Day Trip To Gibraltar From Benalmadena: Ultimate Guide [2024]

Day Trip To Gibraltar From Benalmadena: Ultimate Guide [2024]

In this article, you will find detailed travel information on how to plan a day trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena, including options for bus, train, boat, car, taxi, and excursions.

I have been living in Costa del Sol since 2020, and have made this day trip two times already, so I will include all the practical tips and details that will save you a lot of time and money.

The short story: the easiest way to make this day trip is by booking an excursion or driving there in a rental car. The cheapest way to make this day trip is by booking an excursion with a local travel company, only 29 euros per person. Check the one I personally used and highly recommend in the box below.

gibraltar rock tour monkeys 2 2

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What is the Distance Between Benalmadena and Gibraltar?

The distance between Benalmadena and Gibraltar is approximately 120 kilometers or 74.5 miles.

Is Gibraltar Worth Visiting on a Day Trip?

Yes, Gibraltar is worth visiting on a day trip, in fact it’s one of the most popular day trip options from Costa del Sol and Southern Spain.

The distance from Benalmadena is not that big, which allows you plenty of time to explore the main attractions and things to do in Gibraltar. Check the end of the article for a full itinerary.

Is One Day in Gibraltar Enough?

Yes, one day is enough for Gibraltar. There is plenty to see and do, but you will be able to tick all the things to do in Gibraltar in just one full day. I have suggested an itinerary at the end of the post.

gibraltar the rock1
The Rock of Gibraltar

Best Day Trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena: Travel Options

Here is an overview of all the options. I have calculated the duration and total cost for each:

  • Benalmadena to Gibraltar by train – not available
  • Benalmadena to Gibraltar by bus – via Malaga, min 3 hours, total cost: 35.96 euros
  • Benalmadena to Gibraltar by car – under 2 hours, total cost: 60 euros (without car rental included)
  • Benalmadena to Gibraltar Excursion – 2 hours, total cost: 29 euros
  • Benalmadena to Gibraltar by boat – not available
  • Benalmadena to Gibraltar by taxi – under 2 hours, total cost: 180 euros (at minimum)

1. Day Trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena by Train

Benalmadena has one main train station, which is called Arroyo de la Miel and is in the village’s center. This train station is on the C-1 commuter train between Fuengirola and Malaga (called ‘cercanias’).

Gibraltar, on the other hand, has no train station, and there is no way you can get there by train, unfortunately. If you really want to use public transport, check the option below for a bus and also an excursion with a local tour company.

2. Day Trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena by Car

If you already rented a car or are planning to do so, driving to Gibraltar makes a lot of sense. There are a few practical things you should consider for this trip.

Renting a Car in Benalmadena

If you rent a car in Benalmadena, you need to check the terms & conditions to see whether you’re allowed to drive the car outside of the country. In most cases, the answer is no (due to insurance premiums, etc.).

If that’s the case, you can still drive to Gibraltar, park the car at the borders and cross on foot.

If you haven’t rented a car yet and are looking for the best options, I recommend checking out Discover Cars – enter your trip details, and they will source price quotes from local car rental companies. It’s the fastest way to get the best price for your car rental.

Cars waiting at the border crossing in Gibraltar.
Cars waiting at the border crossing in Gibraltar.

Driving to Gibraltar from Benalmadena

The drive to Gibraltar is pretty easy, and you just head south towards Algeciras. I have highlighted the route on the map below.

The total journey time is approximately 1 hour 20 minutes, if you take the toll road (AP-7) or 1 hour and 45 minutes if you take the standard road.

If you’re not on a very tight budget, I recommend taking the toll road – its much nicer to drive, with less traffic, and you get there faster.

Total Cost of the Drive to Gibraltar

According to the toll road calculator, one-way journey to Gibraltar, including the petrol and tolls on the AP-7 highway will cost approximately 26 euros (11.15 euros are the toll costs).

The parking in La Linea (see below) will cost 8 euros per day.

That brings the total cost of the day trip by car to approximately 60 euros, without taking into account the cost of your car rental.

