How to get to and from Nerja.
Nerja is situated approx. 50 Kms from Malaga.
Flying from the UK, Malaga airport is the closest and best served air connection. However although Granada airport is just over an hours drive from Nerja, the flights into the airport are not as frequent as Malaga, and as a consequence tend to be more expensive.
Getting to/from Nerja from Malaga Airport
Malaga to Nerja bus
Alsa Buses operate a good service from Malaga and Malaga Airport.
There is a main bus stop area in Central Nerja, on Calle Avda Pescia. It serves both the Frigiliana and Alsa buses. There is an Alsa ticket office, which looks more like a garden shed, on the Malaga and Frigiliana bound side of the road. IE going downhill.
Travelling to Malaga Bus Station to catch the Alsa bus
To get to Malaga bus station from the airport, take the airport shuttle bus. This bus stop is directly in front of you on leaving the terminal building. Shuttle bus is about 3 Euros, single. There are limited stops on route to Malaga bus station. The bus runs every 20 minutes. Journey time of about 20 minutes.
Go by metro to Malaga bus station. The metro is located across the road directly in front of you on leaving the terminal building. The metro is slightly more complicated but easy enough. I always get the metro. A single ticket is just under 2 Euros. The metro runs every 20 minutes and is quicker than the shuttle bus. Once you have your ticket take the left hand escalator following the signs to Malaga Centro. The journey is approx. 5 minutes involving 4 stops. You must get off at Maria Zambrano. There is only one exit. Once through the ticket booths go into the shopping mall and turn left. Keep the shops to your right and follow the overhead signs to the bus station (Estacion de Autobuses) in Spanish. You will pass a shopping mall café to your left, keep walking until you get to the junction. Turn right and leave the mall. Walk straight, cross the road, the bus station is to your left. Sounds confusing but is quick and easy.
At Malaga bus station you will need the Alsa desk. There are self service ticket machines in English next to the booths. If using the ticket machine you will be asked for a post code prior to payment. Type in 29780. The post code for Nerja! Buses run every 30 mins. Dependent upon the bus taken the bus will take between 50 and 90 mins. Generally platform 20 is the fast coach, and platform 38 the slower ones. The bus will stop at the only Nerja bus stop. Taxis are available from this location.
Bus times are at www.alsa.es
In the winter I generally hire a car. Having used a number of different companies I find the best company is Malagacar.com. http://www.malagacar.com
The reason I use this company is that generally there is no fuss on collecting the car, the vehicles are of good quality, and the price is comparable to other companies. The majority of the staff speak English. During the winter small basic cars are about 5 Euros a day plus optional additional insurance.
The aspect of insurance is hotly debated. I take out the extra, Full Package insurance. It tends to increase the final bill but you are covered for almost all eventualities. However a friend of mine has ‘excess insurance’ where he pays about £50 per year to a company, eg Icar insurance or AA and they will pay your excess bill if you have a crash.
Dependent upon the company used you meet the representative either just before you leave customs, or in the public arrivals hall after clearing the large double doors, prior to leaving the terminal building. Your booking email will explain this.
Taxi to Nerja from Malaga Airport
Taking a taxi from the airport is rather the same around the globe. If not previously ordered it will cost a fortune. In this case around 100 Euros, single.
However if the taxi has been ordered then the rate is 65 Euros, single (60 Euros in the winter).
Radio Taxis Nerja Telephone number, +34 952 52 05 37
The main taxi rank is situated in Calle San Miguel about 200 metres down the road from Mercadona Supermarket. There are several other ranks, including one opposite the Alsa Ticket office.
Transfer Malaga Airport.
There are a number of transfer companies. www.resorthoppa.com and www.travelrepublic.co.uk to name a few. Transfers are around £25 per person each way. This is ideal for 1 or 2 people as a great way to save money for more beer, but the catch is that you may end up in a car/minibus with complete strangers. Obviously if they, or you, are on the ‘curvey’ side then it will be a bit cramped. In the past Travel Republic have sent a driver for my sole use.
All companies will demand you be picked up at a hotel. This makes their life easier rather than collect from a gated complex with all the inherent difficulties that will cause. If you are at a villa this will cause you difficulty. I generally give an address of the local church, garage, even the police station. This is usually accepted as a pick up/drop off point.
Driving/Parking in Nerja.
Driving/Parking in Nerja.
Be prepared for the locals to make up their own rules at roundabouts. They will stay in the inner lane on a roundabout, and without any indication, suddenly pull off the roundabout.
Parking in Nerja
Parking is not too much of a problem in the winter. However the summer months can be difficult to find a spot. For the town centre, I suggest the ‘dust bowl’, which is accessible just before the bus stops in Central Nerja in Calle Avda Pescia. This is a huge area with free parking overnight for cars as well.
If going to the East of town then consider the underground car park at Plaza de Espana. This is accessible from Calle Animas or Calle Cruz. There is also a huge fee paying open air car park between Calle Los Huertos and Calle Carabeo, accessible from Calle Frigiliana.
In the summer the rather overpriced Burriana Beach car park opens.
