Fancy a break in the ‘Jewel of the Costa del Sol’? This is the nickname for Nerja, which is a coastal Spanish resort that doesn't always get the recognition it deserves. The ocean meets the land and fertile greenery in Nerja, which is based approximately 60 kilometres from the airport. No matter what month you choose to visit, the weather will not disappoint.
This municipality is located in the Malaga province on the Costa del Sol's eastern tip. Sunshine illuminates the whitewashed villages for approximately 300 days per year, and since most sights are based just a short drive away, Nerja is a superb base for explorers.
During the summer months, numerous concerts are held around the resort town, where you can stroll along the Balcón de Europa, a seafront promenade with mountain and Mediterranean views. This promenade is positioned above the cliff side coves and natural cavern, Cueva de Nerja. Whether you book a Nerja holiday to drink sangria at oceanfront bars, bathe in natural hot springs, or make a splash at the area water parks, this resort at the foothills of Sierra de Almijara will satisfy all of the senses.
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 3h 0m
When to go
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Imagine standing on a former fortress that was once used to prevent invasions from British pirates. Pretty cool, right? This is exactly what you can do when you’re on holiday in Nerja, because this tourist resort is home to the Balcón de Europa, or the Balcony of Europe. If you’re intrigued by natural formations, the Cueva de Nerja caves will fascinate and astound you. This series of caves stretches for five kilometres, and the tourist attraction is a popular venue for concerts. Some other recommended attractions include the Church of El Salvador and the ancient ruins at Aqueduct of El Aguila.
Tapas bars are plentiful in Nerja, where the food scene is varied and suits all budgets. Most of the 300-plus local restaurants serve traditional Spanish foods, such as tortilla espanola, paella, and a selection of cured meats, like chorizo. If you want to be wined and dined in style when on holiday in Nerja, order the steak drizzled in black truffle sauce at the Oliva Restaurant, tuck into a Thai green curry at Tapas Plaza, or feast on pizza and pasta with an ocean view at Vitaliano Da Christina. Wash down your food with a potent Spanish wine, like Temporanillo or Rioja.
Swimming pools, kids' clubs, and nightly hotel entertainment should be enough to keep young ones occupied during your time in Nerja. When you feel like venturing outside of your hotel to make fond memories with the family, the Nerja caves are a must. Renting a pedalo and gliding across the water to concealed coves is another great way to spend time with the family, as are sea kayaking adventures. Thanks to its convenient location near Almuñecar, you can drive to two different water parks in 15 minutes from Nerja. Mini golf parks and entertainment centres are also easily accessible.
Action & Adventure
Aside from snorkelling and swimming, a holiday to Nerja presents the typical active individual with plenty of hiking opportunities. Marvel at the spectacular coastline from a height by hiking to the top of the Reserva Natural Acantilados De Maro-Cerro Gordo. These cliffs and the surrounding area are protected. Notice the wild olive trees, pine trees and sea lavender in this natural environment, which is a habitat for badgers, lizards, foxes and more. Sea kayak excursions, jeep tours, safaris and day trips to Frigiliana will also satisfy the adventurer within.
You might be surprised to discover that there are a total of 12 beautiful beaches snuggled within the borders of Nerja, including Playa El Cañuelo, Playa Alberquillas and Las Calas del Pino. If you’re on the hunt for underwater caves and secret waterfalls, pack your beach bag and spend the entire day at Playa de Maro. The water is just as clear here as it is on Burriana beach. One of the cleanest beaches in the area is Playa de Alberquillas. This beach makes up part of Acantilados de Maro nature reserve. Don't miss an opportunity to sunbathe on the beaches of Las Calas del Pino, Playa El Cañuelo, Playa de Torrecilla and Playa El Salón, too.
The great thing about booking a holiday to Nerja is that the nightlife scene presents something for everyone. You won't have trouble finding a social spot that remains open until the early hours of the morning, nor will you have trouble sleeping due to disturbances from drunk holidaymakers. Most of the action takes place around Plaza Tutti Frutti, so you can let your hair down in the hub of nightlife activity, before retreating to your hotel for a good night's sleep.
Live music, special events, and a medley of cocktails are on offer at La Guarida, Tamareo, O'Malleys, and Rockefeller. Alternatively, experience something completely different by watching flamenco entertainment at El Burro Blanco.
Whether you’re married, in a relationship, or simply want to impress someone special, a holiday to Nerja will not disappoint. When you’re not filling up on Spanish cuisine in a romantic restaurant, take a moment to witness the rocky mountain range at Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park. This protected park is located close to the ‘lost’ village of Acebuchal. Stroll along the cobblestone streets and feel the sun heating up your skin, before stopping by at one of the quaint cafés.
One of the best ways to soak up the culture of Nerja is to stroll around the centre, where an exhibition and theatre captures the area's history in a fascinating way. Head to the famous caves at the beginning of your trip to get a feel for Nerja heritage, where traditional flamenco shows, concerts, and theatrical performances are held year round.
Listen to quintessential Spanish music and watch as ballet dancers don vintage costumes by watching an Andalusian show, or venture to the Department of Culture for a glimpse into the three main elements of Nerja culture – art, photography and dance.
Not sure how to converse with the locals when you go on holiday to Nerja? Say a friendly ‘hola’ to greet a Spaniard or ‘adios’ when you’re saying goodbye. Asking the question, ‘¿Cuánto cuesta?’ (How much does it cost?) will help you to stick to a budget and a simple ‘Por favor’ (please) will demonstrate good manners.