Marbella. There aren’t many places offering year-round sunshine in Europe that, from beaches and golf to shopping and fine dining, tick as many of the luxury holiday boxes.

Sounds tempting? Perhaps the best part of all is just how easy it is to get to…

Where is Marbella?

First things first, though. Where is it? Marbella is in southern Spain – in the province of Malaga in the Andalucia region, to be exact – on a stretch of coast called the Costa del Sol.

Here’s a map of Marbella to help you get your bearings:

Where Do You Fly to?

It depends on from where you’re flying in. The nearest international airport to Marbella is Malaga. Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (Aena.es) is 51km away and an easy 40-minute car/taxi ride. Virtually all the major airlines fly there direct from the UK and from across northern Europe.

The next closest airport to Marbella is Gibraltar (Gibraltarairport.gi), which is just over an hour’s drive away. British Airways, Easyjet and Monarch all fly direct from the UK to Gibraltar.

Malaga Airport Internal Hallway

From the US

If you’re flying into Spain from the USA you’ll probably have to travel to Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (Aena.es). From there you’ll have to either fly, take the fast speed AVE train (Renfe.com) or drive to Malaga and transfer from there to Marbella.

The most convenient way to get to Marbella from Madrid is by the fast speed train taking just 2.5hrs or by flying taking only 1 hour and 15 mins.

how to get there from malaga airport

Luxury Private Chauffeur Driver Car Service

By Car

The best way to get from Malaga to Marbella is to drive. And if you’re on holiday that probably means you’re going to need to hire a car.

As with almost all international airports, Malaga has a frankly baffling array of different car hire options to pick through.

To avoid the scrum of the departures lounge, jump on the complimentary minibus to the offices of Niza, Helle Hollis or Enterprise situated a mere minute outside of the terminal. Inside the terminal you can find Sixt, Hertz and Europcar.

If you’re unsure of which company to use, click the following link.

For a more luxury car hire service we’d recommend Sixt (Sixt.com). They’re friendly, totally professional, trustworthy and have a range of high-end rental options, from BMWs, Audis and Porsches to Mercedes and Range Rovers – and even automatics. If you’re travelling in a large group, they also have 8-12 seater self-drive minibuses available for hire.

Of course if you’re looking for ease, our Concierge can make the reservation for you to be dropped directly off at the villa. A car of your choice can be delivered to your villa.

Once you’ve picked up your car/minibus hire, driving from Malaga airport to Marbella could hardly be easier.

Directions from Malaga-Costa del Sol airport are as follows:

  1. Leave the airport and head southeast onto N-348
  2. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on N-348
  3. Take the Torremolinos ramp to N-340/Cádiz
  4. Merge onto Avenida de Velázquez/N-340/MA-21
  5. Take the ramp to E-15/A-7/Benalmadena/Algeciras. Merge onto AP-7
  6. Pass Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola
  7. Take exit 184 towards Marbella/Casco Antiguo/Avenida del Trapiche

Malaga Airport Taxi Rank

By Taxi

For sheer ease, you can’t beat jumping in a taxi. A taxi rank is situated outside the arrivals sidewalk of Terminal T3, level 0.

It’s best to ask the driver, beforehand, how much a taxi is from Malaga to Marbella to ensure they don’t overcharge you.

There are two transfer prices, and these are dependent on both times of the day and the day of the week. Transfer Price Band 1 is weekdays from 06.00 to 22.00 hrs. Transfer Price Band 2 is weekdays from 22.00 to 06.00 hrs, all day Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, the August Feria and Holy Week. Band 2 transfer time is more expensive than Band 1.

Alternatively, you can pre-order a taxi at Malaga Airport Taxi (Malagaairporttaxi.net) and get a price when booking. The transfer time from Malaga Airport to Marbella takes around an hour, in a taxi.

Other Ways to Get to Marbella

  • By bus: It is possible to take a bus (Alsa.com) from Malaga airport to Marbella. But it’s a whole lot less convenient than driving via hire car or private transfer.
  • By train: There isn’t a train connection from Malaga airport to Marbella.

Distances – how far is marbella from…

  • Malaga (city): 61km away and 46 minutes’ drive.
  • Granada: 187km and just over 2 hours’ drive.
  • Seville: 258km and 2 hours 45 minutes’ drive.
  • Gibraltar: 78km and 1 hour 2 minutes’ drive.
  • Madrid: 584 km and 5 hours 45 minutes’ drive.

Now you know how easy it is to get to Marbella, have a look at our collection of handpicked villas.


Ben Cooper

A head-over-heels hispanophile, Ben is a one-time travel editor at Rough Guides, DK Travel, ELLEuk and Red Online.

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