Located just over 30 miles east of Malaga, Nerja could hardly be more ideal for a relaxing holiday. Unlike so many destinations in this region, Nerja has retained its traditional fishing-village charm, with its whitewashed houses, scenic coastline and cafe culture all helping to create a laid-back, inviting ambience.
However, there is more to this destination than tranquility alone, thanks to its array of interesting attractions, lively tapas bars, and appealing architecture. Here are some of the best reasons to choose Nerja for your next relaxing holiday.
Tranquil, fishing village atmosphere…
Of course, nothing makes more of a difference to how relaxing a holiday is than the place you’re staying. Central Nerja is made up of low buildings and winding streets, all of which exude a traditional fishing village charm – something that cannot help but create the ideal environment for unwinding. Strolling through these little streets, stopping by cafes, and meandering along the scenic coastline are perfect pastimes for a tranquil trip – and ideal ways to explore this lovely part of Spain.
When evening arrives, you can unwind with a trip to one of the vibrant local tapas bars for small, delicious plates of Spanish food washed down with some flavoursome wine.
… But within easy reach of big attractions
Part of the beauty of staying in Nerja is that it pairs tranquility with proximity to big attractions. Most famous of all Nerja’s tourist hotspots, the Nerja Caves are an absolute must-visit.
Combining incredible natural rock formations with historic cave paintings, this attraction provides so many reasons to visit. While the cave is just under 3 miles long, your visit will be kept to the Low Galleries, which makes up around a third of its total length. Highlights include viewing the cave’s amazing stalactites and stalagmites from the viewpoint in the Chamber of the Elephant’s Tusk, and admiring the cave paintings in the Torca Chamber and the Chamber of Ghosts.
The cave costs €9 for adults, €5 for children, and is free for under-sixes.
Another major nearby attraction is the city of Malaga, which can easily be reached by hire car or bus (you could also visit Nerja on a day trip from Malaga, if you are holidaying there). This historic city combines beautiful architecture with a dizzying array of wonderful art galleries, and fine cuisine too.
Delicious Nerja cuisine
Speaking of fine cuisine, Nerja is an excellent destination for food lovers, so enjoying the food here is another good reason to visit. In addition to Designation of Origin Malaga wines, which make the ideal partner to a lot of local dishes, there are plenty of meals that stem from the town itself. These include ajoblanco con uvas, which is a tempting cold soup made with almonds, oil, garlic and grapes, clams with paprika, and other seafood dishes that spring from the local shoreline, such as Burriana sea bream.
Temperate climate and tempting beaches
Another good reason to stay in Nerja is its combination of a temperate climate, with average annual temperature of 20 degrees C, and 10 miles of beaches. These provide the perfect spot to do everything from simply relaxing and soaking up the sun to trying out a variety of watersports.
For those seeking tranquility, the quietest coves, such as La Caleta, can be found close to the cliffs. As well as offering a laid-back ambience, this cove offers great water sports facilities too. The town’s major beach, meanwhile, is Burriana. Stretching for roughly 700 metres, it has all the facilities you could need.
Charming local architecture
Also drawing visitors to Nerja is the local architecture, which mixes tradition with some striking attractions. For example, strolling around the old town, it’s possible to admire Moorish-style architecture and numerous fascinating buildings, such as the hermitage of Nuestra Senora de la Angustias, the interior of which is decorated with impressive frescoes.
Also well worth a visit is the Balcon de Europa, one of the local highlights. Located on a rocky promontory, this attraction was once a fortress designed to protect the coast from pirates; today, it is a popular viewpoint that offers stunning views along the coast. What’s more, the Balcon de Europa is very much the heart of the town, acting as a stage for local festivals and celebrations, such as new year’s eve.
The streets around are completely pedestrianised, which makes this the perfect part of the town for a gentle stroll and a spot of ice cream, and there are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from in the evenings.
Find out more about holidays to Nerja.