The Perfect Benalmadena to Gibraltar Day Trip Itinerary

Planning a Benalmadena to Gibraltar day trip but not quite sure where to start? Fret not, I’ve got you covered.

After years on Costa del Sol, I’ve gone on multiple Gibraltar day trips including from Benalmadena. In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know to plan the perfect day trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena including how to get there, what to expect at the border, and what to do once you get there.

Gibraltar is such a fun destination to spend the day as the only place in Europe where you can see wild monkeys (very cheeky ones indeed!) But just the fact that you’re in British territory and can take a selfie with a red phone booth is pretty darn cool!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of those links, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

View of the city of Gibraltar and cable car which you might take on day trips from Benalmadena to Gibraltar.

Best time to go on a Benalmadena to Gibraltar day trip

You can easily take a day trip from Benalmadena to Gibraltar all year round and have an epic trip. However, if you can choose, I’ve got some tips for you here.

First of all, try to avoid the weekends and local bank holidays if possible. There are a lot more people traveling there on weekends over weekdays. Also, be aware that the Spanish move forward any bank holiday that falls on the weekend to the coming Monday!

The summer months also get more crowded than the rest of the year, especially the month of August when basically all of Spain takes their summer vacation.

With this in mind, I’d recommend going between mid-September and mid-June if you can.

How to go on a day trip from Benalmadena to Gibraltar

It’s easy to get to Gibraltar from Benalmadena whether you drive, take a guided tour, or use public transportation. I’ll break it down for you here so that you can see what works best for you.

REMEMBER YOUR PASSPORT (and visa if needed)

The Rock of Gibraltar - one of the highlights on all Benalmadena to Gibraltar tours

Benalmadena to Gibraltar by car

Driving from Benalmadena to Gibraltar is easy and only takes an hour and 20 minutes on the toll road (AP-7.)

You can expect it to take a little bit longer if you opt for the free road (A-7), but I do recommend it in the summer months as the toll road prices skyrocket compared to the rest of the year.

Once you reach La Linea de la Consepción, you’re at the border to Gibraltar. You have two choices. Park at one of the paid car parks there or drive across the border.

I’ve always driven across the border and found free parking in Gibraltar along the streets or by the lighthouse, but of course, that’s no guarantee.

Gibraltar has right-hand driving like Spain, and not left-hand like in the UK, making driving a Spanish rental car easy.

There is no fee to take the case over, but the lines at the border can get meticulously long with waiting times up to 2-3 hours in high season. Personally, I’ve always been lucky and usually not waited more than an hour, sometimes less.

If you walk, you can jump on the local bus once you cross the border. Bus no. 5 takes you to the city center and bus no. 10 goes straight to the cable car.

Benalmadena to Gibraltar by bus

You can also take the bus from Benalmadena to Gibraltar by bus journeys vary between 2 hours 20 minutes and 3 hours one way.

There are daily buses from Benalmadena to Gibraltar, but I recommend booking early to secure a spot at the best travel times.

I’ve taken the bus once, and it is my least favorite way to travel to Gibraltar as it’s time-consuming.

Generally, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the buses in Spain. While it’s a comfortable and easy way to travel, they’re never on time and sometimes they just don’t show up.

The bus will stop at La Linea and you’ll walk across the border.

Parking spots in La Linea de la Consepción lined with palm trees where you can park on a day trip from Benalmadena to Gibraltar.


An alternative way to get to la Linea is by BlaBlaCar. This is a ride-share app where private people who are going from A to B post their journey, and the number of seats available, and you can request a seat.

The price is reasonable and is basically just enough to share the petrol costs for the journey. The driver sets the price, so it will vary slightly from ride to ride.

I’ve used BlaBlaCar a lot as a driver and as a passenger and only had great experiences with it. But you can always read reviews about the drivers before you choose one.

If you find a ride one way, you can combine it with the bus the other way.

Benalmadena to Gibraltar tours

If you prefer the convenience of a guided tour, there are several Benalmadena to Gibraltar tours too. This is by far the most pain-free way of traveling to Gibraltar.

However, be aware that you must still cross the border on foot and show your passport (and visa if eligible) at the border control.

REMEMBER YOUR PASSPORT (and visa if needed)

Here are my top picks for guided Gibraltar tours from Benalmadena.

Gibraltar Tour from Benalmadena

This is a great day tour from Benalmadena to Gibraltar which includes a guide for the main attractions in Gibraltar. Visit the Rock of Gibraltar, the World War II Tunnels, Apes Den, St. Michaels Cave, and Europa Point.

I love that you also get a couple of hours of free time where you can explore the town and do some shopping. There are also some pubs where you can grab lunch and drinks before your return to Benalmadena.

Gibraltar Private Tour from Benalmadena

If you prefer the comfort of a private Benalmadena Gibraltar tour, this is a great option. I love going on private tours when family or groups of friends visit because then we have the guide to ourselves and can ask all the questions we want. Besides, in my experience, it’s usually more flexible.

This tour takes you to the main attractions like the Ape’s Den, St. Michael’s Cave, the Pillars of Hercules, and the Great Siege Tunnels.

You’ll also get some time in the town center where you can explore the typical British shops, take a selfie with a red phone booth, and grab a beer in a British pub.

Can you get a train from Benalmadena to Gibraltar?

I often get asked if you can travel from Benalmadena to Gibraltar by train. And the answer is no.

