I’ve just been on a trip back to the UK, and decided to go via Málaga airport*. Now that the motorway is open all the way there, I wanted to see how easy it is to get to this airport.
As the fourth biggest airport in Spain, flights are cheap and plentiful to all points of the UK (and other European destinations), so could it be a serious alternative to Alicante?
The answer is, yes it is!
We swung onto the E-7 motorway at junction 520 and steamed down past the easy motorway to Almería city.
Past Almería we got into the heavier traffic around Roquetas / El Ejido for half an hour. But it’s a good run all the way, with the traffic moving fast. Since this is mainly local traffic, once past Balanegra it thins out again and once more you have the road to yourself.
Past Guainos, the last stop before entering Granada province, we suddenly hit a concrete motorway which bought back memories of US Interstates. But that’s only 20km or so.
We then had about 100km of tunnels and bridges. No traffic, lots of greenhouses into the mountains, but it is just an amazing stretch of motorway. The high mountains of the Sierra Nevada just drop vertically into the sea, in a section of coastline unlike anywhere else in Europe.
The road does have some very silly speed limits. Most – but not all – of the tunnels are limited to 80 kph, meaning you’re never sure if you’re limited to 80, 100 or 120 kph.
On that whole bit I think we saw three lorries and about a dozen cars. Oh, and one long tunnel where the lights were off, which was a bit scary.
Coming into the outskirts of Málaga we hit heavy traffic again and the limit was down to 100kph, but frankly it’s no worse than the Puerto Lumbreras stretch and with fewer speed-traps.
Make sure you take the MA-20 turnoff towards the airport (well signposted) and you can drive through Málaga straight to the airport, which is just 2km off the motorway.
It’s a shade under 300km (298.5 for the pedants), so that’s 2,5 hours driving on easy roads. Slightly longer than the Alicante trip, but much easier, with no nasty Murcia to worry about. I hate that Murcia stretch.
Plus, the flights are better, more varied and much cheaper from Málaga. It was €150 versus €600 from Alicante.
Car parking (pickup and dropoff from outside airport departures) was €20 for the week. The price includes having a teenager leaving smearing the mud over the car for you (the all inclusive “car wash”).
So yes, it’s a serious and viable alternative to Alicante airport. And for the difference in flight costs over this Christmas, a vast improvement.
Note: This is a brief article I wrote quite some time ago and forgot to publish. Just sticking it up on the web!