Discovering Nearby Places: One Day in Nerja, Spain

Updated March 29, 2016
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Nerja, Spain, One Day Trip

I have a problem when I travel. Just like I can’t sit still normally, I also can’t just travel to one place. Going to just one place and returning home again seems like a waste to me. What if there’s somewhere else close by that’s worth seeing? I’d have to travel all the way back again which might never happen. I never noticed until I started blogging about some of my travels and a pattern started to emerge. When I went to Norway for Easter it was Oslo and Bergen, for an Eastern European Christmas it was Prague and Dresden, and then I went for the triple whammy of Liverpool, Manchester and the Lake District all in one.

So when I had a long weekend break from teaching English in the south of Spain, I decided to go to no less than 3 places in those 5 days!

Summer was definitely on it’s way to Almería with the temperature pushing 20 degrees as I sweated my way to the bus station. I managed to confidently walk in the wrong direction for 20 minutes and once I realised I walked in a different wrong direction for another 10. After finally making it to the bus station I waited at the wrong bay and nearly missed my bus. This is not an unusual course of events for me.

Where is Nerja?

Nerja is a beautiful whitewashed town on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. It’s close to Malaga, British expat central, which means it’s becoming more and more popular, but I wouldn’t use that as a reason to avoid it. You can get to bus to Nerja from Malaga, Granada, or Almería, pretty much anywhere in Andalusia! The bus from Almería to Nerja takes a tiki tour through every small town along the coast so I think I have right to judge, and it’s definitely one of the most scenic.

One Day in Nerja Spain

What to do in Nerja

Arriving in Nerja not long before sunset, I dumped my bags at one of the many hostels available in the off season and walked towards the waterfront (or so I thought, it was the opposite direction for awhile…) to watch the sun going down.

If you do one thing in Nerja, go to the Balcón Europa to watch the sunset. The nearby Sierra Nevada glowing shades of pink and orange, and the white houses spreading down to the very edges of the cliffs with stunning blue sea below, saying it’s beautiful just doesn’t really do it justice.

One Day in Nerja Spain Malaga Sunset

I spoke to the one girl in my dorm room in Nerja, but other than that I was content to be a true solo traveller, on my own. This made my one day trip to Nerja the perfect amount of time to spend there because I happily ate alone and saw the sights without missing the social interaction. In a group or as a couple, this would be a beautiful place to spend a lot longer, on one of those trips I think people call a “holiday”. I’m not sure I know how to do that…

Nerja has plenty of beaches to keep you happy, some long and open and some nestled between high cliffs. Spending a day relaxing on one of these would be divine, but the weather was just a little chilly in February and I opted to go to Frigiliana and explore another new place instead. Because I couldn’t help myself. Frigiliana is a traditional white Andalusian town nestled in the mountains just 15 minutes from Nerja and I absolutely loved my few hours exploring alone there.

Nerja Malaga Spain Hostel Rooftop Terrace

As a day trip from Malaga or a short escape Nerja is perfect. The bus from Malaga to Nerja only takes about 45 minutes, and while it’s getting busier and busier and you couldn’t exactly call it an undiscovered part of the Costa del Sol, it hasn’t lost it’s charm. The narrow streets with craft shops, plentiful beaches and al fresco dining make it a beautiful place to stay. And that sunset. If you’re taking a day trip to Nerja from Malaga be sure to get a later bus back!

If you do plan to stay in Nerja longer than there are the Nerja Caves nearby, Cueva de Nerja, where concerts can be held in the summer and you can see the unusual cave formations and palelithic paintings. In addition to nearby Frigiliana you could venture further afield to the Aplujarras, even more beautiful villages in the Sierra Nevada, or to Granada.

Nerja Malaga Spain One day trip

I first read about Nerja through one of my favourite travel bloggers, the Young Adventuress, who spent a lot of time in Spain on the same Auxiliar de Conversación program that I’m now doing. After seeing her amazing pictures I just had to go to Nerja, and since I was travelling by myself it made sense to go as part of another trip. I might have spent just one day in Nerja as a way to see one more place on another journey, but it holds a special place my heart. How could it not, with these epic views?

One Day in Nerja Spain

Do you usually holiday to one place at a time? Have you ever visited somewhere just because it was close to where you were based?

Sonja x

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Discovering Nearby Places: One Day in Nerja, Spain

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2 Comments

  • Reply luzverde May 18, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Hola Sonja! Really nice blog! Informative and good photos, too! Awesome! Don’t stop exploring!

    Nerja holds a special part in my heart as well. What I would really recommend there is to hike the Rio Chillar. It starts from Nerja and goes several kilometers deep into the mountains following the river. The majority of time, you are actually walking in the river, the water is not deep and its very enjoyable. In the end you reach these natural little pools and little waterfalls. Magic!

    • Reply Migrating Miss May 19, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Hola! Thank you so much that’s really lovely to hear! I’ll have to make a trip back to Nerja, since I only had a short time there this time around and that sounds amazing! Thanks for the tip.

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