are definitely planning on coming back when it’s warmer and the sun’s out. Again thank you very much."

Sheena and her group came out to Puerto Banus at the beginning of February, it was a wet weekend but they had lots of fun. She then went on to organize another Hen party in London for those who couldn’t make it out to Spain and right now will be organizing her sister´s wedding for April. With Sheena in charge it is going to be a big success.

It all started when Sheena wrote to Gomarbella: "I have arranged a Hen weekend for my sister on the weekend of Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th Feb. We are landing at Malaga airport and our hotel is the H10 Andalucia Plaza Hotel in Nueva Andalucia near Puerto Banus. Would you please advise me on the best way to get to the hotel. There are 7 of us in total. I have had a look at taxis to Marbella but the cost was around € 90 per taxi. We are landing at Malaga airport at 11.10am. I also found the direct airport bus to Marbella but wanted to know how far the hotel is from there and how we get there. Also how long it will take on the bus? I would appreciate it if you could get back to me."

I wrote back to Sheena: "I would recommend going in the special Malaga Airport to Marbella Bus Station shuttle bus. The cost for each person would be about €3.91 It takes exactly 45 minutes.

Then from the Marbella bus station you can cheerfully go by taxi to the Hotel Andalucia Plaza it is a short taxi ride, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the traffic and should be around €12 per taxi, you will need two taxis. With all the money you will have saved by using the excellent bus service, you can arrive at the hotel in comfort and style and you won't even notice the cost.

Check out this page for the Malaga Airport to Marbella bus timings, you should use the third column from the left and if your plane arrives on time your bus will be the 12 midday bus to Marbella.

Andalucía Plaza is a great base for your Hen weekend. There is an underpass from the hotel to the other side of the very busy CN 340 road. Use that if you feel like a walk in the early evening to Puerto Banus but get a taxi back."

Sheena wrote back: "Thanks for your help Mike, it will really save us the bother and time of searching how to get to the hotel when we get there. Just another little question, are there many people about in bars and clubs this time of year? Also is it really expensive there? Oh and what’s the weather like? Thanks a lot for your help, I will send you a couple of pics when we're back"

I wrote to Sheena: "Right now the weather is cold 12º - 15º but it has been warm all this winter so far so I am sure it will warm up for your visit.

Cost wise, drinks can be expensive in Puerto Banus, but still cheaper than the UK and you get double the quantity! The trick is to find a cheap bar in the port, top up there and then move on to the glittering places like the discos and nightclubs. Earlier on in the evening you can have a good pizza in Cristian’s in the port, very reasonable and elegantly served and then move on. My daughter Tarryn is visiting from London right now and she is a veteran of Puerto Banus. I’ll ask her for some suggestions."

Tarryn wrote to Sheena: "Hi Sheena, February is still quite a quiet time in Puerto Banus so generally people who are going out, head for the bars that are full of people. As my friend who's out a lot there, said "You can’t really go wrong at all because there are lots of bars to go to".

Here are a couple of names of bars to ask for when you are over; Terra Blues, second line back from the boats is a pretty chilled bar and not too posh really. Havana towards the far end of the port from where you will come in has music and dancing. Seven, second line again right down the end of the port if you start at Sinatras side. Scantily clad girls dancing but quite glam. Artusa is a good Italian restaurant for dinner and so is Picasso, (cheaper and good for a group)

Good idea to go along during the day for a walkabout and you will see the bars. You have to have a good look as a lot of the good bars are on what we call the second line. Plenty of guys outside handing out tickets to have drinks to get you into their bars.

Puerto Banus if you have been there before is pretty glam and everything still starts pretty late so dinner at 9 or 10pm is a good time to start then do the bars after that and night clubs last. Don’t expect too much to happen before 10pm

Night clubs to go to are Olivia Valere and Dreamers which are out of the port, but you will need a taxi there. Still all pretty quiet here in Feb but I'm sure you guys will make the party! Have fun! Tarryn"

Gomarbella wishes the bridal couple a long and happy life together!


Mike Drury said...

Hi Fosas, I am sorry but I pressed the Reject button instead of the Publish button by mistake and your request for help on how to get from Jerez Airport to Los Barrios got rejected.

I'll try to recover it but if not, you will take the bus from Jerez Airport into Jerez and then pick up a local bus to Los Barrios.

I will try to get your comment published. Really sorry about that but please look back here later for more information.

