Here are some of the topics being covered in Getting About in Mijas, and it´s linking pages -
Having lived in the area for quite a while, we know a thing or two about getting about in Mijas. The transport infrastructure that´s been set up to accommodate, not only the locals but those visiting the area, is superb.
When you see some of the small and winding roads still used however, you may think we´re mad. But when you consider how far Spain has come in a relatively short time since Franco, then you tend to appreciate the changes.
And those changes are massive for the country at the moment. New motorway systems with bridges spanning deep valleys and tunnels going through the high peaks, the high speed train linking northern and southern Spain, and of course the new T3 terminal at Malaga Airport now one of the busiest in Spain.
But most of you reading this page at the moment are probably more interested in getting about in the local area first, before perhaps exploring more of Spain - so here we have the all important information.
Many of you flying into Malaga Airport will have made the decision to hire a car, though probably not one of the classic cars below, giving you the flexibility of getting about in Mijas under your own direction. When you drive up to Mijas Pueblo you´ll be pleased to know that the multi-storey car-park is only 1€ a day, so relax, take your time and enjoy your day!
As you may already know, there are hundreds of car hire companies to choose from and picking the one that suits you is a personal choice. Though you won´t find classic cars amongst their fleets, you will have an enormous choice for getting about in. Our family and friends have always found great deals through Budget European Offers, at some very competitive prices.
Something to think about when making that decision is where the check-in offices are based. Not all of the car hire companies offering cars from the airport are actually in the airport. Those that have offices off site will arrange to collect you from outside the terminal and transport you via minibus to their site. This can add a further 10 to 20 minutes to your travelling time depending on how efficient they are at being there for when you land.
Speed Odometers, speed limits and roadside markers are like the rest of Europe, apart from the UK, they´re in kilometres, not miles. If you´re from the UK you may feel as if everything has gone into slow motion because the speed limits are so much less.
If you are driving from the airport you may be interested in our easy guide to NOT Getting Lost. Those first few minutes trying to get your bearings out of the airport can be very stressful so this guide will definitely help!
Once you´re on the A-7/AP-7 and a few minutes into driving a strange car, possibly from the wrong side of the car (UK), you´ll find you can relax a bit more and enjoy getting about in the comfort of your chosen hire car.
We´ve been caught out a few times by overpaying for a service at the airport that should have been decided upon when booking on the internet.
It´s normally the excess waiver. We decide not to pay the extra when we book but then John changes his mind when we arrive at the airport - paying a lot more than if we had we just done it to begin with!
We´ve also found that taking the car full of fuel and returning it full seems to be the cheapest option, it´s always been more expensive for them to fill it up for us. Probably because they don´t stop when the nozzle cuts off first time!
If you prefer to do your exploring on two wheels then you´ll be pleased to know that you don´t necessarily have to bring your own with you. Although the choice of hire companies is tiny compared to the car hire sector, you should still be able to find something suitable.
Unfortunately no-one hires bikes, with or without a motor, from the airport. You´ll have to make arrangements to get the bike of your choice delivered to you or get yourself to their premises. See some of the other section on this page about getting about in the area using other means of transport.
If you´ve opted for the pedal variety then you must already know that cycling in Spain is a massive pastime. The mountain roads certainly don´t seem to put people off with hundreds, if not thousands getting about in the fresh air and spectacular countryside. You just need huge leg muscles and a large lung capacity!
However, if like John and I you prefer to have a motor doing the hard work, then you are in for a treat with some fabulous roads perfect for a motorbike. Bike magazines, websites and manufacturers often arrange their rides around the area, so it must be good! We´ll give you some suggestions of places and roads we´ve taken in the past.
Being on the road in Spain is very different to some other countries, so we´ve put together a few things that we think you should look out for, with CAUTION being at the top of the list. Some of the things the Spanish drivers do don´t make much sense, so expect the unexpected. That said, try to relax and be prepared to give and take whilst on the roads and enjoy the beautiful scenery whilst travelling around.
Remember, as with all hire companies, age and licence restrictions do apply.
The public buses run the length and breadth of the region. We´ve driven down the smallest, most out of the way roads and still passed bus stops. How these drivers do it amazes us as some of the roads don´t look wide enough for cars!