The parking near Gibraltar borders at La Linea de la Conception.
The parking closest to the borders at La Linea de la Conception.

Parking in La Linea de La Conception

There are a few car parks next to the border, and the one that’s closest to the border is obviously the most expensive one. I recommend leaving the car across the street from the border, at a parking place called IC Plaza Constitution, where you pay 8 euros for a whole day.

There is another option nearby in a similar price range, called IC Aparcamiento Centro. You can see the location and further details on this parking website.

3. Day Trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena by Bus

If you want to plan this journey as a day trip by bus, you will have to take into account the total travel time and plan your day according to the best departure and arrival options. Don’t worry, I will help with that.

So here are a few important things you need to know:

No Direct Buses to Gibraltar

What I mean by that is that you can’t take a bus that will cross the borders between Spain and the UK with a standard public transport bus. There are standard border controls, and the only buses that go through are the local tour and excursion buses.

You can still get to Gibraltar by public transport, but you will have to take the bus to La Linea de la Conception, the small town on the borders with Gibraltar, and cross the borders on foot.

Buses parked in Gibraltar bus station.
Buses parked in the bus station in Gibraltar. Only tour buses cross the borders.

Benalmadena to La Linea de la Conception

There is only one direct bus per day from Benalmadena to La Linea, available from Avanza bus company. The bus leaves from Benalmadena Marina at 15.03 pm and arrives in La Linea at 17.30 pm, a journey taking 2 hours and 25 minutes.

As you can see its not a great option for a day trip since you arrive there late in the afternoon.

The other option to consider is taking a bus from Malaga to La Linea, which will give you a few more options.

Malaga to La Linea de la Conception

This connection has a lot more options, even those leaving very early in the morning, so if you’re happy to get out of bed before sunrise, it’s certainly a good option.

Here are the best options for getting there and back from Malaga.

6.30 am bus from Malaga – arriving in La Linea at 8.45 am

8.20 am bus from Malaga – arriving at La Linea at 10.40 am

La Linea de la Conception to Malaga

These are the two connections you should consider for taking back to Malaga. If you prefer earlier ones, you can check these at Alsa.es.

19.45 pm bus from La Linea – arriving in Malaga at 22.00 pm

20.30 pm bus from La Linea – arriving in Malaga at 23.30 pm

Bus Ticket Prices & Where to Get Them

One-way tickets to La Linea cost 15.28 euros one way per person, and the price depends on how far in advance you book.

If you book them far in advance (a few weeks), you will see more price options, including the cheapest ones.

In addition to the bus ticket, you also need to get train tickets to Malaga, from where you get the train.

The train connection between Arroyo de la Miel and Malaga runs every 20 minutes, even on weekends, and one way tickets for this train trip cost 2.70 euros one way (as you cross 4 zones).

This brings the total cost of the trip to 35.96 euros.

Bus Station at La Linea de la Conception

The bus station in La Linea is in the center of the town, and the walk to the borders of Gibraltar takes under 10 minutes. You can see the route on the map below.

How to Get to Malaga

To get to Malaga, it’s best to take the local C-1 train from Arroyo de la Miel, and get off at Malaga Maria Zambrano train station. From there, you just cross the road and you will get to the main bus station in Malaga.

Crossing the Borders in Gibraltar on Foot

There are two crossings in Gibraltar, one for pedestrian traffic and one for cars and buses. You follow the crowd on the right-hand side of the border to cross through there.

You will need to show your passport at the control and, if applicable, your visa too.

Once you exit the border control, you can either take a local Gibraltar taxi to the city center, or walk there on foot. The walk takes approximately 20 minutes.

People on the pedestrian border crossing in Gibraltar.
Pedestrian crossing in Gibraltar. Gibraltar airport is on the right side.

4. Day Trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena by Boat

Even though both Benalmadena and Gibraltar have a harbour, there are not boat trips available between these two destinations.

5. Day Trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena by Taxi

As the distance between Benalmadena and Gibraltar is quite big, over 100 kilometers, the taxi journey is certainly an option but it will be expensive.

