Driving Madrid-Malaga - barchettaman
A colleague here is honeymooning in Spain in a couple of weeks, flying into Madrid and driving down to Malaga. Hotels each end are booked, but he wants advice on a nice place to stop on the way down for lunch, and any unmissable spots round Malaga way (Gibralta is high on the list, and he fancies taking a trip over to Morocco is that´s not too tricky).

Not a part of Europe that I know much about, so any advice from you all would be gratefully received.

BTW his intitial estimate for the drive down was `about 2 1/2 hours´. Hmm.....nearer 6 hours I thought.
Driving Madrid-Malaga - PW
Might be better off taking a train and hiring a car in each of the destinations. Looks like there is a good direct route from Madrid to Granada, and is fairly easy to get from Granada to Malaga as there is a new motorway (although think it is just as easy using the old roads).

The bus route from Granada to Malaga is also good (although Spanish Bus drivers do like to imitate Alonso). Are they staying in Malaga itself or one of the towns nearby? As for the unmissable spots could probably do with more info as to what there tastes are. For picturesque towns but not much to do there is Ronda. Going east from Malaga is also good with towns such as Nerja. There used to be some good tapas bars on the beach in going out of Malaga too when I was studying there- but that was 14 years ago now.

For going out would recommend sticking to Malaga as personally found it much better than the holiday places. Hadnt been overly invaded by tourists so had a good atmosphere. One word of warning- when I was there there was a lot of street crime and aggressive begging. Didnt really have too much trouble myself, and the bar we normally went to meant walking through the roughest part of the city every night.
Driving Madrid-Malaga - PW
Forgot to add, drove from Moraira (halfway between Alicante and Valencia) to Malaga and that took several hours- although there were a lot of roadworks as were building a new motorway. Multimap says journey should be about 6 hours and is 333 miles.
Driving Madrid-Malaga - colinh
M40 - A4 - A44 - A92 - A359 - A45 approx 550km - 5h 20m approx. I drove across Spain via Madrid twice last week, and just set the cruise control on 115kph and did 950 km in about 10 hours including stops (no speed cameras but there was one mobile unit parked in the median).
Driving Madrid-Malaga - mike hannon
Allow at least six hours, more to be comfortable.
There's an awful lot of nowhere between Madrid and Malaga.
Driving Madrid-Malaga - Nsar
Malaga doesn't have a huge amount to recommend it in my view, neither does Marbella unless heavy crims in balcked out Range Rovers is your idea of fun.

Puerto Banus 45 mins from Malaga is a hoot - Bling on Sea but irresistble in its way. I am told that you can hire Ferrari's by the hour so you can drive it through the crowds on the quayside. Antonio's right on the harbour is probably the best restaurant and ideal for people watching and 100 metres from the legendary Sinatras where every night in PB seems to begin/end. Watch your pockets/bags though, there are some very nimble fingers around!

The Dinamar hotel in PB is good, in a quiet location 5 mins walk from the centre, very close to the beach with two nice pools, try to get a room with a pool view.
Driving Madrid-Malaga - PW
Granada is probably worth a trip- if into sightseeing Alhambra is very good but will need a whole day to see it.

Would definitely agree about Marbella. Thought it was a very dirty scruffy dump. But was last there in 93 so may have changed a lot since- just not had the desire to go back and find out.

As for Malaga, it is mainly just high rise blocks but I did enjoy my time there, but that was probably more to do with the people I hung around.
Driving Madrid-Malaga - helicopter
I too recommend Granada , the Alhambra and the Alcazar is a must see IMO.I would prefer to stay there rather than Malaga and allow a couple of days.

I would also take a drive up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains for some spectacular views.

I have spent a lot of time sailing out of Gibraltar and personally would not spend a massive amount of time there although you will enjoy a trip around the top of the rock and a visit to the Apes Unfortunately it has little else to recommend it except to try the Dolphin safari from the Marina if they still do it . It is a bit like the UK with added Dog excrement .......

Ronda with its famous gorge, bridges and bullring is worth a visit but my idea of Spain is a little restaurant called The Terrazo overlooking the white village of Casares in the mountains some 20 miles from Gib and some local rabbit or wild boar dish and carafe of the local wine or a nice Rioja....spectacular views , good food and wine - bliss.

