Taking it easy in Nerja, Spain
What I really like about Nerja that even during high season with the influx of both Spanish tourists and foreign visitors, the town manages to retain its friendly, relaxed atmosphere. If you’re looking for Spanish charm and a place to relax, then Nerja is for you!
It seems to me that the residents of Nerja enjoy the best of both worlds, living amongst a mixture of modern buildings and traditional whitewashed stone shops and businesses. Typically for a tourist town, there are lots of interesting shops that line both sides of the long pebbled streets selling local produce ranging from ornate sculptures to handmade jewellery. There are also family-run restaurants selling platos del dia (an inexpensive lunchtime menu, usually consisting of 3 courses including a drink), pizza, freshly caught seafood and home made ice-cream (which I would definitely recommend – especially the limón flavour!).
I had never visited this part of Spain before, but I found it easy to travel around. I traveled into Nerja from Malaga – a pleasant trip of just over an hour, incorporating a couple of stops in beautiful fishing villages along the way. The clean and comfy bus was run by Alsina Graells, a local bus company.
When I got off the bus just outside Nerja town centre (the easiest bus stop is ‘Nerja’), I arrived into glorious sunshine. After my short walk around to get my bearings, I made my way to the school residence, which is within the city centre, approximately 10 minutes walk from the beach. I really liked the residence – it was very clean, with well equipped rooms with en-suite facilities. There is also a swimming pool, Internet access and a comfortable lounge.
The weather was fantastic – around 30 degrees with lovely clear blue skies. The gentle sea breeze took the edge off, making my visit to the lively waterfront bars and relaxed cafes even more pleasant.
Whilst you’re there, don’t miss the very popular Burriana beach, located 3 kms outside of the town centre which is popular yet remains untouristy. Also, it is here that you can drop in to see ‘Ayo’, a well-known local restauranteur, who has been cooking and serving traditional Spanish dishes on the beach for over 20 years.
Overall, Nerja is a typical sleepy Spanish town, unspoilt by tourism. Whilst being laid back, there is still plenty to see and do during the day and in the evening. I would recommend a Spanish course in Nerja to anyone who would like to experience the traditional Spanish way of life in a small and friendly coastal town whilst being within easy reach of many of Spain’s most popular destinations.