The other thing you need to keep in mind is that the taxi will drop you off only at the borders, and you still have to cross on foot. The same applies to Uber. This is due to the legal regulations, they cannot cross the borders with the car.

How Much is a Taxi to Gibraltar from Benalmadena?

The cheapest estimate I could find online is around 90 euros, but you can expect to pay up to 130 euros one way.

If you get an Uber app, I recommend checking the prices there as they tend to be cheaper than local taxi.

5. Day Trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena with Tour Company

As I mentioned earlier, I highly recommend booking your trip online with a tour operator, which has a number of advantages:

  • Cancel up to 24 hours ahead of the trip for a full refund
  • Reserve your spot now and pay later
  • Runs 3x a week
  • 9.5 hours total trip duration which is perfect for a day trip
  • Travel in a comfortable air-conditioned bus with wifi and USB sockets
  • Information about Gibraltar from English speaking guide on board
  • Option to book a nature reserve tour (not included in the basic trip rate)
  • Free time to explore Gibraltar on your own
Local tour company mini bus in Gibraltar.
I booked the Rock tour with the local tour company. We did the trip in this mini bus waiting for us at the station.

How to Book Online Your Day Trip Online

  • Head over to the day trip info page here, and select your dates from the calendar.
  • Add the number of tickets you want for this day trip
  • Once you have the date selected, you will be shown a number of cards with different departure locations, make sure you select the one which says Benalmadena
  • PLEASE NOTE: the list of the pickup locations is long, and if you scroll down further you will see Including Rock Tour from Benalmadena Costa as a trip option – select this if you would like to see the Nature reserve while on this day trip (for a different price of course)
  • Once you found the card, you will see the meeting point marked on a link and also added starting time for the day trip (usually around 7am)
  • Click book now which will navigate you to a payment page
  • Once you complete the transaction, you will get a confirmation email which lists all the details you need to know for your trip

Tour Itinerary For Your Day Trip

Here is an overview of your itinerary for this day trip:

  • Pick up from a designated pick-up location in Benalmadena (Plaza Solymar Bus Stop (2139) next to the pharmacy)
  • Travel with a comfortable air-conditioned bus until you reach the border crossing
  • The tour operator didn’t make it clear whether you cross on a bus or you will have to do it on foot – in either case, the bus might wait on the other side to take you to the city. You will get details for the arrangements in your trip confirmation email
  • Tour of the nature reserve in Gibraltar, if you have selected this option when purchasing your day trip (see how to book the day trip above for instructions)
  • Free time to explore Gibraltar, do shopping or wander around
  • Return to Benalmadena from the agreed pick-up location in Gibraltar
Monkey sitting on an edge of a wall in Gibraltar.
One of the main attractions in Gibraltar, the local monkeys.

Tips For Your Day Trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena

As Gibraltar is a UK territory abroad, you are entering a foreign country and there are a few things you should keep in mind when planning and booking your trip:

  • It is your responsibility to check the entry requirements to the country, especially if you’re from a non-EU country.
  • Gibraltar was annexed to the UK by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, following the end of the war. It is considered a British territory abroad, most often referred to locally as ‘the Rock’ (no, not the actor).
  • As a British territory, the same rules will apply as if you’re visiting the UK. These rules have changed a little since the UK left the EU.
  • Before you plan your trip, please make sure that you check the legal requirements for entry to this UK territory on the official Gibraltar government website, where you will get advice for every nationality
  • As of spring 2023, you can enter Gibraltar with a valid EU passport without any additional paperwork, or even a valid national ID card (EU citizens only).
  • If you’re not from the EU, VISA requirements may apply – check the link above for more details
  • There are some restrictions on how much good you can bring to Spain from Gibraltar and another way around, you can check the HM Customs page which has more details. The customs check is both on entry to Gibraltar and also exit.

One Day Itinerary for Day Trip to Gibraltar

Here’s how to make the most out of your one day in this unique, culturally rich territory where Europe meets Africa, under the watchful gaze of the iconic Rock of Gibraltar.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or just in it for the views and vibes, Gibraltar has plenty to offer.

