Are you planning to travel from Malaga to Gibraltar?
In that case, you’re at the right place!
As a local expat who lives close to Malaga, and also visited Gibraltar, I have plenty of experience and insights to offer you the most in-depth information to plan your journey.
This article will cover all transport options between Malaga and Gibraltar, useful tips for what to do when arriving at the border crossing and practical tips you need to know before you enter the territory.
Feel free to use the table of content to navigate to the article section that you need the most.
What Do You Need to Know Before Traveling to Gibraltar
- 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.
- There are direct flights from the UK to Gibraltar (London Gatwick and London Heathrow), but you cannot fly here from any other country. Cruise ships also arrive here.
- Allow plenty of time for the border crossing, especially if you’re travelling by car
- To make sure you don’t have to wait for the runway crossing too long, you can check in advance at what time the planes are landing or taking off, to avoid extra waiting time – check at the official airport site here. At the moment, the planned departures and arrivals are at 10.40 am, 16.50 pm (arrivals) and 11.15 am and 17.40 pm for departures.
- The buses from the Spanish side will not cross over to Gibraltar, you can cross on foot from La Linea de la Conception bus station
Distance Malaga to Gibraltar
The distance between Malaga and Gibraltar is about 130 km, or 80 miles.
Malaga to Gibraltar Day Trips
A day trip is an affordable and convenient way to travel, especially if you appreciate the knowledge of a guide and don’t want to bother with public transport or renting a car. Below are some of the best options for day trips to Gibraltar from Malaga.
- From Malaga to Gibraltar Guided Tour – this is a guided tour with a bus pick-up from Malaga and an English-speaking guide, with a tour of the nature reserve included and free time for shopping. Starting from 28 euros per person.
- From Malaga to Gibraltar Sightseeing Tour + Dolphin Spotting Boat Trip – a guided tour with a bus and English-speaking tour guide which includes a 90-minute boat trip for dolphin watching, and free time for shopping. Prices from 48 euros per person.
- Full-Day Gibraltar Shopping Trip – enjoy the duty-free prices and discover British brands with this day trip with bus pick-up from Malaga. Prices from 28 euros per person.
How to Get from Malaga to Gibraltar: Transport Options
So what’s the fastest and easiest way to get to Gibraltar? Here is a quick overview with each option explained in detail below:
- most convenient: by car in about 2 hours.
- cost-effective: bus from Malaga, shortest journey around 2 hours
- hassle-free with a guide: a guided tour with a pick-up from Malaga
- from Malaga airport: by car or local bus (2-hour journey for each option, unless you take one of the slower long-distance buses)
Malaga to Gibraltar by Car
Driving to Gibraltar from Malaga is one of the most convenient ways to see the Rock, however, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- while getting to Gibraltar by car is easy, the border crossing will take significantly longer compared to a pedestrian crossing
- parking in Gibraltar can be difficult and also expensive
- while in Gibraltar, you will have to drive on the other side of the road which can prove quite confusing especially if you’ve not driven in the UK before
- most people will leave their car near the border crossing at La Linea – there is a big car parking right next to the borders. From there you can cross the border on foot, which is much faster, and get a local Gibraltar taxi to get you to town. Gibraltar is fairly small so you won’t have trouble navigating there without a car.
Driving to Gibraltar from Malaga
The drive to Gibraltar or La Linea from Malaga will take about 1.5 hours via the AP-7, which is the fastest route available.
The AP-7 is a toll road, so you will have to pay a small fee to use it. According to the Spanish toll estimation tool, the toll fee should be around 10 euros.
The distance is about 130 km, depending on where in Malaga you’re leaving from. The journey overview is marked on the map below.
Parking in La Linea
Once you get to La Linea, you have the option to park the car there or join the line for the border crossing.
I would recommend parking in La Linea and crossing on foot as it’s much faster.
The closest parking to the border crossing is behind Burger Kind and McDonalds which are opposite the border crossing. There is a large underground parking area.
The other option is at Sta Bárbara Car Park which is near the Marina, but this option is not recommended in the summer as the road leading to it is used for the border queue cars, and you can spend hours waiting there if you get caught in the traffic.
Parking in Gibraltar
If you’ve decided to drive to Gibraltar and park there, that’s certainly an option but be prepared to spend a lot more time on the border crossing as the lines can get quite long, even in off-season months.
Once you get through the border crossing, you need to drive across the runway to get to the town.
From there, you have a number of parking options available depending on where you’re going. The parking options are marked on the map below.
Remember that once you’re ready to head back, you have to queue up again for border control and declare any goods at customs.
Malaga to Gibraltar by Bus
There are no direct buses between Malaga and Gibraltar, in fact, no buses from Spain will cross the border to Gibraltar as it’s a foreign territory.
