If you haven’t visited the Costa del Sol before, it’s the long stretch of coastline in Southern Spain. Famous for its sandy beaches and selection of holiday resorts. The area attracts beach lovers who want to bask in the Spanish sunshine and swim in the cool Mediterranean waters. Travelers who want to explore the many Andalusian towns and cities, admiring the Spanish architecture. Food lovers who want nothing more than to indulge in all the delicious seafood and local wines.
On my most recent trip, I visited the town of Nerja for the first time and instantly fell in love. Nerja is the jewel of the Costa del Sol. It really is the prettiest coastal Spanish town I have seen. It has stunning beaches, amazing view-points, great restaurants and bars but most importantly has maintained the old Spanish charm and beauty that many resorts in this part of Spain have sadly lost.
Nerja, is a must visit spot if you are traveling to Southern Spain. Let me tell you a little bit more about what Nerja has to offer and see if you fall in love with it as much as I have.
Nerja is a coastal town in Andalucia on the Costa del Sol, situated between Malaga and Almeria. Through history it has been occupied by the Romans, Arabs and Moors and touches of each era can be seen throughout the towns architecture.
A collection of beaches are below the cliff drop from the town. The most stunning panoramic views can be seen from the Balcón de Europa, a viewing platform that was once a fortress.
The beaches of Nerja
Playa Calahonda is the first beach you can see from the Balcón view and can be accessed via steps set between the buildings that overlook the cliff drop. It’s a small secluded cove, surrounded by vegetation and lined with rustic umbrellas.
Walk along this sandy beach at low-tide, past the rocky outcrops to Playa Carabeillo and the larger Burriana. Here the beaches have plenty of loungers, water sport activities and beach-side bars. The perfect place to spend an afternoon while looking up at the magnificent mountain back drop.
Or take the clifftop path that runs above the beach alongside the bougainvillea and in-between the coastal properties.
The town of Nerja
Nerja town is a maze of streets offering shopping and dining options to suit all tastes and needs. Palm trees line the Balcón de Europa where people stop to see the views and listen to buskers playing Flamenco guitar.
The towns plazas are filled with outdoor seating and fragrant orange trees. It’s easy to wander and get lost amongst the pretty white washed buildings with their ornate balconies and decorative plant pots.
What to see and do in Nerja
Diving and snorkelling
There is a family run diving centre in Nerja near Burriana beach. You can do a PADI dive course or enjoy snorkelling and boat trips.
Along the coast here you can enjoy other smaller and quieter beaches. Playa de la Cala is a secluded stony beach great for snorkelling. Playa de Alberquilla is natural beach that doesn’t get too busy. La Caleta de Maro was recently hailed as the best beach in Andalucia by a Spanish tv show.
Rugged nature trails are plentiful in Andalucia and there are a few lovely walks within easy reach of Nerja. If you feel like taking a peaceful hike through the natural park lands head to either Rio Chillar to see the waterfalls or El Acebuchal the so called lost village up in the mountains. Guided walks can be organised with locals if you are not a season hiker.
Nerja caves or “Cueva de Nerja” in Spanish, are a collection of interesting historic natural caves located just outside of the town. A large section of the caves is open to the public and you can wander and explore the beauty of the impressive stalagmites created over thousands of years. Take the audio tour or a guided tour for extra info and it’s a good idea to book tickets in advance.
Inland just a short bus to taxi ride from Nerja is a cute village called Frigiliana. A very quintessential, cluster of whitewashed, hillside Spanish houses. Perfect for wandering through, photographing and stopping for the odd snack or glass of local wine.
*RELATED article: For more information about what the Costa del Sol has to offer read – My trip to the Costa del Sol
Getting to Nerja
The nearest airport to Nerja is Malaga. There is no bus direct from the airport to Nerja town but if you go into Malaga city bus station it’s 1 hour drive from there. Alsa coaches drive the route frequently every day ticket prices are €5 each way.
When you arrive in Nerja the bus will stop on the main road just North of the town and beaches. It’s a 10 min walk from there.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to Nerja in Spain and found the information useful. If you have visited Nerja, one of the nearby beaches or many attractions tell us all about in the comments box below.
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