Our second stopping point was Nerja. Situated about an hour away from Malaga to the east of the city. Nerja is smaller than Benalmadena but still probably has more to do and is a nicer place for those looking for a relaxing holiday. I’ve highlighted my top picks here.
Balcón de Europa
This is a spot right in the centre of Nerja with a platform situated over the water high above the lapping waves below. Palm trees line either side of the platform and its a lovely little spot to sit with an ice cream and feel like you are on the edge of the world.
There are plenty of little cafes and bars nearby near, not to mention some amazing ice cream places. Imagine it being warm enough to eat ice cream in February, the dream!
Nerja is filled which plenty of amazing places to eat and drink. From tiny little tapas bars offering a plate of mussels with your drink to restaurants offering a high quality dining experience. We definitely had more luck eating out in Nerja and I have listed my top three must try places below.
1. Cerveceria El Pulguilla
There are so many little places like this in Nerja and out of the bars we went to this was our favourite. You order a drink and you get a free tapas. You pick from things like mussels, clams, chorizo and many more. Everything is freshly prepared and delicious. The price is also a bargin as most drinks are only a couple of Euros. Every time I went for either the mussels or the clams. I get so used to mussels in a flavoured broth that you don’t appreciate how amazing they are just steamed fresh with a drizzle of lemon juice. This taste will always remind me of Spain.
2. Mo’s Gastrotapas
Again there are so many tapas bars in Spain but this one really stood out to us. It was a bit more modern and was using ingredients in a really interesting way.
My favourites were cooked apple with black pudding (left), an incredible duck liver crostini with fig (right) and mini spicy burgers.
This was our only dinner out in Nerja and I am so glad we ate here. Bakus is a small restuarant serving beautiful food.
The meal starts with a little amuse bouche, we had a little meatball with a tomato sauce (left). We also shared a starter of beef carpacio with rocket, parmesan and truffle oil (right). All my favourite ingredients on one plate. The beef was so fresh and tender and it was presented beautifully.
For mains I ordered sea bass fillets with a leek and prawn risotto (left). The risotto was beautifully cooked and I loved the flavour of the risotto with the sea bass. My dad ordered the steak (right), look at the size of that thing! All the food at Bakus was presented beautifully and very well cooked. Prices were very reasonable and I would definitely recommend it if you are in Nerja.
The caves (La cueva de Nerja)
Situated further to the east, just outside Nerja, are the Nerja caves. They are accessible by walking (about an hour from the centre of Nerja) or 10 minutes on the bus. It costs 9€ for an adult to enter but it is definitely worth it.
I was surprised at how large the caves were, I usually have a fear of being trapped in places like this but please do no let that put you off. The caves are about 20 metres high and apart from the entrance, which is a little narrow, there is plenty of space. It takes about 45 minutes to walk the loop of the caves through a pathway of steps and viewpoints. There are a lot of steps but these are well constructed and have handrails throughout.
Burriana beach (Playa de Burianna)
Nerja is not as beachy a resort as Benalmadena and this is evident in the sand which is very pebbly. This is the biggest beach of the resort and similar to Benalmadena is lovely during the winter time as it’s nice and quiet. There is a wide selection of cafe style restaurants along the beach and also a host of places serving barbecued meats and large dishes of paella.
This is definitely the spot to try paella there are loads of places along the beach front with large dishes of paella served up with barbecued meat and fish.
Unlike Benalmadena there is no train link but you can catch a train from Malaga airport to Malaga city centre, then a bus to Nerja or alternatively you can get a taxi at about 80€ (make sure this is booked in advance or a fare is agreed upfront). However I would highly recommend using a shuttle bus company I found mine through Travel Republic and received my transport from Nerja to Malaga for £15.
From Nerja we visited Frigiliana and Granada.