To get to Gibraltar from Malaga, you need to get to the border town of La Linea.
Malaga to La Linea
The buses from Malaga only go to the main bus station in La Linea, from where you can take a short walk towards the crossing (about 10 to 15 minutes) and enter Gibraltar on foot, or take the local Gibraltar taxi from the border.
The location of the bus station is marked on the map below, as you can see it’s very close to the border crossing:
The Malaga Gibraltar Bus departs at the following times:
- 8.30 am – arrival 10.50 am
- 11.30 am – arrival 14.15 pm
- 13.15 pm – arrival 15.40 pm
- 14.30 pm – arrival time 17.30 pm
- 15.45 pm – arrival 18.00 pm
- 17.30 pm – arrival 19.40 pm
- 22.25 pm – arrival 22.40 pm
Please note that the times are subject to change, in the summer months they normally add more connections due to the demand.
To get the most accurate information about departures, I always recommend checking the booking system at Avanza website as there you get the most up-to-date information. I would also recommend avoiding ordering bus tickets through third party websites, as recommended in some articles online, as these normally take a commission on the purchase so you might end up paying more.
The tickets to Gibraltar start from 14.19 euros one day, per person, and the price will be higher in the summer months and other peak travel times.
Once you entered your details, you will get a QR code with a digital ticket that you just need to show to the bus driver, along with your valid ID or passport.
Bus from La Linea to Malaga
Once you’re ready to head back, I have listed the departure times from La Linea bus station below. Remember that you have to still go through passport control on your way out, so leave plenty of time ahead of your bus departure, to ensure you can get to your bus on time.
Bus departures from La Linea:
- 7.45 am – arrival 10.10 am
- 11.05 am – arrival 13.30 pm
- 12.35 pm – arrival 15.00 pm
- 15.30 pm – arrival 17.50 pm
- 16.30 pm – arrival 19.25 pm
- 19.25 pm – arrival 21.40 pm
- 20.15 pm – arrival 23.10 pm
For full details on how to get from Malaga to Gibraltar by bus check this article.
Malaga to Gibraltar by Train
The train network from Malaga only runs up to Fuengirola, so you won’t be able to get the train further down south from there.
Malaga to Gibraltar by Taxi
Getting a taxi to Gibraltar is certainly an option, although a costly one.
For long-distance trips like this, instead of using a normal taxi or uber, I highly recommend gettransfer.com, which I have used myself a number of times. You will have to book your transfer in advance though to get the best prices.
After entering your trip details, you will get transport quotes from many different companies. According to the current estimates, the journey from Malaga to La Linea bus station would cost under 200 euros for 2 people.
Getting Around Gibraltar
Exploring Gibraltar is best on foot, or with a local guide. If you’re planning to see the nature reserve with monkeys, caves and other sights, keep in mind that normal cars are not allowed to drive within the reserve.
There are only a few authorised tour companies which can drive minibuses there, saving you a lot of time and hassle while navigating between the sights. This is a big plus, especially in the summer heat.
I used one of these companies on my trip in November and I couldn’t recommend it more – the price worked out to around 35 euros per person, which would be the same price you would pay to enter the natural reserve and use the cable car.
The cable car also only goes to about halfway point, so you have to do the rest of the journey on foot. You will find their office right by the exit of the passport control on the pedestrian crossing.
The other option is to use local transport from Casemates Square, the traditional red buses, or the local taxis.
Shopping in Gibraltar
If you’re planning to do a bit of shopping in Gibraltar, this page has a list of all the shops you will find there. Most of the shops are located on the high street.
Malaga to Gibraltar: Frequent Questions
How to get from Gibraltar to Malaga?
You can drive to Malaga from Gibraltar, alternatively you can also take one of the local long distance buses which are leaving from La Linea main bus station. La Linea de la Conception is the border town next to Gibraltar. The walk to the bus station from the crossing is about 10 minutes.
How many miles from Malaga to Gibraltar?
The distance is about 80 miles.
How far is it from Malaga to Gibraltar?
The distance between Malaga and Gibraltar is 130 kilometers, or 80 miles.
Is there a train from Malaga to Gibraltar?
No, the train network doesn’t run that far south, the trains only go to Fuengirola.
How to travel from Malaga to Gibraltar?
The most convenient option is in a rented car, by bus or using one of the day trip options which I linked in this article.
How to get to Gibraltar from Malaga airport?
You can get a taxi, rented car or a local long-distance bus to Gibraltar.
Can you drive from Malaga to Gibraltar?
Yes, you can drive directly to Gibraltar, however, the queues for the car border crossing are usually quite extensive, so it’s recommended to park at La Linea de la Conception, which is the border town next to Gibraltar. From there it’s just a short walk to the border crossing which will be much faster on foot.
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