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happy_travellers
December 9th, 2008, 10:20 AM
We are thinking of renting a car for our day in Malaga. In port from 8am to 6pm. Anyone have any feedback on this? Thought we could do Mijas and then a couple of beach towns. We are doing the T/A Ncl Gem Apr/09. We like to rent a car usually once on a cruise and Malaga looks like reasonable choice price wise and terrain wise. Thanks to all for any info. Karen

RachelG
December 9th, 2008, 12:02 PM
Been there, tried that--wouldn't do it again. We rented from Avis at the train station. No problem getting the car. But major problems with the car working properly, so bad that it completely broke down on the freeway about 10 miles outside of town. Then major problems getting Avis to help us and getting back to town. Also traffic is horrible.

CathyCruises
December 9th, 2008, 12:54 PM
Also been there, did that. We rented ours at the train station as well. No problems, enjoyed our day. Went north first, then through town to a small beach hamlet to the south. When we got back into town, there was heavy traffic and we had a DEVIL of a time finding the train station again! The map was relatively useless. We had descended to a parking garage beneath the station to pick up the car, but finding the right entrance to take it back again was miserable. We kept circling block after block dealing with traffic, one way signs, etc. We made our way to a gas station and asked directions in broken Spanish and finally succeeded, but only after about 45 minutes of wandering about. It was getting late and we started getting nervous. Worst case scenario, we were going to leave the car at the street entrance to the station and just call the company to let them know it was out there! But it turned out okay.

If it was me and I had it to do over again, I would head for Granada and the Alhambra.

We rented cars in Marseilles and Nice and Perpignan with no issues.

Cathy

happy_travellers
December 9th, 2008, 12:59 PM
Thanks to both of you for your honest opinion...your hindsight may be my 20/20 Thanks again, Karen

Parrot Mom
December 9th, 2008, 01:31 PM
WE HIRED a taxi to go to Mijas.. our second time there.. it is a lovely spot. You can stop at a beach on the way back

OttoCal
December 9th, 2008, 02:29 PM
Rented a car from the Malaga Airport and it was the worst experience during a 2-week visit to Spain. Well, except for driving it to a beach town nearby and not finding ANY parking after driving around the town for a good 30-45 minutes. So no beach visit. :(

moniquet
December 9th, 2008, 03:27 PM
Wouldn't recommend it at all. The infrastructure is poor and there is virtually only one main road. If there is a major accident everything grinds to a halt. Also if doing private tours allow lots of time, traffic around Málaga city is gridlocked nearly all the time. Mijas is worth a visit, I live about 20 minutes away.

sachiboo
December 9th, 2008, 04:32 PM
My husband and I will be doing a TA next March'09 and Malaga is the second port-of-call. I'm interested in doing the ship excursion to Granada an all day excursion - 7 hours duration. I'm divided whether just to stay at Malaga to visit the historical places and visit the surrounding. Can anyone provide me with some information to help me decide which direction to take. Many thanks.

martyap
December 9th, 2008, 05:42 PM
My husband and I will be doing a TA next March'09 and Malaga is the second port-of-call. I'm interested in doing the ship excursion to Granada an all day excursion - 7 hours duration. I'm divided whether just to stay at Malaga to visit the historical places and visit the surrounding. Can anyone provide me with some information to help me decide which direction to take. Many thanks.

Granada is a two hour drive from Malaga and appointments to Alhambra have a designated time window. If you can, consider staying over one night in Granada....lovely city with great sights and fantastic tapas. The ship's excursion will have you spending most of your time on a bus. To really appreciate Granada an overnight is perfect.

Mijas is very touristic. If you were renting a car to go to Ronda or even Marbella it might be worth it. We were in Malaga last month and it's a nice city to just walk around, shop, Picasso musuem, Alcazaba. I would not bother renting a car for the few hours.

Malaga is a tough one day port because the great sights like Cordoba, Sevilla, Granada and even Gibralter are 1.5-2.5 hours away. Highways are great and well signed. In towns driving is a challenge as is parking...

Marty

sachiboo
December 9th, 2008, 06:24 PM
Marty,

Thank you for your quick response - very helpful information. We might just have to settle on a day visit to Malaga and its surrounding areas. Yes, spending alot of traveling time on the bus seem a waste of time. There are so many very interesting and wonderful places go see, things to do that one becomes confuse on which one to do first. I know my brother-in-law would love to go to Cordoba for the day. I told him it is out of the question. The city has too much to offer for just a day visit and also, we are only at Malaga for a day. Perhaps on our next visit to Europe 2010, we will do the country first then cruise.

