Renting a car in MALAGA

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#1
canada
1,958 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
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
#2
Tulsa OK
7,555 Posts
Joined May 2006
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.
#3
Central California
10,231 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
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
#6
Upstate NY
865 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
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.
#7
West Sussex. UK
1,497 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
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.
#8
NSW Australia
361 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
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.
#9
Bellmore, Long Island, NY
2,881 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Originally posted by sachiboo
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
#10
NSW Australia
361 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
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.
#11
Bellmore, Long Island, NY
2,881 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Originally posted by sachiboo
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
#13
UK
1,633 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
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.
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#14
1,247 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Originally posted by sachiboo
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.
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#15
Marlborough, MA USA
1,905 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
Originally posted by denisey
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.
#16
West Sussex. UK
1,497 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
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.
#17
Bellmore, Long Island, NY
2,881 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Originally posted by moniquet
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
#18
Marlborough, MA USA
1,905 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
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
#19
289 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
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.
#20
West Sussex. UK
1,497 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
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.