Travel Diary – The Ultimate Guide To Nerja, Spain

Happy Thursday Everyone,

I hope you are all having a fabulous week after the Bank Holiday weekend! I’m finally getting around to posting my complete travel guide to Nerja. I have already posted about my favourite restaurant  in Nerja and a day trip that I insist on you taking if you are in the vicinity. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been going to Nerja for over twelve years now so I like to think I’ll be able to give a helping hand to anyone who is thinking of visiting my favourite Spanish town.

Nerja is situated at the most southern point of Spain and is famous for it’s Balcon d’Europa. While the Balcon is truly stunning, there are so many other reasons to love this quaint town. One of my favourite things to do when I’m there is to go for a walk up the backstreets with my grandad and admire the elderly ladies selling fresh fruit and vegetables from their patio doorsteps. It’s just an authentic Spanish town and even though over the last few years it has become increasingly popular, it still hasn’t lost it’s charm or become commercialised the way so many other Spanish towns sadly have.

This time around I went with 9 other brilliant ladies, so, in short, the craic was had. I won’t delve too deep into said antics (what happens “on tour” and all that)..but I will give you all the best tips on where to stay, where to eat and where to wander!

Here we go..

How To Get There:

You will need to fly to Malaga airport and from there you have a few options on how to get to Nerja.

  • Hire a car or rent a taxi that will bring you directly. Google online and search around for a price. We were able to get a mini bus taxi from the airport to Nerja for €90 between 10 people which was SO reasonable.
  • Get a bus directly from the airport to Nerja. These buses will go every couple of hours from the bus stop at the airport.
  • Get a shuttle bus from the airport into Malaga bus station. These shuttle buses go every 15/20 minutes and cost around €2. Then get a bus from the bus station out to Nerja. These buses will go every hourish and will cost around €4. There are direct and indirect buses with the direct taking around an hour and the indirect taking around an hour and a half.

Where To Stay:

Okay so there are a few things worth taking into consideration when looking for accommodation in lovely Nerja. First thing’s first, who are you travelling with? If you are staying with young children and require bringing a buggy then I would strongly recommend not staying down near Burriana beach. While the beach is definitely the largest in Nerja and very popular, it is not easily accessible. There is a large hill that brings you down to that side of the town and while it might be fine on the way down, you’ll understand why that said hill is called Cardiac Hill on the way back up. There are a lot of beach side restaurants and a few shops down by the beach but most of them are only average and if you want to eat well, you need to go back up into the town and would end up spending a lot of money on taxis to get around Cardiac Hill. Don’t get me wrong – it is a gorgeous beach and perfect to visit a few days but if it was me, I wouldn’t want to be stuck down there for the entire trip.

Many websites will tell you that Capistrano is a 15 minute walk from Nerja, which is true, but again, there’s plenty of hills. Capistrano is gorgeous and has a few bars and amenities up there but most who go there will rent a car for the duration of their stay.

Over the past few years, I have stayed in a good few different places so here the ones I would definitely recommend checking out:

  • 10 Bed Penthouse – this is where we stayed most recently and if you follow me on snapchat, you will know that this place boasted THE most amazing views ever. It slept 10 women more than comfortably and had 4 reception rooms so we never felt on top of eachother or crowded. This place would be ideal for families travelling together or a large group of friends. It is also extremely central. If this place is available, BOOK IT!!
  • Central Studio Apartment – this place is ideal if you are travelling as a couple or with one or two friends. It has an unbelievable location, is situated just behind the church in the centre of town, has breathtaking views and a rooftop pool to cool off in on those nice hot days.
  • Two Bed Apartments Right Beside The Balcon – this apartment was actually the first one I ever stayed in in Nerja and to this day is still the most central one I’ve ever stayed in. It was probably one of the pricier due to it’s central location but again it had a beautiful roof top pool that looked directly out onto the Balcon.
  • Townhouses Located 10 Minute Walk From Centre – Nueva Nerja are a beautiful set of townhouses with their own enclosed pool. These townhouses would be ideal for families with children as they are in such a lovely, safe area. I stayed in numerous different houses, some by the pool, some a little further up. They all differ in size so be sure to search around for the one that would suit you best. There is a also big Mercadona located 2 minutes from the complex.
  • Huge 1 Bed Apartment, Sleeps 4 – Do not be put off by the word hostel, this is definitely more of an apartment. I stayed here with three of my best friends when we were 17 and it was perfect for what we needed. It slept 4 comfortably, had a completely self service kitchen and a huge balcony with a bbq, outdoor fridge, counter area, deck chairs and patio furniture. We also had access to the rooftop where again there was a nice big pool to cool off.

