About Nerja


There’s something about Nerja which touches visitors. The climate is certainly one of the best in Europe, the local fruit and vegetables are second to none, and the welcome is undeniably warm. But, in addition, there is a feeling of belonging, of being amongst the contented, of joining a community whose quality of life is of primary importance.

Nerja, originally named Narixa, meaning "rich in water”, has many legends and stories which have been passed by word of mouth across the centuries, stemming from romance between the sun, moon and sea. The sea has always been - and still remains - the soul of the town. Thousands of visitors have chosen Nerja as their idyll; clean, shingle beaches, the charisma of the people, the gentle way of life and traditionally rich Andalusian culture. Nerja's beaches, El Playazo, La Torrecilla, El Salon, Calahonda, El Chorillo, and Burriana stretch over 16 km of fine sand and clear waters.

The beach at Nerja: Over 16km of fine sand and clear waters

Foreigner home owners who live in Nerja for either part or all of the year have chosen to buy property in the least-spoiled area of the Costa del Sol. Unlike so many of the former small fishing villages to the west of Malaga, Nerja's development over the last 35 years has been slow and measured. It has very few of the concrete tower blocks which litter the coast elsewhere. The town has welcomed foreign residents while it has maintained its unique Spanish character, it has encouraged foreigners to participate in local activities and has enabled their integration rather than segregation.

So, what is the attraction? Why do so many people decide that Nerja is their ideal place in the sun? The climate is a factor, of course. The average annual temperature is around 19°F (about 66°C), with highs in the Summer of over 30 C (86°F) in July and August which enjoy many cloudless days. Even then, in Summer Nerja tends to be 8 or 10 degrees cooler than the searing heat in cities such as Cordoba, where temperatures of over 40°C (104°F) are not uncommon.

For sport, the "GINS" (Golf International Nerja Society) play at least twice a week from October onwards, while there is tennis, petanque and skiing readily available. Club Deportivo Nerja, the local football team, are placed at mid-position in the Malaga Senior League, with home matches almost every other Sunday afternoon at the soccer ground near the Ambulatorio (Health Centre).

A good social life in Nerja often involves eating and drinking, and there's no better place for both! The town reputedly offers more places to eat per head of population, than anywhere else in Spain - around 400 bars and restaurants. The benefit to the consumer, apart from choice, is that standards are high and prices are reasonable. Eating places range from "cheap and cheerful" to 3 and 4 stars, from traditional Andalucian cuisine through British, Chinese, Greek, Indian, and others, and from tapas to Sunday roasts - they're all in Nerja.

Drinking and driving laws are much the same as in other European countries including Ireland, Germany, Italy and Britain. The difference in Nerja is that it is quite safe to walk home late at night after a glass or two of wine, even through deserted back streets. Crime levels are generally low and tend to be opportunistic. So being sensible - locking up the house properly, not displaying your wallet to the pickpocket, and driving carefully - pays dividends.

One of the finest views in the south of Spain can be seen from the Balcon de Europa in Nerja's heart. This promontory, named by King Alfonso XII in 1885, is the place to be at sunset on a Summer's night when the curve of the earth can clearly be seen on the horizon across the Mediterranean. On a clear day the coast of Morocco can be clearly defined, confirming the important cultural link between Spain and its Arab neighbours. Nearby, is the 17th century Church of El Salvador, recently restored.

Nerja is a fine town, changing as Andalucia changes and improving as technology improves, which will forever retain a character unique to the Axarquia, that ham-shaped wedge stretching east from Malaga to the border of the Granada province, and north to the Sierra de Tejada. Its position on the coast of this rugged and beautiful area makes a delightful resort to visit and a secure home to live in for its 15,000 residents.

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