As a Fuengirola resident myself, I have visited Granada four times now, and in this article, I will be sharing all my insights and practical tips for all your day trip options to this beautiful Andalusian city.
If you prefer to book this day trip right away without reading all the details, I have added the link to my recommended travel company below – just click the link to select the available dates and see the prices.
Your Options for Day Trips From Fuengirola to Granada
There are four ways you can plan day trips from Fuengirola to Granada, here they are!
Option 1: Excursion from Fuengirola to Granada with a Local Travel Company
I think this is the easiest hassle-free option to see Granada with access to Alhambra, and often the most cost-effective too.
This trip is super convenient with pick up from Fuengirola, tickets to Alhambra already included in the price, with a guide to take you through the Nasrid Palace, and free time to explore Granada on your own. After you’re done, you can just rest on a comfy bus on the way back to Fuengirola, without having to worry about the hassle of navigating the local traffic and finding parking spots.
The trip I linked below runs 4 times a week but sells out pretty fast, as you can imagine, it’s pretty popular! You can reserve your spot now, and all you need is your details and ID – don’t forget that you have to take your ID with you as they check the Alhambra tickets against your ID.
Option 2: Day Trip from Fuengirola to Granada with Rented Car
If you already rented a car for your stay in Fuengirola, it makes the most sense to do this day trip with the car. I have outlined the journey in the map below.
Here are a few things you should know:
- first of all, get your tickets to Alhambra well in advance before you get to Granada
- the distance to Granada is about 160 km and you can drive there in 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on the traffic
- some of the roads may be toll roads, so have some cash ready in the car in case you hit the toll booth
- I recommend taking the Mediterranean highway A-7 road as its more pleasant to drive and with better views, even though it may be a tiny bit slower
- be mindful of your speed, there are traffic cameras everywhere
- check parking options in Granada in advance, and especially so if you’re planning to get to Alhambra – in that case it may be much easier to park somewhere in central Granada and take a local taxi there
Option 3: Day Trip from Fuengirola to Granada with Public Transport
The last option is probably the most inconvenient one as you will have to plan your trip well in advance to ensure that your train times align perfectly and also to ensure you can get to the Nasrid palace within your dedicated time slot, otherwise you will be refused an entry.
Here is everything you need to know:
- to get to Granada, you need to take the local C-1 cercanias (commuter) train to Malaga Maria Zambrano. The trains run every 20 minutes and cost under 10 euros return. The journey takes 40 minutes.
- once you get to Malaga Maria Zambrano, you have the option to either take the train to Granada, or walk across the street to the main bus station and take the bus from there
- I used both options and found the buses cheaper and more convenient, and they also run more often
- in both cases I also recommend buying your tickets for the train or bus online in advance, it works out cheaper and you’re guaranteed a seat on the bus for example
- once you get to Granada, just take a local taxi to Alhambra to get to the entrance of the Nasrid palace on time, within your dedicated time slot
- to get back to Fuengirola, you only need to check your trains or buses back to Malaga, as the trains from Malaga to Fuengirola run until midnight, so that shouldn’t be an issue
Option 4: Day Trip from Fuengirola to Granada with Uber or Taxi
The final option is the most costly one – a trip from Fuengirola to Granada would cost you between 160 euros to 200 euros, depending on the company and time of travel.
While it’s certainly not cheap, if there are more people sharing the trip it might be not just convenient but also affordable.
Tips for Booking Your Day Trips From Fuengirola to Granada
No matter which of the options you choose to plan your day trip, it’s absolutely essential that you check the available tickets to Alhambra before you start planning.
The tickets to Alhambra are very popular, and not just in high season (Summer), and they tend to sell out weeks in advance. It’s virtually impossible to get tickets on the day, even from the ticket office – which nobody does anyway.
So if there is one piece of advice I would ask you to take, it is to get your tickets as soon as possible.
If you’re planning to use the day trip from a local travel company, you normally don’t have to worry about tickets as they are generally included in the prices, but you have to remember that the day trips are not available 7 days a week, so you should still book in advance to ensure you can fit the trip into your stay in Fuengirola.
Using the local travel company for this trip has a number of advantages, including:
- Entrance to Alhambra is already included in the price, so there is no need to chase your tickets
- skip the line tickets to the monument
- drive in a comfortable air-conditioned bus
- no hassle navigating the local traffic and finding parking with a rented car
- local tour guide in English language so you learn a lot about Granada and Alhambra on your trip
- convenient pickup location in Fuengirola
- this trip runs 4 times a week
- the total duration of the trip is just 10 hours, which is perfect for a day trip
Practical Tips for Day Trips from Fuengirola to Granada
I have been to Alhambra a number of times, and have seen it both in the busy season and off-season – in either case, you can’t simply get tickets for next day or pick them up from the ticket office on the day. The tickets sell out pretty fast, and if you want a guided tour you might struggle to secure a guide with a smaller group, especially in the main summer season.
Here are some of my tips for making the most out of your trip:
- The day trip option I linked above runs four times a week, so you have plenty of availability to choose a day that works for you!
- For the booking, you will need to provide details for the travellers including their date of birth and passport number – the tickets are issued as personal ones and checked against the ID at the entrance, don’t forget to bring your ID with you for this trip
- Granada is pretty big but beautiful – if you have free time I would recommend exploring the Albaicin district and Sacromonte
- Granada is one of the last remaining places in Andalusia where you get free tapas with every drink, so do a bit of restaurant hopping and tapas tasting to enjoy this old tradition – I would recommend sitting down in any of the restaurants at Paseo de los Tristes so you can enjoy your drink with nice views of Alhambra
- Wear comfortable shoes for exploring Alhambra and the gardens, the complex is pretty big
- Take water with you to keep hydrated, especially in the summer months. There are some vending machines between the Nasrid palace entrance and the Alcazaba courtyard, that’s where the toilets also are
- No food is allowed inside the complex, you can have a snack in the courtyard between the Charles V palace and Alcazaba, there is also a small kiosk to buy coffee, drinks and snacks
- No backpacks are allowed inside the Alhambra complex (bigger than 40×40 cm), there are lockers near the vending machines but the number of available ones is pretty limited – please keep this in mind!
- Baby prams are also not allowed inside the complex, you will have to leave them in the luggage storage room
Frequent Questions About Day Trips From Fuengirola to Granada
Is this trip suitable for kids?
Older kids would be fine with this trip, but smaller ones might struggle with the bus journey. The palace can get quite crowded, so if you’re travelling with kids make sure you keep an eye on them at all times.
What should I do in my free time in Granada?
There is some free time in Granada included in this day trip, I think with the limited time you have, the best use of it is to take a stroll through the streets of Albaicin and take in the views of Alhambra from one of the higher points.
You can also sit down for a drink and enjoy the old custom of free tapas with every drink served, pretty much anywhere in the city. If you’re looking for some restaurant recommendations, my favourite ones are in this article.
Is there barrier-free access in Alhambra?
As far as I remember there isn’t and this day trip is not recommended for wheelchair users or people with reduced mobility.
Can you do this trip in bad weather or on a rainy day?
You can easily see Alhambra even if the weather is not great, as most of the exploring is indoors. The only issue is seeing the Generalife gardens and the Alcazaba fortress.
I hope this article provided a good overview of what you can expect on this recommended online booking for a day trip to Granada! I hope you will enjoy this trip and will be keen to hear your feedback in the comments section.