Best wishes


fosasmalditas said...

HI again, would that be the portillo buses to Jerez or is it another bus? ALso, what if I land in Malaga airport (which will most likely happen) how would I get to Los Barrios then?? Is Algeciras very far from Los Barrios do you know, for instance would I be able to take a taxi from ALgeciras station to Los Barrios (avda. Carlos Cano or around there) and not have to pay a bunch of money? thanks.

Mike Drury said...

I´m glad you got my earlier message.

Jerez de la Frontera is actually closer to Los Barrios, but travelling from Malaga gives you more options.

From Malaga airport you would take the L19 bus into Malaga to the main Malaga bus station, two buses every hour, and then you take your bus down the coast from there.

From Malaga bus station you will travel to Algeciras or to La Linea right next to Gibraltar with either the Portillo bus company or the Alsina Graells company depending on the time you travel. From those two destinations you will use the Comes bus company service and you'll find their schedules here:

You`ll see connections from La Linea to Los Barrios and also from Algeciras to Los Barrios. You can even book your ticket online!

A taxi from either La Linea or from Algeciras to Los Barrios is not going to be expensive if you are tired after travelling, less than 20 euros I am sure.

If your bus stops at San Roque which is the nearest town to Los Barrios, just before Algeciras, a taxi from there will be even cheaper.

I'm in London right now, otherwise I would ring the Portillo bus station to check if any of the buses to Algeciras actually pass through Los Barrios which would make it a lot quicker.

Why don't you go ahead and book your flight ticket, let me know which airport and your arrival time and I'll work out the fastest and cheapest route for you? I'll be back home on Monday and will send you an answer on Tuesday probably in the evening.

It's still quite hot on the coast to bring out some cool clothing with you. There's a great commercial centre not far from Los Barrios so you can do all your winter shopping there!

Have a good weekend and I look forward to hearing from you.


fosasmalditas said...

Hello again...

I have booked my ticket... I arrive in Malaga airport on September 29th terminal 2 at 4:50pm. Your help would be awesome as I am really unsure of how to reach Los Barrios since it seems to be a small town, I am supposed to be at a school on October 1st so I have to arrive before then. Thanks!!

Mike Drury said...

OK here is something more definite to work on. If you land at 4.50pm on Monday 29th, you are still in the summer departures schedule for the bus from Malaga airport to Marbella bus station, so the next bus for you to Marbella would be the 17.30. If you don't get your baggage in time, the following bus is at 18.30.

Take either bus, it will cost 4.14 euros and will get you to Marbella exactly 45 minutes later.

I went to the Marbella bus station just now and asked the young guy to see if there was a Portillo bus service which passed through Los Barrios but to cut a long story short, there isn't one!

So from Marbella bus station the simplest thing to do is to take the bus to Algeciras.

The 'Ruta' buses to Algeciras from Marbella pass through San Roque which is the nearest town to Los Barrios. One leaves at 18.15 which would be just as you were arriving at Marbella bus station, then 19.45 and 20.30. It will take around 1hour 15 minutes and cost 6.45 euros or less. When you buy your ticket ask for San Roque, the town before Algeciras. Make sure you are not catching any of the 'Directo' buses to Algeciras because they don't stop stop along the way.

I have just phoned the taxi company in San Roque. There is a taxi rank in the Alameda next to where the buses stop and the taxi fare from San Roque to Los Barrios is 16 to 19 euros, the girl didn't remember exactly. Welcome to the south of Spain.

I say welcome because Los Barrios is a fantastic place to spend time. You're in the province of Cadiz which is a whole mix of cultures. You are 20 minutes away from the white Atlantic beaches of Tarifa which kite and wind surfers dream about all year round.

With a colleague you can take a day ferry across to Morocco or get excellent two day weekend offers. You're just around the corner from Gibraltar and if you get homesick for Walkers Crisps there is a Sainsbury's and you can pay in pounds or euros.

Ronda is a short train trip up the valley. Cadiz city you have to explore and Sevilla is not far away for a weekend stay. Los Barrios is an industrial area but it's a great place to have a base to explore from. Sea food restaurants and a great shopping centre are just down the road.

All your mates will be getting cheap tickets to Gibraltar and coming out to see you!

So take the airport bus to Marbella bus station, then the bus to Algeciras and get off in San Roque. For the last leg take a taxi to Los Barrios. Total cost around €30.