Where To Eat:

  • Restaurant 34 – fine dining and a luxurious night. Also do tapas if you want a more casual night.
  • Little Italy – cheap, cheerful, no fuss but seriously tasty pizza & pasta. Dearest pizza on the menu is €5!
  • Joanny’s – located on Olive Square, this family run restaurant is one of my favourites. Great food and a brilliant atmosphere. Their fried rosada is out of this world!
  • The Round Bar – located in town on Calle Pintada, they serve delicious and pocket friendly tapas and wine.
  • El Rincon & Bar Dolores “El Chispas” – two of my favourite tapas bars in Nerja. Located on the backstreets you might need to use google maps but they are well worth the search. For the real authentic Spanish experience, sit up at the bar, order a drink and let the bartenders pick you a selection of tapas.
  • La Joya – located just off Olive Square, this place serves the best vegan menu around. They also have a non – vegan menu for those who find it hard to enjoy a meatless meal. Quirky interiors and friendly staff, this place is just somewhere a little different.
  • Ayo’s – located on Burriana beach, Ayo’s is famous for his Paella! The best day to go is a Sunday but try get there around 12pm/1pm as all the Spanish arrive around 2pm and you will struggle to find a seat.

Where To Drink:

  • The Buddha Bar – situated on the popular Calle Pintada, this place is one of Nerja’s more modern bars. Dim lit interiors, a rooftop bar and the best cocktails around!
  • The Round Bar – I mentioned this place for their tapas previously but it is equally as good to go and enjoy a few glasses of vino tinto.
  • Bar El Molino – also called “The Guitar Bar”, this is my favourite secret spot in Nerja. What it lacks in size it makes up for in atmosphere. Get here nice and early to soak up every minute of it. There will be Spanish music and proper Spanish Flamenco dancing – going here is an experience in itself. If you are lucky enough to be in Nerja on a Saturday night, then get here early on, get yourself a nice table and make sure you stay until 12 O’ Clock to experience one of Nerja’s most spectacular events. I can’t tell you anymore because it will only ruin the surprise for you but just go.. you won’t regret it!
  • Tutti Frutti Square – if you are young, up for the craic and looking to extend your night, then it’s pretty inevitable you will end up checking out Tutti Frutti. It’s nothing fancy but it’s a square full to the brim of late night bars and mini clubs that stay open until the early hours.


Other Things To Do:

  • Visit the Nerja Caves.
  • Experience the magical night of San Juan. Andalucian’s are very proud of their heritage and customs and on the 23rd of June every year, all of Nerja gathers on Burriana beach to celebrate with bonfires and musical performances. Everyone wears white and when the clock strikes midnight, everyone throws their regrets and bad memories into the fires and then runs into the ocean to cleanse themselves. There’s this unexplainable atmosphere down on the beach that night, it’s almost euphoric.
  • Walk down the Balcon d-Europa and take in the sights (this kind of goes without saying).


I know this post is extremely text heavy but I wanted to try give anyone thinking of travelling to Nerja as much information as possible. Hopefully this post will help any future Nerja lovers 🙂

Gotta Dash,

Edel x


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