Nerja Things to Do Tips by Bwana_Brown Top 5 Page for this destination
Nerja Things to Do: 59 reviews and 150 photos
Waves crashing at Plaza Fabrica de los Congrejos
Since Nerja was the only place during our entire 3-week trip in Spain that we actually stayed on the waterfront, we took some time out to simply relax on our balcony and enjoy the various activities taking place along the Mediterranean coast.
When we first arrived in town we made the very short walk from Hostal Marazul to a nicely landscaped and tiled promenade down by the beach, Plaza Fabrica de los Congrejos (Plaza of the Crabs). It is actually named after an old crab factory that used to be located in this part of Nerja. We experienced the first wet and windy weather of our trip on arrival in Nerja but still enjoyed the big waves coming in and crashing on the rocky shoreline below the viewing area. The large square azulejo-like tiles used for flooring in the plaza are actually quite slippery when wet, so a bit of caution is required if it has been raining.
It was great having a balcony with a seaside view at the Hostal - we spent a few hours there sipping wine while reading our books or just looking out, up or down at the various activities along the waterfront (2nd photo). One of the most exhilarating was watching a motorized paraglider (3rd photo) as it swooped over the sea just off-shore - what a view he must have had. Our birdwatching binoculars came in handy for that as well as for checking out the container ships and cruise liners passing by on the horizon (4th photo). We did a great deal of driving during this holiday, so it was a real pleasure to just sit still for a bit!
Directions: Near the middle of Nerja's waterfront - just west of Plaza Fabrica de los Congrejos
Wandering the main square - where is everyone?
Not really sure if we were on the right track for Competa, we pulled the car over in Sayalonga and got out to see if we could gather any additional information on a Saturday morning.
Although inhabited since Roman times, the present-day architecture of Sayalonga is pure white-washed Moorish style and sits at an altitude of 355-m above sea level. Its 1200 residents make their living from the terraced hillsides as they harvest traditional crops of olives, almonds, citrus fruits and even Nisperos (Medlar Fruit), an exotic Asian species that was brought back from the far east centuries ago (when ripe they taste similar to apple sauce).
We parked our car and got out for a stroll to see if we could find the local tourist information office - we did but it was closed. However, we did enjoy our stroll through the almost deserted downtown area of the village - the architecture was quite amazing as various squares were connected by decorative steps. As luck would have it, one wall held a large decorative azulejo (tiled) map of the area that clearly showed Sayalonga was on the route to Competa! That made us feel better as we headed back to the car, where we met a young Englishman getting out of his Range Rover. We asked him just to be sure and he pointed us in the right direction for Competa. In the end, Competa was really busy on Saturday morning market day and we did not enjoy it as much as our unplanned walk in Sayalonga (see my 'Warnings & Dangers' tip and you will understand why!).
While leaving Nerja the next day for Tarifa, we detoured inland once more to check out Frangiliana, another village that is highly spoken of. However, it began to rain so we gave it a miss and continued on our long drive to the Atlantic coast.
Directions: A bit west of Nerja and inland toward Competa
Typical mountain scenery once you head inland
Spain is known for its small and picturesque 'white villages', scattered here and there in the mountainous countryside just inland from the Mediterranean Sea, so we decided we had better go have a look for ourselves. There are a few of these villages just on the outskirts of Nerja - when leaving town just go straight across the main divided A7 coastal highway into the network of narrow, twisting but scenic roads that lace these mountains (they are smooth and in good shape though). It seems that we always do every backward because we never have any set plans - we made our 'white village' excursion while driving from Torremolinos to Nerja, trying to locate the village of Cómpeta to see what all the fuss was about.
Our large road map covering all of Spain was a bit 'sketchy' when it came to small secondary roads, so we were never entirely sure of where we were actually going when detouring onto some of those roads. However, we did not really care as we were enjoying the scenery and knew that we would eventually turn up somewhere. Don't sweat the small stuff - just drive around a bit taking in the sights and stopping to take photos if you see something that appeals to you.
