Cheap travel from Estapona to Gibraltar or Algeciras
August 30, 2006 10:06 AM   Subscribe

What is the cheapest way for me to get from Estapona (Spain) to Gibraltar or Algeciras? The closest train stop would be in Malaga, which is even farther in the wrong direction. I don't have a European driver's license, so it appears that I won't be able to rent a car. Bus? Taxi? Are those going to be outrageously expensive? My Spanish is quite bad; should I even consider hitchhiking?
posted by Plutor to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
You don't need a European driver's license to rent a car in Spain. A USan one will do nicely. Best if you can drive a stick, though, as automatics are rare on the ground and will cost extra.
posted by libraryhead at 10:12 AM on August 30, 2006

Would it be a one-way trip?
posted by smackfu at 10:14 AM on August 30, 2006

Best answer: Alsa run buses all over Spain and serve Estapona and Algericas. Annoyingly the website doesn't seem to allow you to select indirect routes, so you'll have to figure out a route between them yourself.
posted by cillit bang at 10:19 AM on August 30, 2006

Bus, without question. I lived in Spain last year and at the end of the trip some friends and I flew down to Malaga and took the bus to Tarifa (right near Gibraltar) to go over to Morocco. The buses are cheap, frequent, very clean, comfortable, and fast.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:20 AM on August 30, 2006

I did a very similar trip last Spring from Sevilla to Algeciras - as my fellow answerers have mentioned, bus is by far the best way to go. It's cheap, easy, clean - no brainer.
posted by cubedweller at 10:49 AM on August 30, 2006

while it is correct that you can in deed drive with an american drivers license for up to six months in europe, spanish rental car places are -sorry- ass.

I've heard stories like the one neil french tells here (scroll down) a million times on both, spanish and french car rentals.

Why are most car-hire companies run by cretins, and rude cretins at that?
posted by krautland at 11:32 AM on August 30, 2006

Response by poster: This will be a two-way, same-day trip, and I'll probably do it more than once. I'd like to, at least, see Gibraltar, and I'd also love to take the ferry from Algeciras to Morocco, like jimmythefish. How expensive is renting a car? How tough is driving in Spain for the Español-impaired?
posted by Plutor at 11:37 AM on August 30, 2006

spanish rental car places are -sorry- ass.

I disagree. I used in Spain and they gave me a wickedly fast Seat Leon with no hassle whatsoever. I did the entire reservation online, they spoke English (not common in Spain in a lot of places) and the pickup and dropoff was easy and uneventful.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:38 AM on August 30, 2006

When I went there in 2003, there were (Greyhound-like) buses from Malaga to Algeciras, and to get the bus to La Linea de la Concepcion (on the border with Gibraltar) you walked a ways (<1 /2 mile) to a local bus terminal run by a different company. i wasn't partcularly sensitive to prices, but it wasn't expensive. my spanish is pretty rudimentary but ticket agents seemed understanding and used to>
Estepona looks pretty close to Gibraltar so there might even be a local bus that will drop you at La Linea de la Concepcion. The key to reading the schedules at the bus terminal is to look for La Linea and not Gibraltar.
posted by cardboard at 11:52 AM on August 30, 2006

Best answer: I got an email from a lurker named Hanna who said:
Autobuses Portillo runs between Estepona and Algeciras, and Estepona and La Linea. Costs less than 4 euros in each case. PDF timetable is here.

I took a Portillo bus (good service, clean, comfortable bus) from Malaga to Algeciras in June and then crossed over to Ceuta on a Buquebus ferry.
I'm almost certain that this is ideal. Cheap, a good review, and directly where I want to go.
posted by Plutor at 9:59 AM on September 2, 2006

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