The distance from Malaga on the Costa del Sol to the port city of Cádiz is about 145 miles (233 km). The most comfortable way to get between the two cities is by hiring a private transfer or driving a rental car—a scenic drive along the Costa del Sol that will take you past Gibraltar and through the Los Acornocales Nature Park.
There are no direct trains from Malaga to Cádiz. To travel via train, you would have to transfer through Seville or Cordoba, which are out of the way and would double or triple the length of your journey. However, there is a direct bus option.
While Malaga is famous as the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and the gateway to the Costa del Sol, Cádiz is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Europe, making it a history-lover’s paradise. You can experience both of these cities, plus Jerez de la Frontera, Ronda, and the White Villages, all in one trip with this eight-day itinerary.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 2.5 hours, more with stops
Private transfers can be booked to drive you to Cádiz, or you can rent a car from one of the many major rental companies in Malaga.
Getting from Malaga to Cádiz takes just over 2.5 hours along highways AP7 and A381. This route includes tolls—they can be paid via machine using your credit card, or via cash to a tollbooth attendant.
You can avoid the toll road by taking highway A357 instead, which will be a slightly longer drive. Highway A357 takes you through Jerez, a city famed for its sweet sherry wine and equestrian academy. However, you will miss out on seeing the coast and the nature park.
If you do choose to take the coastal route, you will have the option to stop in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory. There is a land border when entering Gibraltar, which can be crossed in your car or on foot—don’t forget to bring your passport. The city of Gibraltar is built around a large mountain known as “the rock”; it offers excellent hiking, and is the only place in mainland Europe where you can see monkeys in the wild.
Duration: 5.5 hours for the normal route, or 4 hours for the semi-direct route
Avanza operates buses from Malaga to Cádiz, leaving a few times a day. There are two bus routes: “normal”, which is slow and makes many stops along the way, and “semi-direct”, which makes slightly fewer stops. Prices for the two routes are similar (usually under 30 euros).
Buses feature air conditioning and entertainment, and can be booked in advance. A small online booking fee applies.