Nerja – The Perfect Destination For Your (Family) Holiday

Nerja is special. Just magic. You hear about Nerja – you visit – and then you want to keep it all to yourself. Nerja is one of those rare places that has something for all ages. The variety of people that come to this little oasis says it all. The town can capture the heart of people young and old. You might have heard of Nerja but don’t know much about it. So here is a little bit of information with a sprinkle of insider knowledge. But shhhhh! Don’t tell everyone.

So where is Nerja Spain?


Good question. Have a look at a map of Spain.  Head down to the south coast – find Malaga – go East and you will find Nerja – the jewel of the Costa del Sol.

Literally translated as the ‘coast of sun’, and boy does it live up to it’s name.  Year round sunshine with average temperatures of around 20°C. The weather is just bliss. But here’s another little secret about Nerja. It has it’s own microclimate. It is surrounded by the Sierra de Almijara mountains. These beautiful mountains cocoon the little town like a huge bear hug – providing jaw dropping scenery – but protecting it from the worst of the weather. Not only does Nerja have around 320 days of subtropical sunshine each year, but you can also ski in the morning and sunbathe in the afternoon. How cool is that?

Is Nerja worth visiting?

Absolutely! Nerja has something for (almost) everyone. This once sleepy fishing village has blossomed into a cosmopolitan holiday destination. It has defiantly and fiercely resisted the mass development of high rise buildings and retains a strong and vibrant local spirit. You can tell you are in Spain. And that makes this town authentic.

Nerja
Image by Manolo Franco from Pixabay

Its old town greets you with white washed houses, narrow cobbled streets, an abundance of flowers and spectacular views over the sparkling Mediterranean sea. It is perched on the edge of a cliff – the spectacular Balcon de Europe. Once the location of a moorish castle, this promenade now acts as the focal point to the town. Visitors to Nerja and locals spend hours strolling round the area, soaking up the coastline views, admiring the 17th century Church of El Salvador and sipping drinks in the local bars. The 10 or more beaches in Nerja range from small coves accessible by steps down from the cliff, to expansive sandy beaches such as Burriana.

No trip to Nerja would be complete without a visit to the caves. Las Cuevas de Nerja were only discovered in 1959, and are home to the world’s largest stalactite column. Prepare to be seriously impressed. For something a little different, come to the Nerja Caves festival throughout summer. The natural auditorium in the caves with an incredible acoustic, plays host to a variety of concerts and the experience is something that you will never forget.

Nerja How to get there?

Hopefully you are now suitably curious enough to consider Nerja for your next holiday. But we all know how much of a drag travelling can be. Well thankfully it isn’t too bad. A 3 hour flight to Malaga, sometimes a bit quicker with a tail wind, and you reach the nearest airport. You can fly to Almeria or Granada too, but Malaga is the handiest to get to Nerja.

Does it make sense to hire a car?

Car hire in Spain can be pretty stressful. And who needs stress on their holidays. But can you enjoy Nerja without a car? Thankfully yes. The journey from the airport to Nerja is around 45 miles / 65 km and takes 50 minutes by taxi (€60). The bus takes a little longer via Malaga (90 minutes), but it is cheaper (€6).  Just pick the right journey for your budget.

If you stay close to Nerja old town, you can walk everywhere and it is mostly flat. If you stay in the urbanisations on the periphery of the town, such as Capistrano village, be prepared for a 20 to 30 minute walk to the old town. If you don’t fancy the uphill walk home at the end of a tiring day, taxis are pretty cheap and plentiful. There are also regular buses to Granada to see the spectacular Alhambra Palace, to Frigiliana, voted one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, or to further afield such as Sevilla or Gibraltar. You can also visit water parks and golf courses by bus. So there is plenty to keep you occupied.

On Holiday with a baby / toddler

We have both so I can speak from experience here.  Nerja is fantastic for family holidays. Although I use the word ‘holiday’ loosely because we all know its not really a ‘holiday’ when you travel with babies and young children! However, Nerja, and Spain in general is very welcoming and accommodating to families with small children. Spanish families traditionally go out pretty late in the evening, so you won’t get the disapproving looks if the little people aren’t in bed by 7.30pm. There are lots of things to do with children, but a little hint would be to stay close to the old town and consider going in May/June or September/October. Trying to negotiate steep hills and narrow pavements with a double buggy is not for the faint hearted. Plus the weather is a little cooler and there are less crowds. Overall, visiting Nerja with a baby or toddler is definitely recommended. And the chances are your kids will come back to this beautiful town when they have their own children too.

Is Nerja safe?

Nerja is a really nice place. It attracts a more discerning visitor. If you are looking for drinking competitions and drunken debauchery look elsewhere. It is a year-round destination so it isn’t deserted in the winter like some other places. It has a slightly more ‘mature’ vibe in the winter months. In fairness, who wouldn’t want to escape the miserable weather back home! But is Nerja safe? The answer is yes, but the reality is that there is crime is everywhere. Pickpockets and car thieves may be active, especially in the summer months, so keep your valuables hidden and follow the usual advice to minimise risk.

Is Nerja expensive?

Nerja is more upmarket than some of the better known tourist spots on the Costa Del Sol. But you can certainly tailor your holiday to your budget. It is possible to eat and drink very cheaply in Nerja. Many of the bars offer free tapas with each drink you buy, and some of the restaurants offer main courses for less than €5. If you want a more upmarket restaurant, you will pay around €20 -25 per main course. There are over 300 restaurants in Nerja. The choice is yours.

Beautiful Nerja
Image by Manolo Franco from Pixabay

Staying in Nerja hotels can be a little more expensive than further down the coast. But you might argue that you get what you pay for. There are also some really lovely and very reasonable hostels, and renting apartments in Nerja is very popular and good value too.  Property on the other hand is quite expensive. Particularly with a recent influx of Scandanavian buyers looking for some year round sunshine.

So why visit Nerja?

Because it is beautiful, friendly, authentic and captivating. It has a special feel that is difficult to describe. You really just have to experience the Nerja magic for yourself. Then when you get home and everyone asks ‘so is Nerja worth visiting’? You can tell them yes, it is beautiful. But shhhhh! Don’t tell everyone.

Search

August 2019

  • M
  • T
  • W
  • T
  • F
  • S
  • S
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31

September 2019

  • M
  • T
  • W
  • T
  • F
  • S
  • S
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30