The only access by train to the Costa del Sol is to Malaga’s mainline station served by trains from Madrid, Granada, Cordoba and Sevilla. This station is interchangeably called Maria Zambrano (the official name), Malaga-Renfe, and Viala, actually the name of the shopping centre built around the station.
Before the AVE – which was finished in January 2008 – the journey from Madrid used to take 4 hours, but nowadays the new high-speed AVE line from Madrid to Malaga via Cordoba was finished in and is the journey time is reduced to around two and a half hours.
There are two train lines serving part of the coast: Malaga to Fuengirola and Malaga to Alora. Both lines are efficient and popular the Malaga to Fuengirola lines is the most profitable line in Spain and used by some 8 million passengers a year.
The trains are comfortable with air conditioned. Tickets are can be purchased from machines at most stations or from ticket offices. If there isn’t a machine at a station you may be able to buy your ticket on the train from the inspector.
The tickets are priced depending on the number of zones you travel through. Both train lines have five travel zones and prices range from 1.70€ to 3.50€ one-way, and 3.40€ to 7.00€ round-trip. Monthly tickets are also available, with prices around 35.10-74.25€ depending on selected zones.
Malaga to Fuengirola service runs two trains per hour with stops at:
- Zone 0 – Malaga downtown (two stops: at the main Renfe station and by the river, opposite El Corte Ingles)
- Zone 1 – Victoria Kent, Guadalhorce and the airport (aeropuerto)
- Zone 2 – Plaza Mayor, Los Alamos, La Colina, Torremolinos, Montemar-Alto and El Pinillo
- Zone 3 – Benalmadena/Arroyo de la Miel, Torremuelle, Carvajal and Torreblanca
- Zone 4 – Los Boliches and Fuengirola
The journey from Malaga to Fuengirola takes just 45 minutes and the service is generally very efficient with a high degree of punctuality. The first train leaves Malaga centre at 5:20am, and subsequent departures are 20 past the hour and 20 to the hour. The last train is at 11:30pm.
The first train leaves Fuengirola at 6:20am. Subsequent trains leave at 20 and 40 minutes past the hour. The last train leaves at 11:50pm.
Malaga to Alora runs from Malaga centre and stops at:
- Zone 0 – Malaga Renfe station
- Zone 1 – Los Prados
- Zone 2 – Campanillas and Cartama
- Zone 3 – Aljaima and Pizarra
- Zone 4 – Alora
The first train leaves Alora at 6:45am and the last at 10:45pm. From Malaga the first train is at 6:06am and the last at 9:21pm.
For more information call 902-240-202 or visit renfe.es.