How was Malaga last March? We will be there next March.

martyap
December 9th, 2008, 07:42 PM
Marty,

Thank you for your quick response - very helpful information. We might just have to settle on a day visit to Malaga and its surrounding areas. Yes, spending alot of traveling time on the bus seem a waste of time. There are so many very interesting and wonderful places go see, things to do that one becomes confuse on which one to do first. I know my brother-in-law would love to go to Cordoba for the day. I told him it is out of the question. The city has too much to offer for just a day visit and also, we are only at Malaga for a day. Perhaps on our next visit to Europe 2010, we will do the country first then cruise.

How was Malaga last March? We will be there next March.

We've been to Malaga in May and November. I'm guessing temps in March
should be in the 60's and possibly low 70's later in the month....It was in the mid 60's when we docked early November a few weeks ago.....Marty

sachiboo
December 9th, 2008, 08:05 PM
Here's hoping that the temperature stay similar to what you had when you were there. Thanks.

debsjc
December 9th, 2008, 08:12 PM
I have rented a car from Malaga airport on a land based vacation, and I would recommend it. As it's a holiday destination for Brits, and other Europeans there are lots of cheap, reliable companies around, and I thought it was very easy to find ones way.

You have the advantage of going in April, before it gets too busy and parking becomes harder. I would stay along the coast and go to Puerta Banus to wander along the harbour, and look at all the beautiful people and their posh cars and boats! Also Mijas should not be too busy in April, and although touristy it's very pretty and worth a visit.

If you wanted to go a bit further Ronda is a nice city, for me Cordoba, Sevilla or Granada are too far for a day trip.

denisey
December 10th, 2008, 01:55 PM
My husband and I will be doing a TA next March'09 and Malaga is the second port-of-call. I'm interested in doing the ship excursion to Granada an all day excursion - 7 hours duration. I'm divided whether just to stay at Malaga to visit the historical places and visit the surrounding. Can anyone provide me with some information to help me decide which direction to take. Many thanks.

For an alternate opinion---

We took the Granada/Alhambra tour and it was the hightlight of our trip! Yes there was a 2 hour bus ride there and back, but I thought it was through beautiful country.

The Alhambra is an amazing place. We spent 2 hours there.

We then went to Granada for lunch (at a hotel lunch room) and decided to spend the time exploring the town instead.

While I agree it would probably be a great area to spend time at, you really don't have that option on a cruise.

Our friends who spent the day nearer to the port had a lovely day, but not the fabulous time we had.

Parrot Mom
December 10th, 2008, 02:24 PM
For an alternate opinion---

We took the Granada/Alhambra tour and it was the hightlight of our trip! Yes there was a 2 hour bus ride there and back, but I thought it was through beautiful country.

The Alhambra is an amazing place. We spent 2 hours there.

We then went to Granada for lunch (at a hotel lunch room) and decided to spend the time exploring the town instead.

While I agree it would probably be a great area to spend time at, you really don't have that option on a cruise.

Our friends who spent the day nearer to the port had a lovely day, but not the fabulous time we had.


Had just finished reading a book about Alhambra and was extremely interested in going, but it is a strenuous tour of the facility and Parrot Pop couldn't possibly do it sadly. I had read about the caves and the gypsies too. Just keep it mind if you have problems walking.

moniquet
December 10th, 2008, 03:37 PM
Alhambra is great but I don't think it is worth the long journey unless it has been one of your must sees. It is now really crowded and loses some of it's atmosphere. Forget about the Gypsies and the caves, it's all organised for the tourists. Málaga is interesting, there is the Castle and just below it is the English Cemetary, opened about 200 years ago as the Spanish ordered all English to be buried feet first in the sand as they were Protestants, nice gift shop too. A short ride away is Torremolinos, good shopping and nice walks by the sea in La Carehuela district (Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardener used to visit)

Someone mentioned Marbella (where I live) It's fab, all designer shops and massive yachts but I don't think it is really worth the journey if you want to see the real Spain.

martyap
December 10th, 2008, 09:26 PM
Alhambra is great but I don't think it is worth the long journey unless it has been one of your must sees. It is now really crowded and loses some of it's atmosphere. Forget about the Gypsies and the caves, it's all organised for the tourists. Málaga is interesting, there is the Castle and just below it is the English Cemetary, opened about 200 years ago as the Spanish ordered all English to be buried feet first in the sand as they were Protestants, nice gift shop too. A short ride away is Torremolinos, good shopping and nice walks by the sea in La Carehuela district (Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardener used to visit)

Someone mentioned Marbella (where I live) It's fab, all designer shops and massive yachts but I don't think it is really worth the journey if you want to see the real Spain.

