Transportation in the Costa del Sol – joyfully riding waves and wheels

August 12, 2023
Last updated: January 09, 2024
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In the Costa del sol, the journey is as enchanting as the destination. Therefore, knowing the diverse means of transportation in the Costa del Sol becomes a key aspect of your journey and a way to make sure you take advantage of everything the place has to offer. From the sunny beaches to the picturesque landscapes, exploring the region’s beauty is a joyous adventure. In this guide, we’re checking the various transportation options that the Costa del Sol offers, to ensure your travel experiences are unforgettable and filled with fun!

Transportation in the Costa del Sol

Car and car rental: freedom on four wheels

If you are coming to the Costa del Sol by car or planning to rent one, keep in mind that you should pick a hotel or vacation rental that offers garage. Not so much for safety – the Costa del Sol is generally safe –but because finding a parking spot is a real challenge in these lands. Particularly in the summer, I’d avoid hotels or vacation rentals that say ‘park available on the street’ or something of the kind, because it actually means that they don’t offer a place to park. Be careful! The Costa del Sol attracts a lot of people; the streets do get filled with parked cars very fast. Even the roundabouts have cars parked around!

Nevertheless, car rentals are a popular choice for those seeking the freedom to explore at their own pace. Plus, having a car lets you uncover hidden gems beyond the tourist hotspots, and is quite recommended if your travel plans include visiting multiple cities in the area, as it saves a lot of time when compared to buses.

Be sure to plan ahead and book your rental in advance to secure the best deals. On that matter, a great place to check is, an award winning comparison site for car rental services that lets you choose among the best offers available for your desired dates. Their prices are amazingly low! Have your jaw dropped by checking here the best offers for Malaga – you can choose several points from where to pick and drop your car, including the airport.  😉

Transportation in the Costa del Sol - sunset
Av. Antonio Machado, in Benalmadena. Photo by MamaMalaga

Related posts:
4 lessons we learned the hard way from driving in the Costa del Sol
Solving Parking and parking tickets in the Costa del Sol

Uber, Taxi and Bolt: getting around with ease

Hailing a ride with Uber, catching a taxi, or hopping on a Bolt ride are convenient ways to go around the Costa del Sol. These services offer comfort and efficiency for late-night escapades or when you’d rather not drive. From the airport, you can ask the taxi drivers how much a ride would cost to the city where you booked your stay, and then compare to the prices in both Uber and Bolt. 😊 From my experience, Uber tends to be the cheapest of the three, but then you have to wait for the transport to arrive, while the taxi is already there. If the difference is not big (it usually isn’t) I just get a taxi.

From other places, when there is no taxi right in front of me, I check both Uber and Bolt. From my experience (and I use them often when I’m going somewhere hard to park) the downside of uber is that sometimes the driver cancels the ride – I asked a Bolt driver about it, and he said that Uber drivers can’t know exactly where the client is before accepting the ride.

Bolt application is better to drivers, which in turn reflect in less cancelations to clients. 😉 Bolt rides often cost more than Uber rides, because it has less drivers available, though one driver told me they actually have merged (locally) and that Bolt and Uber are now the same thing in the Costa del Sol.

Bus: budget-friendly adventures

There are two ways to see the city by bus: you can join the hop-on-hop-off tour bus, that takes you confortably to the main attractions of the city – available only for Benalmadena and Malaga – or you can join the locals in a city bus ride.

If you’re traveling on a budget (or even if not!), the Costa del Sol’s extensive bus network is a good way to explore this beautiful area. As a matter of fact, whenever I travel, ‘getting a local bus ride’ is in my to-do list, because it is an easy and cheap way to see the place like a local. It feels a bit like crossing the barrier between tourist and resident; a trespassing adventure!

Transportation in the Costa del Sol - bus
Bus in Benalmadena. Photo by MamaMalaga.

With various routes connecting major cities and towns, you can trespass very conveniently and often. Check this lovely page of Consorcio Malaga which has the bus lines that connect Malaga, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola and Mijas (and many other cities) – in English or Spanish. I linked specifically to the page that shows the bus lines for Malaga Metropolitan area. Choose your city and see all the lines that pass there; click on any line and you get a picture like the one below, for line M-120, that connects Torremolinos, Benalmádena and Fuengirola mostly by the shore.

Transportation in the Costa del Sol - bus line M-120
Map of Line M-120. Image by Consorcio Malaga.

Each little green bus is a stop. Clicking on a stop (on the bus website; not above!) shows all other lines that connect to that stop. Browse through the bus page to find also the timetables, tickets sales points (tobacco shops and others) and up-to-date prices. Tip1: buy a green bus card from the tickets sale point and save a lot on each ride. Tip2: dowload the app Consorcio Málaga, which has the same information as the buses website mentioned above. Pure love.

