What you should know before hiring a car in Malaga
|Malaga city centre|
|Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP): 6 mi from city centre|
Car hires in Malaga: practical information
Where to rent a car in Malaga
The easiest place to hire a car in Malaga is the airport. From there the Costa del Sol is at your doorstep. Once you arrive on your flights to Malaga pick up your luggage and head straight to the rental counter. The coastline surrounding Malaga is dotted with resort towns, many of which are only accessible with a rental car so it's a sensible option for jetting up and down the coast.
It is also possible to hire a car from the city centre. There are half a dozen agencies located along Malaga's main drag, Avenida de Andalucia.
Driving in Malaga: parking and other tips
Without help, it is very difficult to find free parking in Malaga on the street within the city centre. Stick to official parking garages, many of which show the number of free spaces on the sign before entering. They are located at the following sights: Plaza de la Marina, Avenida de Andalucia, Alcazaba, Calle Cervantes and Calle Camas. The rates vary although the average rate is €15/day.
Watch out for speed cameras in and around Malaga! There are several located on the motorway leaving Malaga en route to Marbella, a popular spot to speed. Don't get caught going over the speed limit or expect to pay up. At major intersections you'll often see a sign reading "Ceda el Paso" which means to give way.
Road trips from Malaga: what to do, what to see
Malaga is surrounded by quaint seaside towns along the Costa del Sol. Sun worshippers rejoice! Head west to Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Marbella and further on to Estepona. Head east to Torre del Mar and Nerja. If you stop to swim in Nerja, beware of strong undercurrents. You can be swept out to sea before you realize. The coast is famed for its beaches, so take your time heading up and down the coast. Take the slow road to avoid the highway tolls and don't hesitate to stop when something catches your eye, like a market. You could spend everyday of your holiday in Malaga exploring the nearby towns.
El Chorro, you could say, is Andalucia's own little Lake District. The name translates to The Spurt and is 1 hour drive north-west from Malaga. This limestone gorge is a rock climber's paradise. The area is famous for the dangerous and risky Caminito del Rey which is now closed but there are many other gorge passes for visitors to hike over the Guadalhorce River. While the area is famous around Europe among climbers, it's also a great spot for camping and hiking. Reach it via the A-357, stopping in Pizarra and Carratraca on the way.
Gibraltar is easily reached from Malaga is just 1h 45min drive along the A-7 coastal freeway. It's a natural stop for British travellers in the Iberian Peninsula. Explore the island's beaches and the Moorish castle, then head into the town for some English cuisine with a twist of Spanish flavour. If you're missing the pub atmosphere while you're abroad, don't worry. Pull up a stool at a British pub, but don't be shy to try some Spanish lager instead of the usual. While you're there, watch out for the monkeys, they look cute but they have a lot of attitude and are known to pinch purses and wallets.