Are you planning your trip to Southern Spain and you would like to spent some time on the beach? Let me introduce you the Andalucian white village on Costa del Sol with narrow streets, white-washed houses, incredible sea views and rocky coastline. I’m talking about Nerja, the place where you can find the Balcony of Europe. Nerja makes a perfect holiday destination for every sea lover. The beaches of Nerja can satisfy everyone (except those who really prefer less crowded beaches). Here’s what you need to know about this charming town before your visit. I will show you beautiful beaches, amazing food and I give you tips on what to do in Nerja.
COSTA DEL SOL
Coming to Costa del Sol means finding beautiful landscapes, fabulous beaches, great weather and delicious food. Without doubt the Costa del Sol is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Stretching from Almeria to Tarifa, it offers something for everyone to enjoy.
How did Nerja end up on my list when I was planning my two-week Andalucia itinerary? I knew that it would feel great to relax on the beach after spending some active days in stunning cities of Southern Spain, so I’ve decided to make a plan that would include at least two or three destinations by the sea.
I came across Nerja by accident when I was reading about white villages in Andalucia and I knew that I want to visit at least one white village. The village Frigiliana caught my attention and I was looking at the Google Maps to get some inspiration on what to see near Frigiliana. Initially I wanted to spend some nights in Malaga and just do the day trip to Frigiliana, but then Nerja caught my eye and I’ve decided to spend some nights there instead of Malaga. It looked like Nerja had everything that a perfect coastal destination needs – a lot of sun, beautiful sea and beautiful coastline.
Where is Nerja located on Costa del Sol?
The town is a located 50 kilometers east of Malaga city connected by the A-7 coastal highway. It can be easily reached from Malaga, Granada or Almeria. One of the best ways to get there (and also the cheapest) is by bus. There are many departures from Malaga bus station (located right next to the train station Maria Zambrano and metro station El Perchel), so this is very convenient if you’re coming from other city with the train. There is no train line to Nerja, so you must get on the bus if you’re using the public transport. One-way ticket will cost you 5€.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT
With its location on sunny Costa del Sol with average 300 days of sunshine a year you will probably be lucky with weather. The hottest are summer months between June and September. In May and October you are likely to have nice weather with pleasant temperatures. You can still sit outside in winter months. If you are interested in swimming the best time to visit is during summer months as the water temperature sometimes feels cold because of the Atlantic coming in.
Now that we know where exactly is Nerja located and when is the best time to visit let’s go to the top things on what to do in Nerja.
Beaches of Nerja
If you are asking yourself what to do in Nerja, going to the beach is one of the best things one can do there. I am completely sure that you will love the beaches in Nerja. With sandy beaches, crystal clear water and picturesque coastline the beaches look very inviting. The most popular beaches are Playa Calahonda and Playa el Salon, located directly to the Balcon de Europa and Burriana (favorite between locals and visitors). On Burriana beach you can also enjoy in delicious food – the speciality is paella in Ayo. The paella is always prepared fresh and it’s made over a wood fire for the ultimate smokey flavor.
Calahonda Beach, Chorillo Beach, and Carabeo are accessible via a footpath down the cliff but they are worth the effort for sure. The clear water and the scenery around the beaches make the beaches really special. Playa la Torrecilla is less occupied.
The beaches are in walking distance from the center so it is easy to explore the town.
Balcon de Europa – Balcony of Europe
During your visit you must visit the famous Balcon de Europa. It is a huge terrace providing a 270 degree view of the Nerja coast. It overlooks the sandy beaches and cliffs below. You can see many of Nerja beaches, the Mediterranean sea that stretches for miles and Sierra de Almijara and that’s the main reason why this place is so popular among locals and tourists. The Balcon de Europa is basically the center of the town as this is where everything in Nerja happens. While in the evenings the plaza is full of people strolling, hanging out and eating ice cream, Balcon de Europa is a very peaceful place to go early in the morning. It is a perfect place for sunset watching.
You should be able to find this place easily. Just make sure you are walking towards the sea and you can’t miss it. There are signs all around Nerja so you just have to follow them in case you get lost.
Enjoy the sunset
There are many wonderful spots to watch the sunset in Nerja. You can do it from the Balcony of Europe or from one of the beaches.
Wander the narrow streets
While Nerja doesn’t have Andalucian charm of the cities like Seville and Cordoba do, it still felt very authentic. It’s one of the most visited destinations on Costa del Sol. The old town is a maze of little narrow streets with shops and tapas bars. I absolutely loved walking around the Andalucian towns and Nerja was no exception. I can’t emphasise how beautiful are the streets in Nerja.
Visit Frigiliana & Nerja Caves
The beautiful village of Frigiliana is located 5km from the centre of Nerja. I think that this village is one of the most charming places in Spain. Whitewashed houses, small charming streets, colourful door frames, colorful flower pots, cute little shops and many handcraft stores are perfect to describe Frigiliana.
The Nerja Caves are one of the biggest tourist attractions. Stretching for almost 5 km underground they are made by the formation of karstic cavities. They’re also home to the world’s largest stalagmite. Part of the cave system is so large they have created a theater inside the cave, known as the Waterfall room or “Sala Cascada”, to hold a dance and music festival known as the Nerja Cave Festival or “Festival de las Cuevas de Nerja”.
To visit Frigiliana & Nerja Caves you can take a ride or local bus.
Nerja for foodies
Eating in Nerja is an experience. You will find a lot of tapas bars around the town. Because of the town’s large international population (one-third of Nerja’s population is made of foreigners, lots of them are British) many cuisines are represented in the town. There are many great restaurants for every taste. Eating and drinking is one of my favourite activities when traveling and Nerja fulfilled my expectations. You won’t stay hungry there.
There are many wonderful things to do in Andalucia and Costa del Sol has so much to offer to any tourist. If you are planning a visit to Málaga, be sure to make at least a day trip to Nerja. Nerja is magical and beautiful, but still accessible to any kind of traveler.
Have you ever been to Costa del Sol? What is your favourite place there?