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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

Spain’s “Sunny Coast” stretches from Nerja, all the way down almost to Gibraltar. Inland, Andalusia’s ancient cities enchant while on the coast the beaches and shores don’t go unnoticed. Here’s your guide to a one week holiday in beautiful Nerja.

Discovering Nerja

Spain is always a safe bet when you’re planning your summer holidays. If you’re lucky, you may even end up in a British urbanizacion of villas owned solely by Brits and Irishmen like Punta Lara, just next to Nerja. The neighbourhood bar is more like the pub back home except the drinks are cheaper and the locals are as tanned as leather. If you’re looking to get away this summer for a week of sun as well as history and a good dose of tinto de verano, Nerja is a pretty good choice.

Beaches, caves and aqueducts

The town of Nerja is really beautiful. City central is the Balcón de Europa, a stunning lookout over the Med which was once a gun battery. Looking out across the sea you’ll find a small little cove to the left with a beach. By far this is one of the best beaches near the city centre. For privacy, wade your way further down the coast around the giant boulders.

Looking out from the Balcón de Europa

The Aqueduct outside of the city was built in the 19th century and is really quite impressive. Water flows down from mountain springs and across the top level of the aqueduct. If you’re adventurous, you can even walk across (but you’ll have to take your shoes and socks off!). It’s a good place to stop after you’ve explored the Caves of Nerja.

One of Nerja's aqueducts

The caves are well worth the €8 entry fee. They stretch for almost 5 kilometres but only the first ‘great hall’ is open to the general public. The caves were discovered in 1959 by a group of local boys, pretty much by accident. The caves are very accessible with concrete pathways and steps so navigating isn’t too tricky.

Inside the Caves of Nerja

Getting there:

The closest airport to Nerja is Malaga which is easy (and cheap) to reach onboard easyJet from London Gatwick. From there, it’s around 60km to Nerja and it’s easiest to just grab a car hire from Malaga Airport for your trip.

Flights to Malaga

Day trips from Nerja


  • Distance: 100 km
  • What to see/do: The Alhambra is the city’s top attraction. If you don’t manage to book your tickets in advance online then head to the ticket office as soon as you arrive. There is both morning entry and afternoon entry. You can easily spend the entire day exploring the gardens and palace but it would be a shame to miss other things in Granada like the Moorish quarter called Albaicin, the Cathedral and the old Spice Market.
Inside the Alhambra


  • Distance: 193 km
  • What to see/do: First stop is Europa Point, where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean. You can see Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar. Next, take your Spain car hire up to the Upper Rock. It costs £7.50 per adult to enter plus a fee for each vehicle and gives you access to all the main attractions including St. Michael’s Cave, the Ape Den, Siege Tunnels, the Mediterranean Steps plus others. Before you leave, stop for some pub grub in the town.
Monkey Trouble


  • Distance: 60 km
  • What to see/do: Malaga is Picasso’s hometown and the Pablo Picasso Museum is a good place to start your tour of the city. The museum has a few paintings from the family’s private collection as well as some personal belongings. Up the hill you’ll spot the 11th century Moorish castle, the Alcazaba.

Where will you be heading this year for summer holidays?

Imgs: author’s own

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