Nerja lies on the eastern most tip of the Costa del Sol, where the mountains meet the sea. Some 50 kilometres from Malaga it is around 45 minutes drive on the A7 motorway.
Once a sleepy fishing village, Nerja has retained its Andalucian character, particularly in the old quarter with its narrow cobbled streets and whitewashed houses. The tradition is set to remain thanks to enforced restrictions on development of the town.
At the heart of the town is the Balcon de Europa, a palm tree lined promenade built along the edge of a cliff and out to sea with panoramic views of the Mediterranean and Nerja's nine sandy beaches stretching to over 16 kilometres in total.
Flanked and protected by the mighty Sierra Almijara mountain range Nerja is said to have the best Climate in the entire Costa del Sol, not to mention the dramatic scenery the mountains provide.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from, many retaining their typical Andalucian charm, plus of course a great variety of international cuisine on offer.
The restaurants on Burriana Beach, notably Ayo's, provide the spectacle of Paella being cooked in huge pans over open log fires, catering for up to 100 people at a time. Spanish families flock here on Sunday lunchtimes.
Shopping is plentiful and there is a local market every Tuesday.
All major watersports are catered for. Walks are endless, guided Nerja walks if you prefer and even the Sierra Nevada ski resort is only 2 hours away! Or if you prefer take an exciting day out on a Jeep Tour of Nerja and the mountains beyond. There is always plenty to see and do in Nerja.
Nerja's most spectacular attraction has to be its caves. The Cueva De Nerja is regarded as one of the most historic monuments of the world, with archeological remains dating back to the Paleolithic Age (about 20,000 years ago). One of the enormous natural caverns has been transformed into a concert hall where many performances are staged. Take a Virtual tour of the Cuevas de Nerja by clicking here.
Frigiliana, the most picturesque whitewashed Andalucian mountain village is just 6km away and is well worth a visit. If you have not hired a car there are frequent buses or arranged trips. Also within driving distance or by arranged trips are Granada, Seville, Ronda and Gibraltar.
A great deal of Nerja's charm comes from its narrow winding streets but they also can make finding your way around Nerja quite confusing. As so many streets in Nerja are one-way and many are pedestrianised, driving in the town of Nerja itself can be quite confusing so the first rule is dump the car. The first place to head for is the Balcon de Europa, this peninsula provides a spectacular point to view Neja's coastline and the peninsula behind is a great place to sit and watch the world go by. From the Balcon you can take a ride in a horse drawn carriage and start to learn your way around Nerja the easy way.
The Balcon de Europa is a treat at night when it is beautifully lit and street performers of all kinds come into their own.
Heading away from the Balcon to your right you will find interesting shops along Calle Pintada and Calle Cristo. Calle Cristo is also the central hub of Nerja's many restaurants. Return past the Balcon along either El Barrio or Diputacion you will find more bars and restaurants and these roads lead you to Castilla Perez - the busy High Street of Nerja.
Night Life in Nerja is mainly about eating - there are now over 200 restaurants in Nerja. However if late nights are what you are after it can be found beyond Castilla Perez in Antonio Millon and the adjacent Plaza Tutti Frutti. These are wall to wall with bars, many of them with dancing. This part of town doesn't come to life much before midnight and stays open into the small hours.
Nerja has its share of Sports Bars so you do not need to miss out on the British football, rugby, cricket, horse racing and other sports.
Nerja's biggest and busiest beach is Burriana to the east. There are many beach bars and restaurants but the most notable is Ayo's. Ayo cooks a huge paella over an open fire which serves hundreds at a time. Spanish families flock here at weekends and Ayo himself has become something of a celebrity. He has featured on many holiday programmes and is always happy to be photographed and have a chat. our apartments are closest to this beach.
Between Burriana and the Balcon you will find the beaches Carabeo, El Chorillo and Calahonda which is accessed from the Balcon.
Nerja is frequently described as the Costa Del Sol's best kept secret. However Nerja has a best kept secret of its own. Beyond the Balcon and behind the church is an alley which leads to the Salon beach. Many regulars to Nerja have either not heard of it or not found it. Continuing west you will find Torrecilla and El Playazo beaches, both accessed from Castilla Perez.
The Nerja Caves are now one of the biggest attractions in Spain, visited by hundreds of thousands each year. The caves are on the outskirts of Nerja near to the village of Maro and are served by the local buses. If you are visiting Nerja in July then try to get tickets for the annual festival. Famous international artists perform in the beautiful underground setting of th caves. The Nerja caves are open from 10.00-14.00 and 16.00-18.30 (until 20.00 in July and August).
Whilst walking the streets on Nerja we highly recommend that you pick up a copy of SolTalk available at most bars, shops and restaurants. A local magazine covering all events, fiestas and news for Nerja and surrounding villages. The magazine also contains an excellent street map.
Your first visit to Nerja?
Look out for the Soltalk map whilst in and about town