Directions: Anywhere along the Andalusian coast - in this case, very close to Nerja
The Gorge leading into the city
If you have a rental car and some time to spare, you can even make a day-trip to the spectacular inland gorge at Alhama de Granada. This is another of Spain's many natural attractions, and one that tries to give Ronda a run for its money when it comes to having spectacular gorges in town - but does not quite do it!
We arrived there from Torremolinos at about 1 PM on New Year's Day and were really impressed by the gorge cut into the surrounding countryside by the Alhama River. The weak winter sun was beaming directly down the gorge at us, making it difficult to get decent photos of the quite impressive spectacle but we tried our best. It was amazing to stand on the precipice at the edge of Alhama de Granada and see the river headed straight for town (2nd photo). However, the rock walls won that battle and deflected the river east as shown in the 3rd photo. We really enjoyed our time just taking in the entire scene but, if you wish, you could be part of a group exploring the gorge itself, which can be walked from one end to the other alongside the Alhama River. If you want to return to civilization at the top of the gorge you have a choice of either steep slopes or steps (some of which are carved into the rock face) at several locations in the gorge.
As we continued east, we were amazed at the view we had of Lake Bermejales off in the distance (4th photo), a water reservoir that also serves as a great recreation area. In our case, it took us just over 2 hours to reach Nerja from Alhama (during our second visit to Nerja by way of the outskirts of Granada). However, if you are starting from Nerja, it only takes about 1 hour to cover the 69 km to Alhama de Granada by first travelling west along the Mediterranean shore before heading inland near Velez-Malaga (instead of the 148 km via our unplanned route past Granada). The mountain route from Velez-Malaga is really spectacular (as shown in my 'Torremolinos' page).
Directions: The map in my 'General' tip illustrates the relative locations of Nerja and Alhama de Granada
More Reviews (9)
- See All Laundry can be a problem
- See All A map of our drives to/from and around...
- See All Toast & Sparrows
Bwana_Brown's Related Pages
Nerja Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Nerja, Costa del Sol, Spain."
- "Amapola's Nerja Page"
- "Nerja - we really enjoyed our time there!"
- "Smile Nerja:)"
- "Life makes me visit it again and again"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Nerja
- Hotels in Nerja
- Transportation in Nerja
- Nightlife in Nerja
- Restaurants in Nerja
- Shopping in Nerja
- Warnings and Dangers in Nerja
- See All...
Explore the World
- Winona Hotels
- Brignoud Hotels
- Pola Island Hotels
- Central & Eastern Thailand
- Ano Simi Hotels
Badges & Stats in Nerja
- 13 Reviews
- 35 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 19 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (102)
Have you been to Nerja?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Nerja
Photos in NerjaSee All Photos (35)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Andalucía Intro, 60 reviews, 186 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Province of New Brunswick Intro, 70 reviews, 138 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Gaspé Intro, 51 reviews, 157 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Belize Intro, 66 reviews, 140 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Province of Ontario Intro, 46 reviews, 144 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Yellowstone National Park Intro, 42 reviews, 120 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Portugal Intro, 80 reviews, 81 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Glacier National Park Intro, 43 reviews, 115 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Canada Intro, 45 reviews, 100 photos
- Buenos Aires Intro, 68 reviews, 71 photos
FriendsSee All Friends (64)
Latest Nerja hotel reviews
- Hotel Jimesol
- 55 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 18, 2013
- Apartamentos Marina Turquesa
- 22 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 19, 2013
- Apartamentos Andalucia Nerja
- 2 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 3, 2006
- Hostal Tres Soles
- 25 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 30, 2013
- 40 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 7, 2013
- Apartamentos Rio Marinas Nerja
- 17 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 7, 2012
- Hostal Ana
- 4 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 2, 2013
- Aparturis Toboso Hotel Nerja
- 92 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 12, 2013
- Villas Nerja
- 8 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Feb 3, 2013
- Apartamentos Mediterraneo Nerja
- 66 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 6, 2013
- Nerja Club
- 322 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 17, 2013
- Parador de Nerja Malaga
- 163 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 15, 2013
- Hostal Azahara
- 13 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 19, 2012
- Casa Charlotte Nerja
- 29 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 16, 2013
- Hotel Carabeo & Restaurant 34
- 123 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 18, 2013