Caves of Nerja, Cuevas de Nerja
Discovered in 1960 by a group of boys living in the area, the caves of Nerja became a Heritage site.
Such are the attraction of the caves that people travel from miles around to visit them. Indeed I am aware that a number of cruise ships that dock at Malaga, about 50 Kms away, have the caves as a day trip.
A ‘must see’ if you are Nerja.
Being about 4 Kms from Nerja, to get to the caves is relatively easy, by bus, car or even walking.
The caves are located on the N340, just outside of the neighbouring village of Maro. Also adjacent to the A7 Motorway, junction 295.
Parking is one Euro in the official car park, or you can park on the wasteland shortly before arriving at the caves.
An Alsa bus goes to the caves regularly, and bus tickets can be purchased from the ‘shed’ ticket office at the main bus stop in Nerja. Tickets for the return journey tickets can be purchased on board.
If walking, then follow the N340 from the bus stops, heading with the sea to your right. It is well signposted and will take about 1 hour. There are no shops on route so please ensure you have enough water.
These caves do not appear to be disabled friendly so be aware!
Once entrance has been gained through the narrow corridor, the caves are spectacular. The caves are huge, with good signage, walkways and information points.
If you time the visit correctly there are often concerts held within the caves.
The website for the caves can be found at www.cuevadenerja.es
Nerja Princ Hotel Nerja
On this occasion we stayed at the Nerja Princ Hotel, formerly the Hotel Princess. http://www.hotelnp.com
The hotel is central within the old part of town, located on Calle Los Huertos, about half way along. This is a small family run hotel, offering a great location, nice rooms (Even with a fridge), and breakfast included. A 3 star (Spanish) rating it has everything you need. We paid about £312 Gbp for 8 nights.
Eating and drinking Nerja
Food and drink here is very cheap.
First night we had dinner just up the road in a restaurant called Joanny in Plaza Del Olvido.
The food is excellent. Try the fish skewer. Fantastic.
Washed down with a few glasses of wine at Esquina Paulina in ‘Post Office Street’.
A traditional breakfast in Spain is the toasted bread with oil and tomato.
If you are feeling adventurous try rubbing some garlic cloves into the bread first. I took this at the
in the centre of town.
The food plus a coffee was about 2 Euros.
That evening we went for drinks at Los Huertos Sevillanos, https://www.sevillanorestaurante.com/en/
where on certain nights they have live Flamenco dancing, great tapas and wine.
Good Stuff Cafe Nerja
There is a great coffee and pastry shop run by an Irish couple in town, named the ‘Good Stuff cafe.’ https://www.facebook.com/goodstuffnerja Here you have all kinds of homemade cakes, flans and even ‘Cornish Pasties’ freshly prepared. I like mine with brown sauce! Always busy but you will get a seat and a friendly welcome.
If you want a great English Breakfast (Meat or vegetarian) then try the Coach and Horses.
Places to visit within Nerja.
The Balcon, known as the Balcon De Europa, named by one of the Spanish Kings because of the great view from the viewing point in the heart of Nerja.
Whilst on the Balcon go to the Upstairs bar at Cochrans, with the magnificent views,
or just down the road at the Marbella Hotel.
Beach Fun Nerja
The main beach with activities in the summer is Burriana Beach a short walk to the East of Town.
Great manicured beach, and you can take up yoga in the mornings if you feel up to it.
Live music Nerja
Currently there are two great locations for late live music in Nerja. Fitzgeralds https://www.facebook.com/Fitzgeraldsbarnerja
Fitzgerald’s has had several locations over the years, and I prefer this latest venue. More open and airy. There are some great acts here covering all genres, try to take in the Flying Dolphins. Adrian and the team will try to accommodate all requirements.
and Buskers https://www.facebook.com/buskersnerja.
Buskers runs with their live music until around 1am. Buskers has a late night atmosphere with great bands, great crowd, and an all round great evening.
Club music can be found at Tutti Fruti Square.
All in the centre of town.
Nerja Old Town
Spend a while just walking around the old town. Particularly after dark, and see all the locals sitting outside their houses chatting, and try to get a glimpse into their lifestyle through the open windows and doors.
A fascinating town, where the ‘old’ Spain still exists.
Frigiliana dates back to the time of the Moors, about a zillion years ago. Set up in the hills, about a 10 minute drive (Or 2 hour walk along the Rio Chiller), this is a fully functioning white washed walled village. If you have been to Mijas village along the coast they are similar. Many deliveries are made by mule as the cobbled roads are not suitable for modern day traffic. Some fantastic vista points from up high.
I first discovered this village when I went on an organised hike with John Keo, http://www.hikingwalkingspain.com/ give him a try, he meets in Nerja most days and he will show you all the area. Well worth contacting him for a hike.
A trip to Nerja would not be complete without a tapas tour. For the uninitiated, tapas date back a number of years where the drinker would be given a small plate of food to accompany their alcoholic drink. To ‘soak up’ the booze! Many parts of Spain serve Tapas, but the difference in Nerja is that the Tapa is free. Now at about 2.5 Euros for a big glass of wine and some food, this makes a great and cheap night out.
