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We are going to Gibraltar for a few days, followed by two days in Malaga. Direct transfers Gibraltar - Malaga do exist, but they seem overly expensive, and we've heard border queues for vehicles could be crazy.

Thus we devised the following plan:

  1. Take a bus/taxi/walk to the border
  2. Cross the border on foot
  3. Go to the La Linea bus station
  4. Catch the next bus to Malaga

We have two main questions about this plan:

  1. Is this a realistic plan? Crossing border by foot sounds a bit dodgy to me. We have necessary visas/insurance/return tickets - all the normal stuff, we aren't strangers to entering the EU. It's just doing it on foot feels weird.
  2. Should we book the bus La Linea - Malaga in advance, or we can just show up and expect to be able to grab some tickets?
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  • Depending on how Spain feels at any given moment, border crossings from Gibraltar to Spain can take several hours, so watch out for that.
    – Moo
    Feb 9 '20 at 10:48
  • @Moo thanks! does that apply to foot crossing too?
    – tourist
    Feb 9 '20 at 10:49
  • Yes - the issue is political rather than mode of transport.
    – Moo
    Feb 9 '20 at 10:50
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    How would crossing the border on foot be dodgy?
    – Arne
    Feb 9 '20 at 11:26
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    Crossing the border from Gibraltar is fun, cause you have to walk across the runway of the airport, its an adventure in its own right and highly recommended, not many places where you get to do this. Feb 9 '20 at 14:58
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You could take https://www.gibraltarshuttle.com/ direct from Midtown, Gibraltar to Malaga Airport, for £70 return. This service is twice a day. It is advisable to book. From Malaga airport you can get buses or a train into Malaga.

There is a bus from La Linea bus station to Malaga on Monday to Saturday, four times a day - three of those buses stop at three towns on the way (I'm not sure about the fourth bus operated by a different company). On Sunday there are five buses - four of which make the same three stops. That costs from €13.59 (one way) and takes 3 hours.

Or there is a more direct ("semidirecto") bus twice a day Monday to Friday, once a day on Saturdays and Sundays. This costs from €16.72 (one way) and takes 2 hrs 15mins.

Timetable ("horarios"): http://malaga.avanzagrupo.com/archivos/files/Horarios%202020/0120_enero/Horario%20autobuses%20La%20L%C3%ADnea_.pdf

I'd be inclined to book because it is infrequent even though it might not be busy outside the typical holiday periods. But at this time of year you can probably get a ticket at the bus station.

https://booking.avanzabus.com/web/index.php

Select Cadiz, then Est. La Linea, then Malaga (Todos las paradas).

Thousands of people walk across the Gibraltar-Spain border a day but significant delays are rare, particularly outside Monday to Friday rush hours entering Gibraltar (8:30am to 9:30am) or entering Spain (5:00pm to 6:30pm). That is, you shouldn't have any difficulty leaving Gibraltar for the 9am bus from La Linea. If you have a machine readable passport you should not be delayed at all unless there is a queue entering Gibraltar at the Gibraltar side of the border (Spain has passport machines but Gibraltar does not). But if there are few other pedestrians it is quicker to walk past the border guard than use the machine.

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Entering Gibraltar on foot is very common. Lots of people do it everyday, so doing so will not make you stand out.

Day trip visitors and commuters from Spain are even encouraged to leave their cars in Spain (there is a big car park on the Spanish side of the border) and walk.

So having a taxi drop you of and walk across is no issue. You will notice you are not the only one doing this.

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