Excellent advice....right on the money for a day in Malaga.....the shopping in Malaga was nice as well....Marty

Parrot Mom
December 10th, 2008, 11:16 PM
Had just finished reading The Last Jew by Noah Gordon and much of his book talks about the Granada area, the gypsies and the caves. To me..Mijas is a delight.. tourist village..great shopping and little cafes.. and oh yes..the nut man..lol

lisalovlee33
December 11th, 2008, 12:13 AM
We rented from Avis at the train station. We had a brand new "Economy" car. You can actually walk to the train station, takes about 1/2 hour if I remember correctly. (Since we like to leave the ship as soon as it docks and the buses weren't available till later)

Be sure to have your International Drivers License. She insisted on it. Took the car to Nerja Caves, Europa Balcony and a FANTASTIC town, Frigiliiana. Be sure to spend some time in Malaga as well. It's was quite difficult to navigate when we were there because there was construction going on in that area. This was Nov 2007.

The fort in Malaga was interesting. The pedestrian walk to the square is fun too.

moniquet
December 11th, 2008, 06:04 AM
Just a bit of info'. Many British have bought the cave houses and reformed them. Some for holidays others live in them all year round!

Yes Nerja is a good place to visit too. I would still think carefully about care hire. Living on the coast I know how bad the roads are. Aside from the dangerous drivers, even a trivial accident can cause gridlock for hours. I once popped out to buy bread and was stuck on the road for over an hour.

CathyCruises
December 11th, 2008, 10:18 AM
We rented from Avis at the train station. We had a brand new "Economy" car. You can actually walk to the train station, takes about 1/2 hour if I remember correctly. (Since we like to leave the ship as soon as it docks and the buses weren't available till later)

Be sure to have your International Drivers License. She insisted on it. Took the car to Nerja Caves, Europa Balcony and a FANTASTIC town, Frigiliiana. Be sure to spend some time in Malaga as well. It's was quite difficult to navigate when we were there because there was construction going on in that area. This was Nov 2007.

The fort in Malaga was interesting. The pedestrian walk to the square is fun too.

We were not required to have an international license at the same place. Wonder what that is all about!

cp

RachelG
December 11th, 2008, 04:27 PM
Don't know anything about an international driver's license either. We just have regular old Oklahoma ones, and they were good enough in June 2007.

As far as Granada and Alhambra, they are great, but I wouldn't do as a tour from a cruise ship. It is a pretty long drive, and there is so much there--takes at least a full day in my opinion. They are better visited as part of a land tour or at the beginning or end of a cruise.

Missus Makkem
December 12th, 2008, 10:03 AM
We are thinking of renting a car for our day in Malaga. In port from 8am to 6pm. Anyone have any feedback on this? Thought we could do Mijas and then a couple of beach towns. We are doing the T/A Ncl Gem Apr/09. We like to rent a car usually once on a cruise and Malaga looks like reasonable choice price wise and terrain wise. Thanks to all for any info. Karen

Take the train from Malaga, station is near the port, to Fuengirola, beach resort,at the foot hills to Mijas,there is a regular bus service to Mijas,or a taxi ,will take you there,approx 15-20 mins ride and no hassle.

happy_travellers
December 12th, 2008, 11:38 AM
Take the train from Malaga, station is near the port, to Fuengirola, beach resort,at the foot hills to Mijas,there is a regular bus service to Mijas,or a taxi ,will take you there,approx 15-20 mins ride and no hassle.


That sounds like a great alternative. How much would a taxi to Mijas be from Fuengirola? And the train? Thanks so much. Karen

iancal
December 12th, 2008, 09:35 PM
You can get an international driver's license at any auto club agency. We always get one but have NEVER in all the times we have rented in Europe, been asked for it. But, I am told you better have it if you get in to an accident or if you are stopped by the police in certain countries. For one day rentals, check also with SIXT. They usually have very competitive rates. I think they are owned by Lufthansa. Our day rentals in Croatia were 1/2 the price a the usual agencies and their no deductable insurance for all perils was less than 4E. per day.

columbusnj
December 13th, 2008, 10:46 AM
I spent a week on the Costa del Sol and went to Alhambra, Rhonda, Malaga and other towns. I liked them all but I enjoyed Malaga and Rhonda the best. Alhambra is very crowded. Malaga is less touristy and more authentic. It has wonderful museams and its own castle. Walking around the streets of Malaga was also more enjoyable. As far as beauty, Rhonda was the prettiest with the prettiest ride. If I was to go back for a one day visit, I wound just stay in Malaga. I wouldn't rent a car. The roads are tricky and once you get into town, its hard to navigate. The signs on the higway are fine but getting around the towns can be difficult. The Spanish people do not give good directions. We spent so much time getting lost that we just laughed at it.