Now you may be wondering: whatabout the buses in or to Marbella and Estepona? Oh, that’s harder. In Marbella, the local buses are served by Avanza. This same company has buses connecting different cities of the Costa del Sol, so I linked here the page that is specific to Marbella. Avanza also has buses connecting Marbella and Estepona, but in Estepona there is yet another company in charge of the local buses: Autocares Ricardo!

Bus rides are convenient and make you feel like a real local, but they have the small inconvenience of taking a long time. It can take twice longer compared to cars, so this option really depends on what kind of traveler you are – the kind that enjoys the ride or the kind that wants to get there fast! If you want speed, check the next option: the train.

Train: moving fast through the Costa del Sol

While not as extensive as other modes of transport, the train system connects Fuengirola to Malaga, with stops in Benalmadena and Torremolinos. In Malaga it connects to a second line, that goes to different cities inland.

Transportation in the Costa del Sol - trains
Train lines and stops. Map by Renfe.

These train lines are operated by Renfe Cercanías (cercanías means nearby places), a division of Renfe, that deals (also) with the inter-cities trains. You can connect from a local (cercanía) train to a longer distance one on the Maria Zambrano Station and get to visit Madrid, Cordoba and Sevilla this way! Check the Renfe site for ticket prices and timetables. On a particular note: I enjoy the train rides very much, but I prefer the buses’ website.  

Transportation in the Costa del Sol - plaza mayor
Plaza Mayor Train Station, in Malaga. Photo by MamaMalaga

The Cercanías trains have been free (provided one gets a 10 euro ticket that is refundable; more about it here) since September 2022, and still is, at least until the end of Decemberl 2024!

I enjoy the free train a lot; I actually visited all train stations on the C1 line; fell in love with Fuengirola, got to know parts of Torremolinos and Benalmadena I had never seen before, had a blast on Malaga Centro-Alameda, learned about trains vs taxis in the Aeropuerto station and even discovered Victoria’s Secret!

Related posts:
Free train travels in the Costa del Sol
Free train tickets in the Costa del Sol – questions and answers

Train stations in Fuengirola
Train stations in Benalmadena

Train stations in Torremolinos
Train Stations in Malaga

Segway and scooter rentals: gliding in style

Feeling adventurous? Embrace one of the favorite means of transportation in the Costa del Sol – segways and scooters. Zip through charming streets and waterfront promenades on these self-balancing devices. It’s an exhilarating way to explore, and cover more ground than you would on foot. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner, Segway rentals promise a fun-filled adventure. You can get a tour of Malaga city on Segway or you can rent one in Marbella at Marbella Segway Tours – where you can also rent a bicycle or have a guided tour if you prefer – or in Mijas.

Transportation in the Costa del Sol - segway
Segways in Malaga. Image from Get Your Guide

You can rent an electric scooter in Malaga city using the app Dott; if you prefer a mobility scooter, take a look at Enfold’s page or Hola mobility. They deliver, rent, sell and even service mobility scooters everywhere in the Costa del Sol.  

Cable car: up to the mountains

If you want to see the best view of the Costa del Sol, your way is up to the clouds, on the top of Mount Calamorro in Benalmádena. And the easiest way to get there is by the one and only cable car, located very close to Benalmadena – Arroyo train station – convenient, right? Book your ticket in advance here, because they tend to run out. It is also cheaper to buy ahead. 😉

Ferries and boats: a seafaring voyage

With the Mediterranean Sea as its backdrop, the Costa del Sol wouldn’t be complete without maritime transports. Ferries and boats provide a different perspective of the region’s beauty, allowing you to enjoy the coastal vistas from the water. From Malaga to Marbella and beyond, there are various boat tours and ferries that offer a refreshing escape. Check the very popular round-trip ferry between Benalmadena and Fuengirola and, for an even bigger adventure, you can travel by sea and spend a day in Morocco!

Donkeys: a touch of tradition

Step back in time and see the donkey taxis in Mijas, where donkeys still play a role in local culture and tourism. Their existence connects the present with the region’s history, but please don’t consider them as a way of going around. There have been reports of mistreatment against the animals, so until there is some (proper) training for the caretakers (more like careless takers), it is better not to support this kind of business, in my opinion.  

But how to get there?

If you want to know the best way to get from where you are to where you want to be (transport wise, of course), check Google Maps. They offer options by car, public transportation and on foot (no boats, unfortunately). It is actually a great tool to plan a day of sightseeing, as it is possible to include several stops and even see the different altitudes and how long it would take to go from one point to the next. If you wanna know more, I did a small guide about using Google Maps to improve your travel game, as I use it often to prepare my own explorations. 😉


From the convenience of car rentals to the cultural tradition of donkey rides, the options of transports in the Costa del Sol are as diverse as its landscapes. Embrace the freedom to choose how you want to explore – whether it’s cruising in a car, gliding on a Segway, or feeling the sea breeze on a ferry. No matter which mode you pick, the journey itself becomes an unforgettable part of your Costa del Sol adventure. So, hop on, ride the waves, and roll on the wheels of adventure!

Next: Free train tickets in the Costa del Sol – questions and answers

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