Why I love Nerja Spain

I love Nerja! This lovely Spanish town is surrounded by the Mediteranean sea, the Sierra Almijara mountains, flowers and orange trees. Although Nerja is visited by lots of tourists and is a favored spot for British expats, it still maintains its authentic Spanish flavor more than most beach towns along the Costa del Sol.

In the centre of the old town is The Balcón de Europa (Balcony of Europe), which gives stunning views across the sea and of the beaches and coastlines. King Alfonso XII visited the area in 1885 after a devastating earthquake, and declared “This is the Balcony of Europe”.


Nerja enjoys what many consider the best weather in Europe, with at least 300 sunny days per year. Little more than a light jacket is ever needed, even in January, and the Mediteranean provides a place to cool off in the summer.

Friendly people of Spain

One of the best things about Spain in general is the friendly, fun-loving and family-oriented Spanish people. They are very welcoming, and when I have attempted to use a few words of my limited Spanish, they have been patient and helpful.

We also enjoyed the British and Irish expats we met.  Although we were taking Spanish lessons during our last stay, sometimes it was great to be able to talk easily with people in your own language. “Oh, you speak English too?” Instant friends.


Nerja is about 50km east of Malaga and 90km southwest of Granada, in the Andalucian region of southern Spain. With Nerja as a home base, Granada, Cordoba, Seville and Gibraltar are all within a couple hours drive, as are many interesting hill towns. Short flights anywhere in Europe are possible from Malaga, and on a clear day you can even see Morocco across the sea.

Nerja Beaches

There are 13km of beaches in Nerja. Burriana Beach has the most facilites, restaurants, etc, while others are quieter.


Nerja has a variety of plazas, some bustling and some quiet. They are often lined with cafe’s, and great places to people watch.

Caves of Nerja (Cueva de Nerja)

The Caves of Nerja are one of Spain’s major tourist attractions and stretch for almost 5 kilometres. In the summer you can even attend a concert in one of the chambers, which forms a natural amphitheatre.

Great food

I’ve read there are more than 300 restaurants in Nerja. There is something for everyone – fresh seafood, tapas bars, pubs, Italian, Indian and more –with mostly high quality and great value. Look for the places busy with locals and you can’t go wrong.  Tapas bars are a popular choice and often feature very fresh seafood. Very tasty and inexpensive pizza and pasta can be found Little Italy and La DamaAlthough touristy, a favorite spot for lunch is Ayo’s, located right at Burriana Beach. Paella €6.50, with 1/2 L of Sangria (€6.25).


  • accommodation: plenty of great hotel rooms or holiday apartments available for less than €60/night. Even better value for stays of a week or more.
  • bus to Malaga €5
  • cafe con leche (coffee with milk) €1-€1.50
  • glass of wine/beer €1.50, including tapa
  • sandwich €3
  • menu del dias (set 3 course meal, sometimes including beverage) €8- €10
  • cafe con leche (coffee with milk) €1-€1.50
  • glass of wine/beer €1.50, often including tapas

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Nerja, Spain

Learn more

Lots more local information can be found at Nerja Today and MyNerja.com.

4 replies
  1. Alison
    Alison says:

    We loved Nerja! We spent 2 weeks there late November 2011 in a little kitchen/studio apartment in a hotel right next to the Balcon. On the beach – watched it being cooked over an open fire – BEST paella EVAH!

    • Shelley
      Shelley says:

      Sounds like you were in a perfect location! Many people we met there told us “Nerja is such a special place”, and we agree. It’s on our short list of places we would love to live at least part-time, but for now there are still too many new places to see 🙂


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