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Nerja on the Costa del Sol, Spain
Nerja has become one of the most popular holiday resorts on the Costa del Sol to be found east of Malaga. Unlike many of the popular destinations to the west of Malaga heading down towards Gibraltar, such as Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Marbella, Nerja has escaped mass tourism and still retains much of its original charm and character as a former fishing village.
Nerja is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Almijara mountain range, which shelters it from the worst of winter weather whilst providing a breathtaking backdrop to the town’s traditional whitewashed stone townhouses and villas. It is surely one of the most beautiful destinations along the eastern Costa del Sol. With just a 45-minute drive to Malaga’s international airport, cheap flights available from many European destinations and a regular coastal bus service, Nerja can be an ideal cheap holiday destination.
The Balcon de Europa is the focal point of the old town and offers stunning views over the Mediterranean Sea and nearby beaches. It was originally known as ‘La Bateria’ due to the gun battery that stood here in a fortified tower, but was destroyed in 1810 by a Bristish led force during the Pennisular War to prevent occupation by French forces. Nowadays the Balcon is full of activity with street artists and entertainers, horse-drawn carriages and ice-cream vendors selling a huge variety of flavours and colours. Lined with many bars and restaurants, it offers an ideal location to relax and watch the sun set over the Mediterranean coastline.
In the old quarter of Nerja town itself, many buildings still retain their original Andalucia architectural style, and the narrow winding streets bustle with the authentic atmosphere of a working Spanish town. Yet Nerja has all the advantages of a modern town, with endless shops selling ceramics, textiles, leather goods, souvenirs and essential beach accessories for the family.
Much of Nerja’s nightlife begins late into the evening and you are sure to find a bar to your particular taste, either in the lively Tutti Frutti Square, or the many tranquil bars to be found around the Balcon de Europa. Bars and clubs in Tutti Frutti Square stay open well into the morning hours during the long, hot summer nights, and are particularly popular with younger holiday visitors. However, bars near the Balcon are more conducive to the relaxed atmosphere of Andalucia life.
If you are happy to spend your holiday relaxing in Nerja, you can be assured there are many beautiful sandy beaches hidden within small coves, lined with bars and restaurants in abundance. Burriana beach is one of the largest and most popular with tourists and Spanish alike, whilst to the side of the Balcon itself, hidden within a small cove, can be found one of Nerja’s most charming beaches with golden sand and clear blue water.
Less than 3km away are the famous Nerja Caves first discovered in 1959, now one of the most popular holiday attractions in Spain. The caves have impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations, and a natural cavern that has been turned into an impressive concert hall, the location of many theatre productions and classical concerts. One of Nerja’s most celebrated fiestas is San Isidro on the 15th May. A large procession of decorated carts leave the centre of the town heading towards the caves for a weekend of festivity and celebration, in true Andalucia style. The caves can also be reached by local bus with a regular service leaving from the main bus terminal on Avenida Pescia.
The town itself offers many holiday attractions for the visitor, but if you feel the need to explore some of the attractions Andalucia has to offer, then it is an ideal starting point for trips and excursions. Within a ten minute drive can be reached the beautiful whitewashed-stone villages of Frigiliana and Torrox, both shining white as snow in the sun. For real snow however, the Sierra Mountains offer fantastic, affordable skiing during the winter months and all within a two-hour drive. Nestled in the foothills of the mountains is the Moorish city of Granada, dominated by the mysterious Alhambra Palace. A series of palaces and gardens built over several centuries under the Nazrid Dynasty in the 14th Century.
Nerja has become very popular for people retiring or simply looking for a change of life, with a fifth of the estimated population of 20,000 being foreign residents, including more than 2,000 British. During the summer months this figure increases many more times with the arrival of holiday visitors in abundance attracted by one of the best climates in Europe. With Costa del Sol beaches, golf courses, skiing, adventure parks, water parks and the Almijara mountain range all within easy reach; Nerja has something to offer everyone.
About the Author: Steve Greenwood has lived on the Costa del Sol for 3 years and works in Nerja. You are invited to visit Ideal Rentals For You in Nerja for Nerja holiday apartments, places to visit and things to do in Spain. Ideal Rentals (www.idealrentals4u.com) offers holiday information on all the regions of Spain including the Balearic and Canary Islands.