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Sunday, 30 September 2007

Estación Benaojan Montejaque

This is the down train from Ronda rumbling through the tiny rural train station of Benaoján Montejaque just 20 minutes down the line heading to Algeciras on the south coast.

The up train to
Ronda train station from Algeciras runs on the lines nearest the platform. A sign on the platform politely asks passengers travelling in the opposite direction to Algeciras to cross the lines on foot to the platform on the other side, a reasonable time before their train arrives and apologises for any inconvenience.

The Hotel Molina del Santo is just five minutes walk from the station. Right next to a small river gushing with the purest water straight from the Sierrania de Ronda mountain range, the hotel is an old olive and flour mill.

Hotel guests often take the 1.40 up train to Ronda, do some sight seeing and have lunch and then catch the 4.30 Algeciras train down train getting off at the picturesque Benaoján Montejaque station a few minutes later.

The Hotel Molina del Santo is equally accessible from the Costa del Sol. Los Barrios train station on the coast is the second stop along from Algeciras. From there the train winds through the lush vegetation of coastal Cadiz between stork nests high on power pylons before pushing its way up the Genal river valley on a memorably winding track.

When the train service along the coast is extended from Fuengirola all the way to Algeciras, this veteran rail line now carrying passengers and rail traffic to Ronda, Granada and Cordoba will only carry cargo. Take the trip while you still can!

If you are doing this trip from the coast, then get on the train at Algeciras or at Los Barrios the next stop along. If you are not in a hire car then you will be doing this part of the journey by bus and you will need to consult one of the
Costa del Sol bus schedules to take the bus to Algeciras but get off at Los Barrios the stop before.

If you are doing a day trip from Gibraltar then you will be using
the La Linea bus station for your connection to Los Barrios train station.

MT sent me a link to a video showing the train journey from
Algeciras to the Ronda train station. Watch the video, read MT's comments below and then do the journey yourself!


Anonymous said...

Hello Mike, You made me feel enthusiastic about the unique train track between Algeciras and Ronda I would like very much to do this trip. We will travel from Torremolinos by bus and taking the 7:50 which I expect to get to Algeciras at 10:30. The train to Ronda leaves at 12:15; we have less than 2 hours which would to spend exploring the area.
Should we get off at Los Barrios and explore the area instead of Algeciras?
Does the bus stop in San Roque near the station? Should we spend the time there?
Many thanks

Mike Drury said...

Hi Maria

Thank you very much for writing in to the gomarbella blog. It looks like you have planned the journey carefully aready.

The bus station in Los Barrios is some way from the train station and I think I would go all the way to Algeciras, it's a port city with all sorts of shipping in the bay. You could check out the ferry terminal just over the road from the bus station just in case you do a trip to Morocco the next time you come down.

You could then look for a cafeteria to have a coffee and roll before making your way to the station. Take a bag with some fruit and sandwiches and a drink for the train, all the Spanish passengers eat as they go.

Watch out for your belongings getting on and off the bus and the train and especially when buying your tickets. As I said it is a port city so it has its share of dodgy people and opportunists.

Have a great trip Maria and keep your camera handy. Please let me know how it goes if you have time.

Best wishes from Marbella


Anonymous said...

Hello Mike,
Thank you for an extremely useful site,all your efforts and especially the personal touch. Last year we did the journey, you recommended, on the train to Ronda. We have enjoyed a memorable journey on this unique track. I hope they do not close this veteran rail line to passengers, and they keep it going to allow this experience for every visitor to Andalucía.
I have made this video and this is the link if you would like to post on your site
Algeciras to Ronda by Train .wmv

Mike Drury said...

Hello MT

Thank you very much for the link. I watched the video with great interest. It really highlights the charms of the small rural railway stations on the Algeciras to Ronda line.

I´ll add the link into the text of the blog above.

I passed the Los Barrios station just this morning on my way back from the Algarve, those same fields next to the line were completely flooded. Watching your video makes me want to do the train journey again!

Please send me any other your videos that you think will be of interest to gomarbella readers.

Thank you again MT and best wishes from Marbella.


