The A-7 (Old N-340) or Autovía del Mediterraneo is the new name for the N-340, but although the signs on the road have changed, it’s likely to be years before residents stop calling in the N-340. Some stretches of the old N-340 are now officially known as N-340 such as from Fuengirola to Torremolinos via the coast, Marbella to Puerto Banús and Rincón de la Victoria to Nerja (N-340a)
The A-7 runs from Cadiz to Barcelona and forms the backbone of road communications along the coast and in many areas provides the only means of getting from one place to another. The road is mostly dual carriageway. There are numerous service stations along the A-7. Some are left service and other are manned but no rall are 24 hours. To prevent drivers filling up without paying some service stations have pumps that require pre-payment. At all 24-hours stations if you want to fill up after 11pm you have to pay at the cash desk beforehand.
The AP-7 Motorway known as the Autopista del Sol along the western side of the Costa del Sol is almost complete and provides a good alternative to the A-7 if you’re travelling long distances. The motorway has three stretches.
– Estepona to Sotogrande
– Fuengirola to Marbella
– Marbella to Estepona
Driving conditions are excellent and the speed limit is 120km/h.the tolls are expensive particularly from June to September and during Easter week. Low season table shows high and low season tolls.
At several points on the coast the road divides into the AP-7 toll stretches and the A-7 non-toll stretches and it’s easy to find yourself on the wrong one. The AP-7 motorway is signposted and has a red circle under it saying Peaje (toll) and the A-7 is usually signposted A-7 Costa. Once you’re on a toll stretch you cannot get off until the next exit nor avoid paying the toll fee. Apart from concentrating when approaching the division of the road, an easy rule is to always keep right for the A-7 or always keep left for the AP-7. Beware of drives changing lanes at the last minute on or near the interchanges.
If you’re travelling east-west along the coast you cannot avoid the A-7 or the AP-7 and there are few alternative routes. Sometimes it’s quicker to drive through the towns rather than use the congested by pass, but the chances are that if the bypass is busy, the town will be too. Numerous traffic lights and roundabouts also slow progress down. If you find yourself in a lengthy traffic jam, the following alternative routes may be helpful.