Back in the days when we were allowed to cross borders of the town, I planned a short weekend trip to the coastal town of Nerja.
Famous for the ‘Balcony of Europe’, some of the biggest caves in Europe, and of course the gorgeous Andalusian coastline.
Despite covid restrictions and lack of tourists, it felt pretty busy and buzzing. From what I’ve seen and been told, the high season in here is so packed, that you struggle walking through those narrow roads without bumping into other people.
Luckily this wasn’t the case this year, leaving me plenty of room to roam free on the near empty streets (especially in the mornings).
I found a small family hotel 10 minutes walk up in the town and spent two days in Nerja with a one day field trip to the village of Frigiliana.
Here are some of the highlights of the trip!
Balcony of Europe
This viewing point is fairly easy to find as all the tourist signs will navigate you right there.
The wide viewing platform at the end of the promenade sits on an top of a restaurant and overlooks the coastal pathway that stretches all around it.
If you want to enjoy it at its best, head there for the sunrise (which in summer is not that early!) and take a stroll on the coastal pathway under it.
The small beach right next to the viewing point is also awesome!
Streets and Houses of Nerja Old Town
Just like almost all Andalusian towns, Nerja has a pretty spectacular old town with local artisan shops, small charming restaurants and galore of Spanish houses.
The old part of the town is not that big and some of the houses are being used as Airbnb, so you can snap up a place in great location with beautiful sea views.
As I mentioned earlier, the coastal pathway under the Balcony of Europe is beautiful! You can see how clean the water is from pretty up close and the pathway ends right by an entrance to a hotel, where you can climb the steps back up.
Another favorite walk was the one from the main roundabout by the coast line all the way to the Balcony of Europe.
Unlike in Nerja, there are no steep hills waiting for you so the walks are much more pleasant.
Restaurants in Nerja
Restaurants in Nerja do get a bit crowded closer to sunset time, especially if the place has a garden or sea views.
At lunchtime, the same thing happens again when people are returning from the beach for lunch followed by a siesta.
I’ve had my fair share of really good food followed by awful meals served at some pretty spectacular locations. Somethimes even the view doesn’t justify the crimes they commit in the kitchen though.
I will do another post with a list of my favorite restaurants, but in the shortlist, I think you would love to eat in one of these:
- Little Italy – this tiny place on a small street in the old town was a lucky find. I didn’t expect much and very much judged by book by its cover, but was pleasantly surprised at the quality of food, generous portions and really good prices. The place had a long queue formed around lunchtime when people were picking up their pizzas to take home. Location on map here.
- Restaurante Antica Roma – traditional Italian food in a beautiful old building with stunning views from the garden. Location on map here.
- Restaurant Pacomari – beautiful traditional restaurant that will teleport you back in time. Haven’t had food here but the raving reviews are a good enough reason to give this place a try if you’re visiting.
More on restaurants in the next post!
Sunrise in Nerja
As it happens to be the case with popular travel destinations, they do get busy very easily. My favorite way of avoiding the crowds is venturing out to explore at sunrise, which in the summer, is easier than thought.
Between 7am and 8am, there is barely a soul in sight and the sun is just rising from behind the mountains. Get yourself in the prime location – Balcony of Europe – to snap this beauty and enjoy the moment in peace.
More from Nerja in next blog post!
Explore More Around Nerja
Malaga Airport to Nerja: Your Detailed Transport Guide
Is Frigiliana Worth Visiting? All Your Questions Answered
Best Day Trips from Malaga by Bus: Travel Tips from a Local Expat
Frigiliana: The Most Beautiful Village in Andalucia
10+ Amazing Day Trips from Malaga
PIN For Later
Southern Spain Travel Planning Guide
Is it safe to drive in Spain?
YES! The roads in Southern Spain are generally in very good condition, with modern highways connecting the biggest cities. To rent a car, I highly recommend Discover Cars, which will get you the best deals on your car rental for your trip.
WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO DRIVE?
PUBLIC TRANSPORT — Southern Spain has a well-established and modern network of trains and buses. To get the cheapest bus or train tickets, take a look at Omio to find the timetables and prices.
DAY TRIPS — If you don’t like the hassle of using public transport, local travel companies offer many day trip options from almost all the destinations in Southern Spain. You can check them out here.
WHERE SHOULD I BOOK MY ACCOMMODATION?
BOOKING.COM — I have been using booking.com for all my trips in Spain and abroad, and have never had any negative experiences. Their reviews are very accurate and you get the best deals even on apartments, not just hotels.
ARE THERE LUGGAGE STORE OPTIONS IN THE CITIES?
YES — If you would like to leave your luggage behind to explore the city on your last day, before heading to the airport, you can use Radical Storage service, which lets you book luggage storage options in almost all the destinations in Southern Spain.
DO I NEED TO BUY A LOCAL SIM CARD FOR THIS TRIP?
YES – You can, of course, use your own card if you have roaming data available. If you want to avoid surprising extra charges from your operator, you can use a service like Airalo, where you can buy digital packs for e-sim cards, avoiding the hassle of sourcing local physical sim cards and extra roaming charges anywhere you go.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links – if you decide to book using one of the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this site. This is at no extra cost to you.