When the dark nights are drawing in and the dull and dreary English weather is getting you down an Autumn escape to the sun is the perfect pre-Christmas pick me up.
We love the Mediterranean climate and cuisine and have wanted to visit mainland Spain and Andalusia for a while so after some research and discussions amongst family and friends we decided upon a week to Nerja in Southern Spain. Having used the online travel booking firm Travel Republic in the past we looked at their website and found a nice very well priced apartment on the outskirts of Nerja in the Las Rosas complex. Just far enough away from the busy hustle and bustle of the town centre. We are not fans of package holidays so if we can arrange things ourselves that is what we like to do.
Getting to Nerja from the UK is relatively quick and easy. Flights are fairly cheap to nearby Malaga and readily available from most of the low cost airlines. Our flights and onward taxi transfer was also booked with Travel Republic.
The great thing about Spain is it’s constant all year round temperature of 20 degrees and during our stay we were not disappointed, blue skies and warm weather throughout the week – what more can you want!
Nerja is a major tourist attraction but during our Autumn visit it was not too busy. We thoroughly enjoyed wandering around the old parts of the town. It has some lovely narrow streets where you can embrace the Spanish culture. There are numerous tapas bars to dine al fresco with a nice cool beer or a jug of Sangria. One of the major attractions is the Balcon de Europa. It has a great panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea and nearby beaches below.
The very picturesque hill top village of Frigiliana is a place we would definitely recommend you visit if you are staying in Nerja. It is renowned for being one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. It is six kilometres away from Nerja and can be reached by a bus , taxi or on foot (as we did).
We love exploring whilst on holiday and we enjoyed a hike up the Rio Chillar dry river bed located on the outskirts of Nerja to reach Frigiliana. The trek is stoney, off of the beaten track and rugged so you will need hiking boots or trainers and a walking map to guide you. We really enjoyed getting out into the wilderness away from the town.
The traditional white washed houses of Frigiliana, cobbled streets and views of the surrounding mountains and Nerja in the distance were wonderful to see. We also had our best jug of Sangria in Frigiliana with an abundance of strawberries it was pricey but wow it was worth it!
You cannot visit Nerja without paying a visit to it’s famous caves (Cueva de Nerja). They stretch for almost 5 kilometres (3.1 mi), the caverns are one of Spain’s major tourist attractions. Concerts are regularly held in one of the chambers, which forms a natural amphitheatre. They have to be the best caves we have ever seen. They were located 2 miles away from our apartment so we walked but you can catch the little road train. Do check the opening times because they do shut for a few hours at lunch time but there is a nice park to have a picnic nearby or a cafeteria.
Close to the caves is the beautiful Sierra de Tejada Almijarra national park. There are a number of trails for the avid hiker and we decided to take the route up to the highest mountain El Cielo which has stunning views around the Nerja area across to Malaga, Granada and beyond. It’s an all day hike up and back to the summit and we recommend you go well prepared with plenty of food and drink. It is very remote with no opportunities to take on extra supplies en-route. The best times to walk are in the spring and Autumn when it is not too hot. At 1508 metres it’s quite a strenuous trek but when you ascend through the clouds and see the breath taking view it’s well worth it.