Nerja: My Favourite Holiday Destination In Spain

A holiday can be many different things.  It can be exploring somewhere new, like our recent visits to Liverpool and York or our up and coming holiday to Costa Brava.

A holiday can be about living in the lap of luxury in a 5* hotel or being waited on hand and foot aboard a luxury cruise ship.  It can be lazy days by the pool or active adventures while enjoying the local scenery.

Nerja Holiday Ideas

Sometimes a holiday can be about something familiar, a favourite beach, a specialty dish or places you know and love.

Nerja, Costa Del Sol is my favourite place.  I have been on holiday in Nerja regularly since my son was 3 years old.  I know my way around, so there’s no figuring out the best places to go in just 7 days.  I feel completely safe there.  I’ve spent many holiday there with just my son when I was a lone parent, and would happily recommend it to other single parents.

I’m desperate to go back and sit on my favourite beach with my girls now that they are a little bit older.  Travelling seems more accessible now we have left the baby days behind us.    Now that the 1 year old is walking, I can be safe in the knowledge that she won’t eat quite as much sand.

I’ve been searching Love Holidays website for a good time to go for a short break, and I’m just trying to nail down some holiday dates down with Daddy at the moment.  Here’s just some of the reasons I love Nerja so much.

Nerja Has Beautiful Beaches

Nerja Burriana Beach

Nerja has over 9 kilometres of beaches, but my favourite by far is Burriana beach to the south of the town.  It’s very popular with tourists and locals, and can get very busy during high season.

It has a lovely selection of beach side restaurants, that serve fresh fish and paella.  I can wholeheartedly recommend a trip to Ayo’s towards the end of the beach for some of the best lamb and paella you’ll try or pop down to Bar Bacoa for a gambas pil pil like no other.

Nerja Tapas

One of my favourite things to do in Nerja is go on a tapas run.  You can eat and drink your way round this town without too much effort.  There are so many places to enjoy this very traditional way of eating in Spain, and if you chose the right spot, your tapa will be complimentary with your drink.  Sometimes you have to make sure you sit at the bar, so it’s worth checking.

My personal recommendations would be to start at El Nino restaurant on the way into town.  Have the meatballs, they are particularly nice, and pretty satisfying too with a glass of red wine.

You have to stop at El Pulguilla for the freshest tapa on the planet.  You pick your tapa from the counter, and they cook if for you and bring it to your table.  I can recommend the prawns along side a glass of spanish beer if your asking.

Nearby is La Taberna.  This is a restaurant as well as tapas bar.  Sit at the bar if you wish to just have the tapas with a drink.  There’s always a good selection of meat, fish and traditional tapa to choose from.

Last but by no means least, Bar Redonda is an absolute must.  It has a round bar, filled with a selection of drinks and tapas.  You might find yourself circling it a few times before you finally decide what to have, but what ever you chose you will not be disappointed.

Things To Do In Nerja

Visiting Nerja, is very much about visiting traditional Spain, which is why I love it so much.  It was once a small fishing village but in recent years has under gone much development.  It’s roots are still very much apparent.

Nerja Balcon De EuropaIt’s not spoilt though by water parks and busy attractions.  It’s very much about a relaxing Spanish holiday, where you meander the streets for shopping and places to eat and relax by the beach in the day.

It does have a very famous attraction though called Cueva De Nerja which I think everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.  The Nerja caves are utterly breath taking and are home to some of the biggest stalagmites and stalactites in the world.  You will be utterly stunned by how beautiful they are.

A stroll along the Balcon De Europa with some delicious Spanish ice cream is also a must for some stunning views across the Mediterranean.  Nerja also has good access to Granada if you fancy a day trip or hiring a car.  Park at the Alhambra palace for a visit the take the tourist bus for a nail biting ride through the narrow city streets.

Nerja also has a thriving market on a Tuesday and Saturday, which sells lots of local produce.  Don’t forget to visit Frigliana also, the village just up into the hills above Nerja.  The make their own sweet wine, which is divine.