The coastal train line from Malaga passes Benalmadena and stops in Fuengirola which means you’d have to change to a bus from there anyway. And Fuengirola is only a 21-minute train ride away. So I don’t recommend doing that as it’ll be more of a headache than a smooth journey.

Gibraltar border control

You must cross the border control whether you drive or enter Gibraltar on foot. A valid passport or an EU ID Card is required, and some nationalities need a valid UK visa.

As of today, most EU/Schengen nationalities, US citizens, and UK citizens can enter Gibraltar, but that might change.

The UK and Spain are still discussing how to keep things smooth after Brexit and Gibraltar might enter Schengen. You can check if you need a visa here.

For updated information about border queues, check their Twitter feeds at @gibraltarborder which they update several times a day.

The border control between Spain and gibraltar which you must pass on a day trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena.

What to do on a day trip to Gibraltar from Benalmadena

If you go on a Benalmadena day trip to Gibraltar by car or bus, I highly recommend you book this tour of Gibraltar to get the most out of your visit.

Nonetheless, here is my suggested itinerary for the day. You can either grab lunch at the café on the Rock of Gibraltar or in the town.

Take the Cable Car to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar

Taking the cable car to the summit of The Rock is an ideal way to reach the peak during a Gibraltar day trip from Benalmadena.

It’s a time-saving alternative to walking up the steep steps, but you also save yourself some energy!

Operating daily from 09:30 onwards, the cable car departs every 10-15 minutes. Despite its brief 6-minute duration, the journey offers breathtaking views of the peninsula and Spanish mainland.

Besides, the wagons date back to 1966 making it a vintage experience.

cable car with views of Gibraltar town and the sea behind on a Benalmadena day trip to Gibraltar.

Take in the views at the Rock of Gibraltar

When you reach the summit of The Rock of Gibraltar, standing at an impressive 426 meters above sea level, prepare to be awestruck by the panoramic views.

You’ll have breathtaking views of the bustling port, the diminutive peninsula, and the sprawling Spanish mainland at your feet.

In the opposite direction, you’ll also see Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar, marking the African mainland. Make sure you snap a few pictures from this iconic spot before you continue.

Coffee at Mons Calpe Suite

On the top, there’s a restaurant where you can either grab a bite to eat or a coffee. The views are spectacular, so it’s a bit of a tourist trap, yet I always find myself ordering something there.

See the monkeys at Apes Den

Let’s be honest. Most people travel to Gibraltar to see the monkeys. After all, it’s the only place in Europe where you can witness free-roaming monkeys.

So no visit to Gibraltar is complete without heading to the Apes Den where these cute animals hang out.

But don’t be fooled, they are wild animals and monkeys are famous for being cheeky for a reason. Please be careful with your belongings, avoid having food easily accessible in open bags and don’t ever feed the monkeys.

I’ve seen some wild sh*t with monkeys ripping bags off people’s shoulders to get hold of whatever snacks they can find inside.

Here are some general guidelines when you’re around the monkeys:

  • Don’t feed the monkeys (actually keep all food or snacks inside a locked bag)
  • Avoid touching the monkeys
  • Watch your belongings
  • Don’t chase the monkeys
  • If the monkeys approach you, stay calm and avoid confrontation – they can bite, but most likely won’t
A Gibraltar monkey sitting on a rock - one of the highlights of any Benalmadena to Gibraltar day trip.

Explore St. Michael’s Cave

Next, head to the pre-historic St. Michael’s Cave with stalagmites and stalactites that has been built through millions of years.

A giant stalagmite inside has fallen over, but probably thousands of years ago, so it’s now one of the attractions in the cave. The interior is lit up with colorful lights making a lightshow like no other.

Legend has it that the cave has no bottom. That is contradicted with the former belief that the tunnel led to Morocco in Africa far below the Strait of Gibraltar.

St. Michael’s Cave is open daily between 09:00 and 19:15 and the last entry is 30 minutes before closing time.

Stalagmites and stalagtites inside St. Michaels Cave

A Trip Through The Great Siege Tunnels 

Originally constructed as a defensive measure against Spanish and French forces, the tunnels enabled British soldiers to safely transport cannons and supplies, effectively strengthening Gibraltar’s defenses.

Carved into the limestone cliffs during the late 18th century, these tunnels served a crucial role during the Great Siege of Gibraltar between1779 and 1783.

Today, it’s one of the top attractions in Gibraltar and going with a guide gives you so much insight into the history of this tiny peninsula.

Stroll through the town center

Spend the rest of the day strolling through the town center where you can peek inside English book stores and go shopping.

I really like walking through Gibraltar town as it almost feels like going back in time in a mini England town.

This is also a great place to grab lunch if you didn’t eat earlier. Even so, you can grab a snack to keep you going for the return to Benalmadena.

Shops and pubs in Gibraltar town that you must visit on any Gibraltar trips from Benalmadena.

Reflections on a Gibraltar day trip from Benalmadena

Summing up, going on a Benalmadena to Gibraltar day trip is going to be full of adventure. With this, you should be fully equipped to go by yourself or on a tour.

I often get visitors from Norway and from other parts of the world and when I suggest day trips to take, Gibraltar is often one of the first picks.

While I’ve been to Gibraltar more times than I can count, I still enjoy it a lot and I highly recommend going at least once in a lifetime.

Happy travels!