Missus Makkem
December 14th, 2008, 11:16 AM
Take the train from Malaga, station is near the port, to Fuengirola, beach resort,at the foot hills to Mijas,there is a regular bus service to Mijas,or a taxi ,will take you there,approx 15-20 mins ride and no hassle.


That sounds like a great alternative. How much would a taxi to Mijas be from Fuengirola? And the train? Thanks so much. Karen

cost of a ticket is 1.8 - 2 euros, ask for a day return.
station is located Explanada de Estacion.

bus to Mijas is frequent & cheap ,same.
taxis ?

from the long exit from the port into Malaga,there is a Tourist info office.

Missus Makkem
December 14th, 2008, 11:21 AM
Take the train from Malaga, station is near the port, to Fuengirola, beach resort,at the foot hills to Mijas,there is a regular bus service to Mijas,or a taxi ,will take you there,approx 15-20 mins ride and no hassle.


That sounds like a great alternative. How much would a taxi to Mijas be from Fuengirola? And the train? Thanks so much. Karen

check renfe time table, this year,trains every 1/2 hour

should say,we have spent many days @ Mijas,it is o.k.donkeys around town,
but Malaga city is a wonderfull place too,
maybe a train trip along the coast & return in time to enjoy the city

kcmocruisers
December 14th, 2008, 08:37 PM
Just one more thought on renting a car. We did so from the NCL Gem in October 2007. When we got off the ship, we went through about 3 or 4 taxi drivers before we could find one that would take us on the short trip to the train station. Most taxi drivers wanted to book all day tours. Another couple from the ship happen to come upon us and they too wanted to go to the train station so we split a taxi.

We rented a car from Avis and (with a detailed map purchased from Barnes and Noble) headed through Malaga towards Marbella and then got off the freeway and went to Mijas and Ronda. After Ronda, we headed back through Malaga to Nerja.

When we rented the car, I figured it would be easy to return it to the train station. I assumed there would be signs. WRONG! We went through roundabout after roundabout and by total luck found the entrance to return the car. When we told the Avis employee about our misadventures in finding the station, he told us a GPS was only 9 Euro a day and could be programmed to return to the station! Gee, the price of 2 ice creams/gelatos could have saved us from having a whole lot of stress.

So, would I rent a car again? YES! But only with GPS! We managed to do 3 shore excursions (Mijas, Ronda & Nerja) in one day and loved it.

Have a wonderful trip!

Teresa

martyap
December 15th, 2008, 05:47 AM
I have driven all over the Costa del Sol as well as to Sevilla, Granada, Ronda, Cordoba, Marbella and the touristic Mijas.

First.....it really depends on the time of year you are visiting. If you are there in the peak season June-August you will find heavy traffic and limited parking in many areas. The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular destinations for British vacationers.

The main highway from Malaga to Marbella, Ronda & Gibralter if I remember correctly was two lanes and you must use the roundabouts. Unlike USA expressways the return entrance may not be in the same location as where you got on the highway....or there might not even be a return entrance in that location. We were there for three weeks so getting lost for an hour or so was no big deal. One circle in Granada fed off to about 10 roads! A GPS is really a good idea.

We were there again last month and spent a great day walking around Malaga and there is plenty to see and do. Another thing you could consider is use a mapquest like Michelin and preprint a few destination points and print them out in advance. It will give you an idea of distances and how simple/confusing it might be driving. Use points of interest as addresses....hotels, restaurants that you can get from any guidebook. We were there in 2005 w/o a GPS and it really helped.:)

Marty

SUEMARKOHOH
December 27th, 2008, 10:02 PM
Sounds like staying in Malaga for the day may be the way to go. However, we are there on a Sunday. Will the shops, restaurants, etc. be open? Thanks, Sue

happy_travellers
February 5th, 2009, 01:00 PM
Had thought about taking the advice and staying in Malaga for the day. However we will be there on a Monday and many musuems, the Alcazaba ect are closed.
So back to the drawing board to figure out what to do. Karen

bqkali
February 5th, 2009, 01:29 PM
We rented from Avis at the train station. We had a brand new "Economy" car. You can actually walk to the train station, takes about 1/2 hour if I remember correctly. (Since we like to leave the ship as soon as it docks and the buses weren't available till later)

Be sure to have your International Drivers License. She insisted on it. Took the car to Nerja Caves, Europa Balcony and a FANTASTIC town, Frigiliiana. Be sure to spend some time in Malaga as well. It's was quite difficult to navigate when we were there because there was construction going on in that area. This was Nov 2007.

The fort in Malaga was interesting. The pedestrian walk to the square is fun too.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but what makes Frigiliana fantastic? What is there to do in town? Thanks!