Why Do We Go Back To Nerja So Much

Travel time to Nerja is without a doubt a factor.  The flights are around 2 1/12 hours, and transfers from Malaga to Nerja take about 50 minutes.  It’s certainly manageable for a family holiday destination.

Nerja is one of those places also where the faces stay the same.  The waiters in the restaurants have worked there for years, and even though they might not recognise us, we enjoy the familiarity of seeing there friendly faces.  It gives you that coming home feeling.

It’s also the kind of place I can see me spending my old age.  There is a large ex-pat community in Nerja, which makes it even more appealing.  When you work on the internet the possibilty of working from anywhere in the world does dawn on you.  Nerja is easily somewhere I could while away the winter months while photographing it’s beautiful scenery and writing about it’s charming culture.

Nerja Costa Del Sol

Have you visited Nerja before?  Where is your favourite holiday destination?


Zena's Suitcase
Zena's Suitcase

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life.

Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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  1. Stephanie
    August 25, 2015 / 10:25 pm

    Wow, I would love love love to visit here! Thanks so much for sharing and I loved the pictures!

    • Zena
      August 26, 2015 / 9:56 am

      It is amazing, if it’s somewhere you can get to, I think you’d really enjoy it

  2. Kelvin
    August 25, 2015 / 10:42 pm

    Excellent post.

    I have a favorite holiday destination like yours where the faces all remain the same and it felt so much like home whenever we vacationed there, my parents went and bought a small farm there. LOL

    • Zena
      August 26, 2015 / 9:56 am

      I think it’s nice to have a familiar place to visit, as well as exploring new holiday destinations. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. August 26, 2015 / 10:36 am

    oh this looks such a great place – for the same reasons as you we love Menorca. Going back somewhere familiar is lovely isn’t it? Kaz x
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  4. Christina
    August 26, 2015 / 11:28 am

    Nice post! I never been to Nerja before. It look beautiful, I wish I could try the beach there, it look amazing! My favorite destination for the Holidays would be California, but there are so many places I want to travel! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Zena
      August 26, 2015 / 12:58 pm

      I’d love to visit California one day, but nothing will beat Spanish tapas! I hope you get to visit

    • Zena
      August 26, 2015 / 12:56 pm

      I would live there too Kim, perhaps I will get to one day

  5. Su Tyler
    August 26, 2015 / 2:02 pm

    I have fond memories of Nerja. Good to know that Ago is still there! Amazing paella..
    We used to walk along Burriana beach and clamour over the rocks into the little bays.
    My favourite holiday destination is Cancun. Although Sydney and Brisbane are also there at the top!

    • Su Tyler
      August 26, 2015 / 2:04 pm

      **Ayo**damn autocorrect!

      • Zena
        August 26, 2015 / 2:33 pm

        Lol! So easily done 🙂

    • Zena
      August 26, 2015 / 2:27 pm

      I’m so please to hear it’s somewhere you’ve been. Yes, Ayo’s is still going strong. I can’t wait to go back there 🙂

  6. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops
    August 27, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    Wow this place looks amazing! I love the idea of seeing the same people each year, like a home from home! Stunning- definitely a place to visit!

  7. Agata
    August 28, 2015 / 8:43 pm

    I’ve never visited this place but reading how you describe it, it must be a wonderful holiday spot.

  8. Pingback: Holiday In El Capistrano Village Nerja - Where To Next Kids?
  9. Bob Stainton
    May 21, 2016 / 5:49 am

    You light like to view the amazing video about Nerja at removed

  10. Margaret Gallagher
    November 13, 2016 / 9:19 am

    Not heard of this place
    Looks amazing and so quaint

  11. Melanie Burton
    February 14, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    I visited Nerja for the first time in January this year! It was amazing! One of my favourite feature was going to the caves – they were well worth the visit! Would definitely go again!

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Whether you are looking for travel tips to make the most of your next cruise holiday or you need UK travel ideas we’ve got you covered on Zena’s Suitcase UK travel blog.  We started sharing our holiday and travel reviews in 2013, so if you can’t find the travel, family or lifestyle blog above you are after make sure you head over to the search bar to find what you need.  Think of us as one of the best travel blogs brimming with ideas to get you out and about with and without the kids.