How to Get From Fuengirola to Gibraltar

Visiting the British colony can be a little tricky

Portrait Of Monkey Sitting On Retaining Wall Against Cloudy Sky At Gibraltar
••• Michael Zwahlen / EyeEm/Getty Images

Many visitors to Spain's Costa del Sol want to take a side trip to Gibraltar, the last colony in Europe and a source of much trouble between Spain, which wants Gibraltar to be Spanish, the U.K., which also wants it to be Spanish, and the local Gibraltar citizens, who want it to remain British. Gibraltar is a microcosm of Britishness on the south coast of Spain, and it is a frequent stop for visitors to the Costa del Sol.

You can get from Fuengirola to Gibraltar in three ways: with a rental car, on the bus, and with a guided tour.

Issues With Going to Gibraltar

Britain is not in the Schengen zone, which means that there are passport checks on the border between Gibraltar and Spain, unlike among the 26 European countries in the Schengen zone, where you can cross borders freely. Because of an apparent drug smuggling problem, the Spanish do vigorous searches on most vehicles that cross the border. No bus company will take you across the border, and there are no trains. If you want to take the bus, you must go to La Linea de la Concepcion, the town on the Spanish side, and then walk across the border.

You will need your passport and must meet any necessary visa requirements for entering the U.K.

Driving to Gibraltar

The 115-kilometer (71-mile) journey from Fuengirola to Gibraltar is about an hour-and-a-half drive, assuming there is no line at the border crossing. As with public transportation, it is usually quicker and easier to drive to La Linea, park there, and walk across the border.

Taking the Bus to Gibraltar 

There are several buses per day from Fuengirola to La Linea and back again, and the trip takes about two hours. It's the least expensive way to travel from Fuengirola to La Linea unless you have rented a car for your entire trip and not just for the drive to Gibraltar.

Taking a Guided Tour to Gibraltar

Because of the issues of traveling to Gibraltar, taking a guided tour might be the least stressful option. The tours leave from the Costa del Sol, take you to Gibraltar, and show you the sights. Choose a tour that appeals to your interests. 

  • Sightseeing Trip to Gibraltar: Visit the Rock of Gibraltar and meet the famous Barbary macaque monkeys, see St. Michael Cave, and spend time in the city center to go shopping. 
  • Shopping Trip to Gibraltar: Gibraltar is a tax-free colony, and it's known for good prices on electronic goods. This so-called tour is really just a cheaper, unguided version of the sightseeing trip tour. It gives you enough time on the Rock to explore the whole place, but the sightseeing tour isn't much more expensive and will help you get a lot more out of your day. 
  • Dolphin Viewing Cruise in Gibraltar: This trip squeezes in a 2.5-hour cruise to see dolphins swimming in the sea in the Strait of Gibraltar. You will also have time to shop and visit the monkeys on the Rock, but you'll have a little less time than on other tours since this tour covers more attractions.