The bus stops tend to have times and frequency of buses attached to boards, and of course the busier the area the more frequent they arrive making getting about in the area so much easier. Here you´ll find all of the important information you´ll need with route bus numbers to look out for, timetables for the different days of the week, and costs for journeys. You can even find out how to save money with a travel card and how to get hold of one.
If you´re planning on catching a bus from Malaga Airport and travelling down the coast to the Mijas area, you´ll need to go into either Malaga City or Torremolinos first and then change buses. However you´ll find it much simpler to catch the train from the airport to Fuengirola, and then a bus or taxi to your destination if you´re not hiring a car.
If you go to one of the main bus stations and head to the ticket office you may be approached by someone offering to help you. They normally speak a little English and can help interpret between yourself and the ticket office. They even point out where you need to stand to catch the bus you require.
We´ve never come across any of them who are not polite and courteous, but be aware they do expect to get paid something for their help, normally 0.50€ to 1€ is enough. But if you don´t want to pay them, then don´t accept their offer of assistance.
There are, of course, lots of taxi companies along the Costa del Sol but unfortunately not all of them are legal and licensed. The ones that are, however, offer an excellent service. The official ones tend to group together under an area banner such as Malaga Radio Taxi and our very own Taxi Mijas.
Because these are authorised and licensed taxis you, as a passenger, will benefit from fixed charges that are available to look at both on-line and in the cabs. This takes away any uncertainty of costs making getting about in a taxi easier to budge fort. The cars are also very well equipped and are always wonderfully maintained vehicles being spotlessly clean in and out!
The drivers are polite and have a strict dress code. Any driver deviating from this risks the chance of loosing their licence. Most will offer to help with suitcases, prams etc. I have even seen one of them carry an old ladies shopping bags from his car to her front door as he dropped her off.
Getting about in a taxi is simple to do. Just go to one of the many taxi ranks dotted all around the area or you can ring or go on-line to book. Remember they can only carry 4 passengers per car, so if you need something a bit different - ring and book. Taxi Mijas have a large 8 seater and infant and child seats can be requested.
Like most places in the world, you´ll always come across people who try to do things illegally, taxis on the Costa del Sol is no exception. You may be offered a cheaper ride to and from the airport by someone using their own car. Be careful.
Not only are you running the risk of mechanical breakdown at THE most inopportune time due to lack of maintenance, but don´t forget they´re not insured! If you´re involved in an accident you won´t get compensation.
Another problem with unauthorised taxis comes from those who are licensed. Because these illegal people are taking money away from the legal guys and girls, there have been a few punches thrown and vehicles damaged, particularly at the airport. Our suggestion, don´t put yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Is saving 15€ to 20€ a trip really worth the risk?
Out of all the available transport on the Costa del Sol, the train network is the most limited. Renfe Operadora is the state-owned company controlling the Spanish railway network. From the main train station in Malaga you can travel to Granada, Madrid, Seville and many other fabulous cities in Spain, but only as far as Fuengirola along the coast!
There are plans to extend the line all the way down towards Gibraltar but nothing has been started just yet. However, the trains that run along the coast are ultra clean and ultra efficient so getting about in the air-conditioned environment is lovely. Get yourselves to Fuengirola train station and you can very easily and cheaply get to Benalmadena, Torremolinos and of course Malaga city which is well worth the ride.
The train also stops off at umpteen places in between, which are all announced in English as well as Spanish through the PA system on board. The ticket machines are located at each stop and are easy to use and have many different language options.
If you´re flying into Malaga Airport then you really can´t go wrong getting to the train station which is now underground. There are signs all over the airport and the station is only a 3/5 minute walk from the terminal.
Once you get there just remember the trains only go two ways - either to Malaga City or towards Fuengirola along the coast. It normally takes about 10 minutes to get to Torremolinos which is 5 stops away. 15 minutes and 8 stops to get to Benalmadena and about 35 minutes and 13 stops to get to Fuengirola.
When you get to Fuengirola it is literally the end of the line. It only takes 2 minutes to walk across from the train station to the bus station where you can then catch either a bus or taxi if needed.
Again, as with the buses, you can purchase a travel card giving you discounts on multiple journeys within a month. So if you´re planning on staying and getting about in the area for a while, it´s worth investigating.
Wether in the UK or abroad you will always get the best deal on airport transfers by booking in advance. Click here to see how good those deals are!