Nerja Mini Guide
Why should I Visit Nerja?
It’s one of the few Costa del Sol resorts without ugly, high rise hotels and is attracting more and more tourists for the pleasant beaches nearby and the opportunities for walking or mountain biking in the hills that back the resort. The resort has more than its fair share of historical sites to visit too giving it an appeal to those not so addicted to the sun, sand and sea.
What’s its Story?
Nerja dates back to prehistoric times, the evidence of which can be seen in the famous Nerja Caves where paintings document the lives of early settlers. It became the Roman city of Detunda around the first century BC but after the fall of Rome was attacked and captured by the Moors in the 8th century. They renamed the city Narixa from where the modern name derives. In the following centuries its agricultural produce and silk were renowned across the Arab world. Recaptured by the Spanish, the city came under attack from the British fleet in the Peninsula War.
What Shouldn’t I Miss in the City?
There’s not a huge amount to see but a brief visit to the Balcon de Europa, from where you’ll get a great view of the surrounding coastline is worth your time. There are the remains of the forts which were destroyed by British warships in the 19th century and two churches of note, El Salvador and the Hermitage which date from the 17th and 16th centuries.
And If I’ve Hired a Car?
If you’ve hired a car then your options are far better. The Nerja Caves are interesting for their prehistoric cave paintings and for the uncertainty of how far they extend into the terrain; some say as far as Granada
. On the way you’ll pass what looks like a Roman Aqueduct but which was only built in the 19th century. It still makes for a great photograph. Finally, for relaxation, choose from some of the quieter beaches along this stretch of the Costa.
Bored of the Beach, What Can I Do?
You could visit the Donkey Sanctuary. It doesn’t matter how many you see, the sleepy, gentle animals will always draw ‘aahs’ from visitors. There’s a fabulous cookery school there that will teach adults and children to cook and you can enjoy the fruits of your labours afterwards in the company of fellow chefs. Finally, the adventurous could take a jeep safari into the local mountains or more energetically, join a hiking trail.
I Need Gifts For Friends
There are several markets each week in the area, populated by traders from North Africa. There you’ll be able to buy very cheap trinkets and gifts to take home but look out for the better quality jewellery and beads plus the wooden carved figures. A flea market at the boatyard on Thursdays sells similar things but has the occasional curio stall.
Hmm, I’m Hungry Now
You have more chance of avoiding British fare there and there are a number of restaurants that cater for the Spanish tourists that use the resort. There, paellas, fresh Mediterranean salads and vegetarian dishes based on the produce from the region will give you a better idea of the cuisine of the area.
I Want to Party
Go to the carnival that takes place in February or March each year. Lasting several days and encompassing a procession through the town, it ends with a costume parade on the evening of the last day.