Let me know if you have any doubts or questions about the area. I hope this helps you and that you have a fantastic year!

abadi said...

how can i got train from malaga airport to benalmadena-arroyo de la miel?

Mike Drury said...

Hello Abadi

Thank you for writing to gomarbella.

It's very easy to take the train from Malaga airport to Benalmadena Arroyo de la Miel. When you arrive at Malaga airport, take the lift to the first floor (The departures level) and then follow the signs to the Malaga airport train stop. It is about 300 metres from the airport building.

You can find complete information if you visit this page:

Just copy and paste the address into your browser and you will find complete timetables and information about where to get off.

Abadi I hope this helps you. Sorry about the delay in replying. I was in France on holiday and thought that I had replied to everyone from my laptop as I travelled but missed your reply. I hope you have a great visit to the Costa del Sol.

Best wishes

Mike Drury

Anonymous said...

I was wondering do you know of any low budget hostels in Los Barrios? I will be arriving there and have nowhere to stay for a week while I find permanent housing and am on a student budget..and also is there pay phones in the bus stations? and how do they work... do you need a pay card?


Mike Drury said...

Hi, thanks very much for writing in to gomarbella.

(Would you be coming to teach in Los Barrios?)

I checked out a few hostels on the internet and phoned Hostal Real 00 34 956 620 024 in Los Barrios, actually I phoned a few but I think they were all on siesta. Hostal Real would work out at 29.50 euros a night. Does that fit into your budget? I don't think you will find anything a lot cheaper than that.

The girl said they were right in the middle of the town between the police station and the Guardia Civil and very close to the bus stop.

About phoning, the call boxes operate off coins, some with credit cards but mainly coins.

When you get established buy a "Tarjeta Fortune" from a libreria or kiosco. That's for toon eh. They cost 5 euros or 10 euros and you can use any fixed phone or mobile to phone home, anywhere in the world and it won't cost the owner of the phone anything and it makes your phone calls very very cheap.

Get a Spanish pay as you go card for your mobile too as soon as you can. It will be cheaper for texts and so on.

If that helps, contact me through the blog with an arrival date and I'll make a booking for you at Hostal Real or just phone them directly if you prefer.

It's a bit wet on the Costa del Sol right but the sun comes out in between and it is still warm.

Best wishes for your trip to Los Barrios!


Anonymous said...

hello, i had a question, i want to go to morroco in november, when do you recommend is the best time to go? and also how do the ferries work and how much do they cost? i have been looking online and they seem to have no dates available... i am in los barrios, close to algeciras so i plan to leave from there... any suggestions?

Mike Drury said...


Thanks for writing in. There are quite a few sailings every day but I'll check for you tomorrow and find some concrete information.

Best wishes until later


Mike Drury said...

Hi, how is it going in Los Barrios? My wife and drove through there a couple of weekends ago and I took a photo of the bus station. It has changed a lot since I last saw the town. I hope you are enjoying it.

About the ferry trip, I checked on a couple of ferry sites and the price was the same. From Algeciras to Tangier, 88 euros there and back. It seemed a little expensive to me. Just one thing, when you look at the times on the schedule, remember that Morocco is sometimes an hour behind Spain. Don't miss the ferry on the way back for that reason and remember to take your passport!

Check out the most used reservation site:

Then I phoned our friendly travel agent in Marbella Viajes Valemar 00 34 95 282 99 44 and spoke to Rosi the owner.

She suggested an organised trip with a group. The bus leaves Marbella at around 6.30am and gets to the Hotel Guadalpark a couple of kms back from Los Barrios on the main road at about 7.30am.

From there the coach takes you to Tarifa, it is a lovely drive and you can see Africa clearly on a good day from the bus. The ferry then sails to Tangier. You get a guide, lunch is included and a tour and panoramic views of the city and all your passport formalities are taken care of.

Amazingly all that only costs 65 euros. My recommendation would be to take the tour. You can book it by phoning Rosi, arranging dates and then you simply pay on the bus.

It is still not a good idea for a woman to travel alone in Morocco. Is is safe but with respect to our neighbours over the Straits of Gibraltar, they will simply hassle a foreign woman on her own all day long. It would take away from your enjoyment. Two women travelling together get less bother. With a man in your group or if you are in a tour group, you are left alone almost completely.

I hope that helps. Will you let me know how it goes?

Best wishes from Marbella