Monday, July 30, 2012

Nerja on the Costa del Sol

The cliffside town of Nerja, Spain, and Calahonda Beach.

The Costa del Sol is kind of the Ibiza of my parents' generation, I think.  I just remember my young parents and their friends talking a lot about the beaches and nightlife of the Costa del Sol when I was little.  As a result, this gorgeous stretch of Spanish Mediterranean coastline was grossly overdeveloped over the last 30 years and views of the beach now consist mostly of concrete and high-rise apartment blocks.

At least one seaside city remains, however, that somehow managed to avoid construction of excessive property, and that is Nerja.  Nerja (pronounced NAIR-ha) is a historic little whitewashed town with narrow, winding alleyways and a large, tiled main square that evoke feelings of a country village rather than a coastal tourist resort.

Salvador Church in the main square in Nerja.

Extending practically from the main square is another terrific feature of Nerja - a long, beautifully landscaped terrace that stretches out over the Mediterranean and offers views of the town and its beaches.  The terrace is known as the Balcony of Europe and was erected in 1487.

Balcony of Europe in Nerja.

We enjoyed a very long stroll all the way to the end of the terrace, looking forward to having an ice cream cone at one of the many heladerías back near the square as soon as we were finished with our photographs.

There are over 8 miles of nice sand (not shingle!) beaches belonging to Nerja, one of the loveliest being Playa Calahonda on the east side of the Balcony of Europe.

We did not spend the night in Nerja, but when I was contemplating it I strongly considered an apartment recommendation by Shelly Rivoli on her blog Travels with Baby.  It looks like just our kind of place, with a full kitchen, balcony, and two bedrooms.

Nerja, Spain, is a perfect family vacation destination.  I'd love to go again and spend a few days relaxing on the beach, exploring more alleyways, and eating more ice cream!

Strolling through Nerja, Spain.


  1. I am loving these posts covering your trip!! Such beautiful scenery...especially the ice cream!

  2. Thanks for the link-back to my apartment review! So fun to see your own photos - wish we were back there right now! ;-)

  3. It looks so beautiful and charming - and not at all what I had pictured for Costa del Sol! Your pictures are all very beautiful!

  4. Looks like a great place for a family holiday. Will have to bear it in mind!

  5. I seriously wish I could leave everything and live here. What a romantic seaside town, I think I've fallen in love!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have started following you back and am looking forward to more of your posts!

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