Also try Prawns Pil Pil in a harbourside restaurant in Puerto Duquesa on the coast about 10 miles or so from GIb.

Puerto Banus is a Posers Paradise and rip off city. Don't Bother.

Driving Madrid-Malaga - Lud
If Cordoba is possible the grand mosque, complete with a Gothic cathedral stuffed into the middle of it, must be one of the world's most magnificent buildings, devotional or other.

Seville has the best-kept public gardens I have ever seen.
Driving Madrid-Malaga - barchettaman
Cheers for the advice so far everyone.
Any ideas on a nice spot to stop on the way from Madrid to Malaga? I reckon he´ll get about 2 hours south of Madrid for lunch time. And he´s keen not to do the motorway service lunch thing.
Driving Madrid-Malaga - mss1tw
It's like reading the SEAT car naming convention design brief.
Driving Madrid-Malaga - Lud
Can't suggest anything specific, but look at the map, find a small (or large) town near the route at more or less the right place, find a suitable looking restaurant - lots of customers are a good sign - and just go for it. Chances of severe disappointment are quite small.
Driving Madrid-Malaga - colinh
One of Franco's better legacies was the provision of "menu del dia" by restaurants, namely, they provide a lunch time menu at a reasonable price. Almost all villages/towns have a restaurant serving a three-course lunch, sometimes plus salad, and including a drink and coffee for approx. 8 euros. Spanish autovias have signs to both "service stations" and off-road restaurants. Any restaurant with a few cars parked outside is probably going to offer a reasonable meal - lunch time from about 1330 to 1600h.
Driving Madrid-Malaga - Stuartli
It's a while since I drove from Malaga back to the North West - took much of one day, including meal stops, refuelling etc and going around the Madrid ring road to reach the first overnight stop in San Sebastian.

I've been in virtually all areas of Spain and Portugal and can recommend helicopter's tips about the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Ronda, Granada and the Alhambra, along with Seville; generally speaking food and drink is excellent wherever you stop.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Driving Madrid-Malaga - malteser
If you see a sign by an unprepossessing building signed - "Venta" or "Meson" note tht this should be a typically Spanish Cafe/Restaurant. If its in the sticks and not too "touristised" you will be assured of good country cooking at a very affordable price!

Puerto Duquesa is VERY English tourist orientated with the usual assortment of Chinese/Indian/Italian/International type restaurants.
If you like Indian, the one to go for is the Passage to India", if Chinese, "The Hongkong". (It's where we go for Indian or Chinese!)
Do not ever try the coffee in an English run bar on the Costas - t will be nasty and expensive. A local Tapas bar will do MUCH better for around 1 to 1.2 euros per glass.

Cordoba Mesquite is not to be missed!

If you want to visit the Alhambra in Granada, you MUST pre-book as there is a strictly limited nimber of visitors per day, to protect the structure. Many banks will do this for you. I know that the bank BBVA is an authorised boking agent.

Try to visit Ronda, a few KM inland from the main coast road A7 at San Pedro, (Marbella) A really interesting place.
Gib - all I can say is go if you have to, but the Rock tours are IMO a rip off. The only cheap stuff there is booze, fags and perfumes. Spanish customs Officers are red hot on ciggies - many cars are required to open their boots, bonnets etc!

Roger. (Costa del Sol, España)
Driving Madrid-Malaga - Tony Bee
If you get a nasty coffee in any bar or cafe in Spain including English run ones I would be very surprised indeed. Prices between 70 cents and 1.50.

Coffee in Spain is far more reliable than France or Belgium. Coffee in the UK is usually filth --I always taste my wifes.

It would certainly not be romantic as meals go but the food in motorway services is usually astonishingly good right across Spain.

Driving Madrid-Malaga - barchettaman
Thanks again everybody for all the advice.
Driving Madrid-Malaga - GroovyMucker
Sorry if it's too late, but Malaga itself is pleasant in the town. Some good restaurants - the Parador Gibralfaro and the Alcazaba (small but pretty) have good views; the Antonio Martin restaurant; the town itself has a good deal of charm; the English Cemetery (!); Cafe Central, ...

Driving Madrid-Malaga - barchettaman
A bit late - he flew today - but thanks anyway GM.

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