The fourth city in our summer in Spain journey was Nerja, a small seaside town on the “Costa del Sol”. Nerja is near the larger city of Malaga. We arrived in the late afternoon and left in the morning, so it was a quick visit. After five days of the heat in the cities, we wanted to take a dip in the Mediterranean.
I picked Nerja based on photos I saw online. I was a bit underwhelmed to be honest. Though – when it comes to beach towns I have a pretty high bar because we live in one at home in Encinitas. I thought Nerja was cute but very touristy (not unusual for a beach town). Some parts were pretty dingy. Also, I wasn’t able to find an Airbnb so we stayed in a hotel that looked WAY better in the photos (not the only time we experienced that in Spain). However, we did have one of our favorite dinners of the whole trip in Nerja which I’ll write about below.
Unfortunately for us and our timetable we just didn’t have time to spend in Nerja and the surrounding areas. So if you are looking at visiting the Costa del Sol – please don’t be put off by my experience. I think if we could have seen more of Nerja’s beaches and done more day trips up the coast to see places like Marbella we would have liked it more.
First stop was the “Balcon de Europa” – a beautiful lookout spot over the water. Then we walked down to the “Playa de la Calahonda” – a small pebbly beach. It was packed so we laid some towels on and took turns taking a quick dip. This was our nine year old son’s first experience at a European beach. We had to warn him that women would likely not be wearing swimsuit tops. He was a bit wide eyed at first. 🙂 The water was really COLD! I was expecting warmer temperatures based on my experiences of swimming in France and Italy when I was backpacking through Europe in my 20’s. After our dip, we found a restaurant that served wine/Fantas (even thought it was closed for Siesta). The view overlooking the water was stunningly beautiful.
Our dinner was SO good. It was a top three meal experience for us. I found good reviews online and we walked there right when it opened and snagged the only open table. We were so glad we did because we saw many groups of people show up only to be turned away. The restaurant La Posada Iberica is family owned. When we were there it appeared that two brothers were both cooking and waiting tables. Our food was delicious especially the shrimp “Pil Pil” of which we were not able to find better in all of Spain. Our hosts were so kind to our kids and gave them giant straws and special drinks! (A house liqueur for us and juice for the kids). We felt like that meal made our trip to Nerja totally worthwhile!
Next stop was amazing – Stay tuned for Ronda!