Bars are regularly changing and route are as well. The rule of thumb is about 5 bars an evening if you respect your liver! Here are a couple of my favourite routes.
Tapas Route 1
Start at the main Balcon square in front of the church. With your back to the sea turn right and walk towards the 3 way junction of Calle Pintada, Calle Carabeo, and Calle Del Almirante Ferrandiz. Go up the middle road with the cigarette shop on the left. After about 50 metres you see the post office (Correos) to the right.
After about 100 metres find the large bar on the right Bar Restaurante El Pulguilla. This is a ‘traditional Spanish tapas bar’ dealing mainly in fish dishes. Although a popular bar I find it a little noisy, but great food.
Bar Restaurante El Pulguilla
Leave the bar, turn right and keep walking up the hill. On the left , on the corner of Calle De Las Carretas is one of my favourites, El Nino. This bar is split into both Tapas and main restaurant. The tapas part is fairly small and in peak season it may not be possible to accommodate large parties. However, having said that, persevere, as it is a lovely place. Try the Russian salad, very nice.
Next on this route is mine, and most of my friends, all time favourite! Leaving El Nino, turn left and continue up the hill. After about 200 Metres you come to Calle De Alejandro Bueno. For reference there is the Martin Ferreteria (Hardware Store) on the right hand side of the junction. Turn left and after approx. 50 metres is a small bar, Los Bilbainos. From the outside you will be thinking ‘What am I doing here?’ The table clothes are plastic, the whole place needs decorating, and the toilets are dodgy. However this is a traditional Spanish bar serving great tapas and the locals treat all visitors with a friendly smile and will assist as much as they can. There is not much English spoken in here, but nothing a bit of ‘point and order’ can’t sort out. A favourite in this bar is the egg and bacon (Huevos Y Jamon) sandwiches as tapas. The eggs are quails eggs and are served between 2 small pieces of French bread. This is also one of the cheapest bars in town.
Tapas Route 2
To finds the Mariposa, turn right out of the Los Bilbainos, and left into Calle Almirante Ferrandiz, The Mariposa is infront of you on the right hand side. The outside terrace fencing may not be there, it comes and goes. This place appears to have changed hands a few times in the last few years, and is mainly an authentic local bar with a few tourists. Nevertheless a nice bar with a fair selection. Try the Chorizo sausage.
Leaving the Mariposa, turn right and head up the hill. First turning on the right is Calle La Habana, junction of Calle De Garcia Alted is Bar Cangrejo. Wow, this is one of my favourites on the Tapas run. If you think La Mariposa is authentic then visit this place. With the complete lack of English being spoken and populated by locals this is a ‘point and eat’ experience. Just remember ‘Pescado’ is fish and ‘Carne’ (As in Chilli) is meat. Don’t even go down the Veggie, gluten free, road. Tapas can be anything from some sort of Russian salad to whole fish. There are tables outside at the side of the bar with local old ladies sitting on their chairs outside their houses, with spindly legs and why do they insist in having their knees apart? Anyway, now that you have been put off your food, you must go there. Excellent tapas. I like the Black pudding, morcilla. As you can see although a fish trail, I prefer the carne options.
Leaving Bar Cangrejo, turn left and head down Calle De Garcia. This is a narrow, almost an alley with cars parked alongside the house. At the bottom, turn left and opposite you will see an even narrower alleyway. Calle Santiago. Go down about 50 Metres and on the left is a small turning. This is Calle Bolivia or Calle San Pedro, they roll into the one! Almost immediately you will see 2 bars in front of you. Opposite each other. The alley is so narrow that the sun blind from one covers the other. Both bars are owned by the same person and called La Puntilla. You want the bar on the right, going down the hill. The one on the left is for the posh people that want a conventional restaurant. What can I say about La Puntilla? Well is it populated by locals and tourists alike. Very busy. Very noisy. Especially if you can get in there when Malaga FC are playing on the TV! Wide selection of fish dishes. I like the Gambas (Prawns) cooked with garlic in oil. The wine glasses come quite full as well which is always a bonus.
Come out of La Puntilla, and turn right, heading down the hill. After approx. 2 minutes you will see on the right hand side Bar Dolores El Chispa. Again a noisy local bar (Especially football night), full of fish tapas, children running around, Grandad sitting at the bar, and an all round great authentic Spanish bar. As always there is a friendly smile and fast service.
Bar Dolores El Chispa
On the basis you can still stand and have reasonable eye/leg co-ordination turn right out of Bar Dolores El Chispa and head to the junction. You should be in Calle Ruperto Anduez. Turn right and head down the hill. Her we find the last bar on the tour, Rincon Del Sabor (Corner of flavour). I am not sure what to make of this place. The tapas and drink in here is excellent. The actual bar reminds me of some sort of ex pats, with Spanish influence, from the 1970’s. I cant put my finger on it. Anyway the TV, in Spanish (What else) is always on showing some game show, the friendly ex pat drunk (Not me) at the end of the bar, and this place is great! Just not sure why I like it so much. But as I say fantastic food and drink. Thoroughly recommend it.