Morning Arrival: Crossing the Borders (30 mins)

Start your day at the Gibraltar border, cross the border with your passport handy. Allow at least 20 – 30 minutes for crossing on foot, and up to 1 hour if crossing with a car.

As soon as you’re in, head straight to Casemates Square at the entrance of the town. It’s a great place to grab a quick coffee and a light snack. The square is lively, surrounded by historical buildings, and often hosts live music and events.

Casemates Square in Gibraltar.
Casemates Square in Gibraltar.

Midday: Tour the Nature Reserve (2 – 3 hours)

Take the Cable Car to the Top of the Rock

A short walk from Casemates Square will take you to the base of the Gibraltar Cable Car.

Buy a round-trip ticket and enjoy the spectacular ride up to the top of the Rock. The panoramic views from here are breathtaking, overlooking both the Mediterranean and Atlantic seas, Spain, and Africa.

If you book the excursion I recommended earlier and selected the tour of the Rock, the mini bus will take you on the tour of the Rock, to all the locations without the need to walk or pay extra for the Cable Car.

Meet the Monkeys

At the top, you’ll be greeted by Gibraltar’s famous residents, the Barbary macaques. These are the only wild monkeys in Europe, and they’re quite the characters.

Enjoy watching their antics, but remember to keep your belongings close—these monkeys are known for their cheeky behavior!

Explore the Upper Rock Nature Reserve

Take your time to explore the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. Visit St. Michael’s Cave, a network of limestone caves with dramatic natural formations and a large auditorium used for events.

Don’t miss the Great Siege Tunnels, an impressive defense system built during the Great Siege of Gibraltar.

Inside St Michael's Cave in Gibraltar.
Inside St Michael’s Cave in Gibraltar.

Afternoon Delights: History and Culture

Head back down the Rock and grab lunch in one of the local restaurants.

Ocean Village is a good spot for dining with views of the marina. Try some local dishes like calentita or panissa.

After lunch, take a leisurely walk to the southern tip of Gibraltar to visit Europa Point. Here, you can see the Europa Point Lighthouse and the Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque, a gift from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. The views of Africa from here on a clear day are stunning.

the lighthouse in Gibraltar
Lighthouse at the Europa Point
Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque
Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque

Late Afternoon: Leisure and Departure

Spend your last couple of hours wandering through Main Street, known for its duty-free shopping. You can pick up everything from luxury goods to quaint local crafts. It’s a great place to buy some souvenirs and enjoy the bustling local atmosphere.

Before heading out, stop by one of the local cafes for some tea or a quick bite. This is a good time to reflect on your day and relax before your journey back.

Finish your day by walking back towards the border. Depending on the time of year, you might catch a glorious sunset as you depart, with the Rock of Gibraltar silhouetted against a vibrant sky.

The highstreet in Gibraltar.
The highstreet in Gibraltar.

Questions About Day Trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena

Is this day trip suitable for kids?

Older kids should be fine on this trip as the one-way journey by bus will take well under 2 hours.

What’s the weather like in Gibraltar?

The weather tends to be a lot warmer than the destinations on Costa del Sol, so be sure to take some sun lotion and plenty of water with you.

Are there any items that are forbidden to take to Gibraltar?

Anything that would not pass the border security control, such as dangerous items that are not allowed at airports. You should also not bring any food with you when you’re visiting the Nature Reserve and feed the monkeys.

Where are the monkeys in Gibraltar?

They are running freely within the nature reserve, starting around St Michael’s Cave and also at the skywalk.

Other Day Trips From Benalmadena

Day Trips To Ronda From Benalmadena

Caminito Del Rey Day Trip from Benalmadena

Day Trip From Benalmadena to Granada

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Author
Lucia has been living on Costa del Sol since 2020, and through her love of photography and travel, she has been documenting the best places to see in Southern Spain and uncovering hidden gems only known to locals. All the articles on Viva La Vita are written based on personal experience and local expertise.

Hi, I'm Lucia

At Viva La Vita, I will help you to discover Southern Spain like a local!

I've been living on Costa del Sol since 2020, and fill these pages with first-hand insights, personal experience and practical tips that will help you plan a wonderful trip to Spain.

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