Destinations Europe

First Impressions Of Nerja, Spain

When it comes to the Costa del Sol, I’m sure we are not the only ones who think of high rise buildings, cheap package holidays and the 1970s. Yes, we know this is a lazy stereotype and things have changed over the years but still, those memories of watching Cliff Michelmore and “Holiday ’77” remain.

The Costa del Sol is also home to some higher-end resorts such as Marbella and Puerto Banús. However, these seem to be full of ex ‘Love Island’ types and the marina is now littered with the seized yachts of Russian oligarchs. Not really our ‘cup of tea’.

So are there any Costa del Sol resorts that aren’t full of high rise blocks or overtanned gangsters in Bentley convertibles? Apparently, Nerja is one of those resorts. With this in mind, we made Nerja our first stop on our Andalucia road trip and here are our first impressions.

Arriving In Nerja

The Balcony Of Europe, Nerja

Nerja is only 45 minutes from Malaga airport and as you drive into the town, you are not greeted by a wall of large hotels. Ironically, after mentioning high rise blocks, we did stay in one of the largest hotels, the Hotel Riu Monica.

We visited in March and although not hot, the daily high was a pleasant 21°C. Coming from a wet and grey UK, this was very welcome. At night you did need long sleeves. “Don’t forget your cardy”, says Mellissa.

Nerja Town

Nerja Old Town

The town is a popular tourist resort but it still retains a traditional Spanish town feel. A whitewashed church and Anadulcian style buildings, the narrow streets of the old town and sunny squares in which to sit out and enjoy a drink (or two).

A Brit Abroad On the Costa del Sol

Just, like a Brit abroad – a pint of lager in the sun! There are a lot of cafes and bars to choose from and even the ones by the sea are very reasonably priced. Most of them are low key, relaxed and there was a definite older crowd (he says sitting there with his white hair and beard). This demographic could be due to the time of year.

Nerja Beaches

Nerja Beaches

We are in the Costa del Sol so what about the beaches? There are plenty of beaches within walking distance of the town centre and a number further along the coast. During the busier seasons, most have facilities such as lifeguards public toilets, showers and snack bars on the beach or very close. Burriana is the most popular beach in Nerja to the east of the town and there is the Playa de la Calahonda and the Playa el Salón on either side of the Balcón de Europa in the centre of town.

The beach directly in front of our hotel was the Playa la Torrecilla which is popular with tourists due to its proximity to the hotels. Although in March, the water was still a bit too cold for most and the waves were still surprisingly large.

Overall Impressions

Overall, we enjoyed our short stay in Nerja. The town still had a Spanish feel and wasn’t too big. There was a variety of bars and restaurants and a relaxed atmosphere. As mentioned, it’s not a place for Z-List celebrity poseurs or drunken lads. (Just slightly quieter drunken fifty-somethings)

We would stay in Nerja again. It would be interesting to return to see how it compares in the height of summer to February and March.

Our Andalucian road trip continues…

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  • Kiddy Kath
    April 18, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    As a regular visitor to Nerja its main selling point is the Tapas bars and restaurants . The majority if which provide a free tapas with a drink and can be found all over the town . The people are friendly and welcoming and that’s what makes you return year after year .