Once a small fishing village, Nerja has blossomed into one of Spain’s most popular holiday destinations. Blessed with beautiful, sun-kissed beaches and tiny, secluded coves, Nerja holidays are ideal for families and couples who want to spend some quality downtime together. However, there’s much more to holidays to Nerja than soaking up the sun and splashing about in the sea: a town with a long and fascinating past, there are great sites and hundreds of years of history in between the golden beaches and buzzing plazas. The resort is home to one of Spain’s most visited sites, the vast pre-historic caves known as the Cuevas de Nerja. Along with dozens of bars and restaurants to please foodies, Nerja holidays have a little something for everyone.
Nerja is best for…
Sightseers: Nerja has a rich and fascinating history, which has left some superb attractions in its wake. Take a visit to the prehistoric Caves of Nerja or see some natural wonders at the Almijara and Alhara National Park.
Beach lovers: Whether you want a vast, golden sweep of sand or a secluded, tranquil cove, there’s sure to be a beach with your name on it!
Foodies: There are some fantastic restaurants in the town, from traditional tavernas serving rustic dishes such as anchovies with olives, to fine-dining establishments serving mouth-watering meals such as fresh scallops with asparagus.
Nerja Fast Facts
Language: While the language spoken in Nerja is Spanish, the locals have a good command of English, so you won’t need to pack a phrasebook.
Currency: You’ll need to exchange your Sterling for Euros, before flying off on your Nerja holiday.
Local time: Nerja is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Malaga Airport. The transfer time to Nerja is 1 hour.
Flight time from UK: The flight time to Nerja is 2.5 hours.
Tourist Information: Further Nerja tourist information can be found at www.spain.info
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Nerja.
Nerja Weather and Climate
Temperature: Highs of 30°C in August.
Best time to visit: May and June for the best beach weather.
Nerja enjoys over 300 days of sunshine each year, meaning there’s rarely a bad time to visit! The summers are long and hot, while the winters are reliably mild. For the best sightseeing conditions, book your break in the spring or autumn when the mercury hovers in the low-to-mid-twenties. July and August are the hottest months, with temperatures that stray into the low thirties.
Getting Around Nerja
By bus: Nerja has a regular and affordable bus service that connects the beach and town. The bus is also useful for day trips, with a service running to nearby resorts like Almeria.
By taxi: Taxis are an easy way to make short journeys, and there are plenty of taxi ranks located throughout the town. You can also flag down a passing cab if you see one. It’s worth remembering that taxis cost more in the evenings and weekends.
On foot: Nerja is small enough to navigate on foot, and the waterfront area in particular is a pleasant place to walk.
Nerja Feria: Held each October, in honour of the town’s patron saint, San Miguel, the feria is one of the most exciting events in the local calendar. Over the course of a week you can expect colourful parades, funfairs, live music and plenty of eating and drinking.
Beach party: The Festival of San Juan celebrates the summer solstice and the birth of Saint John, during the last week of June. With the warm weather already kicking in, locals camp on the beach and build bonfires. There’s an old ritual of washing in the sea at midnight, after which you can expect fantastic fireworks, live music and plenty of partying!
Things to do Around Nerja
Despite being famed for its fabulous beaches, Nerja offers plenty of other activities and things to see and do. Its on-your-doorstep caves offer 4km of prehistoric paintings, Stone Age relics and subterranean stalactites and stalagmites. However, if you prefer to be above ground and soaking up the sun, the coast is full of award-winning beaches and secluded bays. Foodies will find a gastronomic adventure almost everywhere they go, from beachfront tavernas selling traditional paella, to the restaurants in town serving everything from fast-food to authentic Italian meals. For a crafty cocktail, visit one of the bars in the cosmopolitan Plaza Tutti Frutti.
Beaches: Nerja’s beaches sit in between dramatic rocky headlines thick with greenery, with views of the majestic Sierra Almijaras mountains. The largest beach is Playa Burriana, a Blue Flag award winner that’s popular for its central location. Fringed with palm trees and with a glistening clear shore, the beach is the ideal place for long, leisurely beach days eating lunch on the sunny promenade and trying out the watersports. For a little peace and quiet, the best place is Playa el Salon, a secluded little bay with fine, soft sand and a tranquil atmosphere.
Attractions: The biggest attraction in the area is Cuevas de Nerja. Reaching for nearly 4km, the caves are believed to be millions of years old and were inhabited by Stone Age man, who left behind some astonishing cave paintings and relics to see. After your underground adventures, pay a visit to the nearby Balcon de Europe: a large stone balcony set high in the side of a cliff with spectacular panoramic views over the coast and Sierra Almijaras mountains. Centuries ago, the site was the watchtower of a fortress. Today it makes the perfect place to soak up the scenery and shoot a snap or two.
Eating and Drinking
If you’re looking for a delicious, leisurely dinner, you’ll find plenty of places to eat. Tapas bars are very popular, where you get to try a little bit of everything. Head to the seafront and you’ll find restaurants serving traditional paella and fresh seafood. There’s even the occasional beach shack serving skewered sardines cooked on open grills. For a night on the tiles, make for the superbly-named Plaza Tutti Frutti. By day, this leafy square is a quiet and pleasant meeting point and a popular dining spot. As dusk creeps in, the younger crowd hits its Irish pubs and dance clubs, which stay open until the early hours.