Anonymous said...

Hi mike, I would like to travel from Ronda down to Gibraltar On fri nov 19th, and then the next day travel from Gibraltar to Cadiz, with enough time to actually explore Gibraltar. I'm having some difficulty figuring out the bus/train combo that will make sense-can you help? (I'll have a not-light backpack that is not meant for long schleps)


Mike Drury said...

Hi Ali

Apologies for the late reply. There isn't a direct bus from Ronda to La Linea bus station which is right on the border with Gibraltar. You need to take the bus from Ronda to Estepona, past San Pedro de Alcantara on the way to Gibraltar.
Then take the bus from Estepona to La Linea.

Paste this link into your browser: and look at the timetable of buses out of Ronda to Estepona and then at the timetable for buses out of Estepona to La Linea.

There are left luggage lockers at La Linea but the Gibraltar border is very close and there are taxis or buses just after the Gibraltar passport control to get into the centre of Gibraltar.

To get to Cadiz from La Linea, take one of the frequent local buses from the La Linea bus station around the bay to Algeciras bus station and then take one of the Comes bus services from there to Cadiz or one of the Malaga province Portillo services which run all the way from Malaga to Cadiz stopping in Algeciras on the way.

If you look at the page above for bus services out of Malaga bus station to Cadiz, you will see that there are three buses a day. The journey from Malaga to Cadiz takes four hours and stops in Algeciras so if you add two hours onto the Malaga departure times, those are the times those three services will leave Algeciras to travel to Cadiz.

Once you are in Algeciras you could also consider a train journey from there to Cadiz if the bus times are not convenient.

The problem basically is that Gibraltar is a little way off main travel routes so you need to leave time to get into Gib and then out again.

Ali, I hope that helps, have a great trip and keep an eye on your belongings as you travel.

Best wishes from Marbella


Anonymous said...

Hi Mike, Been tracking all your invaluable comments for travelling Spain. We have now got from Barcelona flying to Malaga then bus to Marbella and connection to La Linea over nthe border into Gib. A day trip from La Linea to Los Barrios and train up to Ronda and back. Can you tell me the early bus to L Barr. & the train to Ronda and back again late afternoon. I am finding it hard to find these times especially in English.
Thanks for your great help. babyboomer Viv from OZ

Mike Drury said...

Hi Viv, thanks very much for writing in. Great itinerary. Can I send you some information on Tuesday? I'm in Buenos Aires right now, been doing some trekking in the Andes over by Chile and am flying home tomorrow getting back to Malaga on Monday.

I'd feel a bit more secure about the info when I am on my home computer!

Los Barrios is just up the road from La Linea, there must be buses all the time but I'll look.

In the meantime, check out the Renfe site for Los Barrios to Ronda timetables: there should be somewhere to put it into English on the front page. Let me know how you get on so that I can see your progress with the train times when I get home.

Speak soon, hasta pronto. Mike

Ross Brown said...

Hola Mike! I'll be in Elviria in May, have been there many times and am reasonably good in Spanish. Intend to go by bus from La Vibora to Marbella bus station, then to Ronda. And by train to Benaojan Montajaque. Any idea of train timetables to there and back from Ronda, on a Sunday or a weekday?
Gracias, Ross Brown, Oslo

Mike Drury said...

Hi Ross, I had a look at the timetables on the very clunky site. By putting in Ronda to Algeciras and then clicking through on the train name, you'll see the Ronda to Benaojan Montejaque times. Basically there are trains leaving Ronda at 07.30, 09.15, 12.21, 16.16, 18.52 and 19.49. Benaojan Montejaque shows up as an intermediate stop on the way to Algeciras and is 20 minutes down the line from Ronda. Renfe got tired of me after this and would not give me the return journey times but I'm sure the trains run with the same frequency on the return journey. It'll be a great outing and I love that train line down. It's about a 15 minute walk between the train station and the bus station with a great little cafeteria at each place! If you need any double checking please write back and I'll have another go at the Renfe site. Have a great trip Ross and good on you for moving around like that. Best wishes Mike