Nerja, Malaga

Nerja is located about 25km east of Malaga city, Nerja is just about the easternmost point of the Costa del Sol and arguably where its best beaches can be found. It’s a busy tourist town during the peak summer months, but the rest of the year there is quiet, laid-back ambience about the place that feels less touristy and more Spanish than the likes of Torremolinos or Marbella. The quality of its beaches is matched by the quality of its restaurants and the famous Balcón de Europa (Europe’s Balcony) is quite brilliant, as one can see the picturesque coastline stretching away for many miles. Even in winter there is what tourists or expats would consider ‘beach weather’ in Nerja, such is the warmth of the climate and Mediterranean.

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Hotels, Bars & Restaurants in Nerja

More and more tourists are beginning to realise the holiday appeal of Nerja, yet the beach town has manged not to head in the resort-destined direction of Torremolinos and Marbella. A certain ‘fishing village’ charm has remained in Nerja, which is celebrated every year when local fisherman participate in the traditional night-time voyage to mark the Carmen de la Virgen national holiday, despite the relatively high number of hotels at its core. Here are five of the best hotels in Nerja, according to Trip Advisor:

  • Hotel Balcon de Europa (4 Star)
  • Parador de Nerja (4 Star)
  • Riu Monica (4 Star)
  • Hotel Arcos (3 Star)
  • Hotel Carabeo (3 Star)
Bars Nerja, Malaga

There isn’t too much in the way of Nerja nightlife when compared with Malaga and Marbella but there are at least a few lively bars and one or two discos to keep the party crowd entertained. Most of the pre-drinking goes on in Plaza Tutti Frutti, where there are several bars to choose from. After these close, anyone determined not to let the night die continues on to Nerja’s trendiest club – Rockafella’s, which stays open until the small hours. There are many pleasant bar-restaurants overlooking the promenade in the town centre throughout the evening.

Restaurants Nerja Malaga

You’re never more than a stone’s throw away from a top-notch seafood restaurant in Nerja; there are too many to count, and the fish are caught fresh every day, probably within a few kilometres of where you eat. For dinner, Hotel Carabeo 34 offer a delectable menu and a superb sea view from their terrace which backs on to the hotel. Oliva and Avalon are also big hits, and are consistently rated as the best restaurants in Nerja on Trip Advisor. For something simpler, you can’t go wrong with a delicious pizza or bowl of pasta from Ritorante Pizzeria Vitalianob.

Nerja Beaches

There are six beaches in Nerja town centre – even more to the east of town – and each is very beautiful, with golden sand, transparent water and a low tide. We’ve picked out a few of our favourite Nerja beaches, both in and just outside of town:

  • Playa Calahonda: If you Googled ‘Nerja Spain’ then this would be first thing you see; Playa Calahonda is the first beach to the east of the focal Balcón de Europa, and makes excellent viewing. Down on the beach it can get crowded in the summer months, since it is the closest to the town centre, but there is still room to stretch your les. Standard facilities. Restaurants and ice-cream vendors close by
  • Playa Carabeo: Beyond Playa Calahonda is Playa Carabeo, a smaller and – confusingly – much quieter beach. Perhaps it has something to do with the steep steps you must descend to get there but there are rarely very many people. The beach is also more enclosed, giving you more privacy, and there are hidden coves to the right (facing the sea) which you can swim through
  • Playa de Burriana: Further away from the centre, you must drive to get to Burriana Beach. But the trip is well worth the effort, as the water is crystal clear, the facilities are second to none and the choice of lunch-time restaurants is ample. There are one or two sports bars which show the football if this is what you’re after too
  • Playa de Maro: Further east is Nerja’s best kept secret: Maro Beach. Maro is Nerja’s younger sibling, so to speak, and attracts visitors for its underground network of stalagmite-packed caves. But most tourists don’t stay to take advantage of the beautiful beach, which offers water as clear as ay Nerja beach, white sand, splendid views and fewer crowds
  • Las Calas de Pino: Further east still – probably the very last outpost of the Costa del Sol before Granada’s Costa Tropical coastline begins – Las Calas del Pino (‘the pine coves’) is a fantastic spot for snorkelling due to the stillness and clarity of the water. The access is rather perilous – you must clamber down some steps that are not particularly safe in places, but the reward makes the risk one worth taking
Shopping in Nerja

The majority of Nerja shops are independent stores, selling a variety of labels, and can mostly be found on the town’s main pedestrianised street which connects the main roundabout and the beach, Calle Pintada. The higher-end brands have stores in Malaga, Marbella and Puerto Banus.

Golf Courses near Nerja

Nerja may be the furthest point east on the Costa del Sol but it is still within driving distance of some of the best golf courses in Spain. Some examples include:

  • Finca Cortesin Golf Club
  • La Cala Resort
  • Santa Clara Golf Marbella
  • Real Club de Golf Las Brisas
  • Los Naranjos Golf Club
  • Aloha Golf
  • Torrequebrada Golf
  • La Quinta Golf & Club Country
International Schools near Nerja

There are no international schools in Nerja but there is one very nearby in Almuñucar – Almuñecar International School – and several others in the Malaga area .

The location in pictures

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