With white powdery sands and sparkling clear seas set against a dramatic mountain backdrop, Nerja holidays encompass the typical beauty of a Spanish beach getaway.
While much of the Costa del Sol is well developed and home to modernised infrastructure to help cater to an influx of tourists, Nerja provides a more tranquil and traditional flavour of this region of Spain. The town was originally a fishing village, but is now a resort with a superb choice of hotel and self-catering accommodation, while still retaining its original character.
The town is located in the foothills of the beautiful mountainous area of Sierra de Almijara, contributing some stunning surrounding scenery and hiking opportunities. One of the most impressive sites attributed to the area’s landscape is the El Puente de Aguila, an incredible 19th century aqueduct that is one of the iconic images of Nerja.
Sandy beaches, picturesque mountain scenery and a whitewashed old town await you when you embark on Nerja holidays.
Most popular hotels in Nerja
Nerja, Costa del Sol
Mediterraneo Apartments Nerja
Nerja, Costa del Sol
Marinas de Nerja
Nerja, Costa del Sol
Balcon De Europa
Nerja, Costa del Sol
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Spanish
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 3h 30m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Getaways to Nerja are for those who want to relax in laid back settings brimming with sunshine and sea. This jewel of the Andalusian coast will have you seriously considering the logistics of a move to sunny Spain! Spend every day on the beach topping up your tan or take a day trip to explore the neighbouring towns of the Costa del Sol. Discover the best part where sun meets the seaside and discover the wealth of Nerja attractions on offer.
Wine and Dine
Like on any holiday in the Costa del Sol, one of the more rewarding things to do in Nerja is to eat. The south of Spain is known for its abundance of delectable dishes and you can find tons of Andalusian food in Nerja. Dive into tapas with a drink in hand at the bars or indulge in some rich gazpacho soup, dig into the tortilla or Spanish omelette, and embrace olive oil and beautifully sliced ham. Churros are a delicious Spanish invention that can be found everywhere from Seville to the Costa del Sol. Vegetarians may not find the cuisine of Nerja that varied but meat lovers and pescatarians will be in heaven here; there’s always sangria and San Miguel on offer too!
Take the whole family down to Playa Burriana for some fun in the sun. You can relax on the pebble-sand beach while the kids enjoy a range of water sports from water-skiing to sailing. One of the sweetest things to do in Nerja is spending the late afternoon in the shade of Tropy Sol, the kids with some ice cream and you with a coffee in hand. For the best place to grab some mementos of the trip, check out the Tuesday Market just off the Calle Hernando de Carabeo. Take a bus to nearby Torrox Costa or Torre del Mar for more beach time or further west to Malaga to really dive into southern Spanish culture.
Action and Adventure
Holidays in Nerja serve up a lot more than just a stereotypical beach break. You’ll find many things to do besides hitting the water or snoozing on the sand.
If you’re looking for adventure, there are plenty of aquatic Nerja attractions for the active holidaymaker. Travel down the coast and get fitted with some snorkelling gear to observe the variety of marine life underneath the waves. You can also get certified and improve your diving skills in the open water at Buceo Costa Nerja, so you can take advantage of the underwater opportunities. Originally a fishing village, you can hire a boat and explore the coast on the water like a true sailing pro.
You can take a jeep tour of the fabulous Sierra de Almijara which is a fantastic way of exploring this rugged and attractive landscape. The tour will give you the opportunity to learn more about the flora and fauna of this area – keep your eyes peeled for the resident mountain goats known locally as Ibex.
Check out the Balcony of Europe, a reconstructed promenade in the centre of town with spectacular coastal views. The area is surrounded by cafes, ice cream stands and street performers, as well as an alluring glass-walled restaurant that hangs precariously above the ocean below.
For a proper taste of the Costa del Sol, visitors to Nerja can take part in a cookery class at the local Sticky Fingers Cookery School. The classes are aimed at families, meaning that it is a perfect experience for kids too. You can cook up a tasty and traditional Andalusian dish before gobbling your creation among your new friends.
Life's a Beach
One of the primary attractions of this region is predictably the wonderful expanse of coastline, adorned with white, sandy beaches and sparkling blue seas. To embrace the sedate ethos of this resort, heading east of Nerja town you’ll find Burrina beach with its mixture of fine sand and pebbles where you can hire sunbeds and relax with a good book. If you prefer to get active by the sea the resort has all types of watersports, including water skiing, sailing and scuba diving – providing you with the perfect beach holiday balance.
The summer months will undoubtedly provide you with the best of the weather, with top temperatures experienced between June and September and an average high of 30C enjoyed in July and August. This will treat you to great beach weather, which you’ll welcome once you begin to tick off the 13-strong beach list that awaits you.
There are a myriad of accommodation options that will keep you close to the water, including some impressive 4-star hotels and various self-catering options that are perfect for families flocking to the Costa del Sol for long holidays in Nerja.
If you’re a holidaymaker looking to make the very best of both day and night, you’re in luck! Once the sun goes down, Nerja comes to life and it all starts in the vibrant ‘Plaza Tutti Frutti’. Whether you’re in search of bustling bars, lively restaurants or even a bit of live music, you’ll find it all in this nightlife hub of Nerja. From a pint of guinness met with good old Irish hospitality to traditional flamenco dancing - you’ll find yourself returning to the plaza night after night.
If you want more than just a beach holiday, the town is just 3km from the fascinating Caves of Nerja which boast amazing archaeological treasures, including paintings that are over 20,000 years old as well as prehistoric remains. If you’re planning your Nerja holidays in the summer months then you may want to time it with the annual International Cave Festival. This will allow you to enjoy the top entertainers that travel far and wide to perform in the enormous caverns – you won’t experience better acoustics than those found in these venues!
The winter sun and cooler temperatures enjoyed in January and February contributes to one of the best times to visit Nerja, especially if you’re more interested in walking around the old town and surrounding countryside. The crowds will be smaller and the streets a lot quieter. Look out for the pretty El Salvador Church and the Rio Chillar Waterfall. Pick up the free Nerja Walks guidebook for some great route suggestions if you’ve packed your walking boots.
Little Nerja is home to some impressive landmarks, most of all the Cueva de Nerja. These large caverns are located just off the highway, easily accessible by bus from Malaga and Nerja except on Sunday. You can walk along four kilometres of the complex that was once inhabited by Palaeolithic hunters and it is brimming with wondrous rock formations. Come here in the summer for dance performances including ballet and flamenco. The town’s museum, aptly named Museo de Nerja, holds various displays of artefacts from the nearby cave all the way up to the 1960s or so, enabling visitors to get a good look at the town’s heritage. Take the kids to see skeletons and various stone tools from way back when and get to really know Nerja’s more recent past. If you’re looking for some live displays of culture, look no further than the Centro Cultural Villa de Nerja for a yearlong programme of a variety of music and dance, especially flamenco.
Like the rest of Spain, Nerja is big on festivals and one of the best Nerja attractions is to participate in some local fun. Time your summer holidays to coincide with the Noche de San Juan on June 23rd for the ultimate beach party festival this side of Malaga. Watch the residents bring out the barbecues for a dazzling array of seafood dishes, including delicious sardines, all promptly washed down with a selection of beer and wine. The 16th of July marks the celebration of the Virgen del Carmen, the patron saint of fishermen who gets her own elaborate procession in fishing boats as well as the town centre.