We're just back from a wonderful 6night stay in Nerja.
First of all I'd like to say a big thanks for all the advice given on these forums, we had a fantastic trip, helped in a big way by all your recommendations.
Nerja in General:
Lovely lovely spot. Probably the least 'tacky' holiday resort we've ever been to. It's a lovely town to stroll around, the Balcon is very pretty. Great for seafood, tapas, paella, lounging on the beach or by the pool, walking along the sea front, ice-cold cruz campo beers and sangria.
Niza/Marinsa (booked through malagacarhire.com)
£115 for 6 days, we paid a 50euro fuel deposit which is returned if car is returned full (avoiding the expensive full-empty method that most malaga car hire companies seem to use). We were picked up straight away after our flight the from the courtesy bus stop outside arrivals, and driven 2 mins by minibus to the Niza office. They allow you to return the car up to 4hrs late without being charged - handy for us as we had a late flight.
Las Rosas de Capistrano (booked through alpharooms.com)
Very nice spacious one-bedroom apartment - great value at approx 28euro per night. Split level - Kitchen, bathroom #1, living room, balcony #1 downstairs; Bedroom, bathroom #2, balcony #2 upstairs. Lovely garden and pool area. Located beside Supersol supermarket with Estadio Deportivo (Sports centre) infront. Views from balconies were ok - but next time I would request a room on the mountain side so as not to be overlooking the main road and supermarket roof! No cleaning (towel change/bed-sheet change) done during our 6 nights there - but that wasn't an issue for us. 15-20min walk into town didn't bother us either. However we did drive to the beach (the hill up from the beach looks like it'd be tough going - especially in hot weather!)
7 days of sunshine!! It was hot enough every day to either sit at the pool by the beach. We both got tans, even when using factor 30 for our pale white irish skins. Water temperature - pool was chilly but not freezing, sea was pretty chilly also - but we did manage a swim every day.
We drove the short distance to Maro playa on our first day and enjoyed our brief snorkelling session there and saw lots of little fish - sea was FREEZING so we didn't spend to long in it! We also found a lovely spot on Burriana beach right at the end near the rocks (facing the sea, take a left and keep walking - past Ayo, etc). Amazed at the number of playgrounds on Burriana beach - what a great spot for kids! Also amazed at the great public facilities - the numerous (clean) public toilets, showers, etc. The beaches around Nerja aren't exactly 'soft-gold-sand' type beaches - more gravelly/gray sand - but they are still beautiful nonetheless.
El Puglillia - a total gem - we had drinks and tapas here 3 nights. How it works is you order a drink and you get a tapa free. For tapas we had chorizo, fried baby squid (calamaritos), small fried whole fish, meat skewers, small fried fillet fish - every thing was delicious. Sample bill - 6 small beers (canas) with 6 tapas - 10euro. On a day where you've had a good lunch, you could simply eat a few rounds of tapas and be quite content! I would also totally recommend the 'Rejos' - deep fried squid tentacles - which you order from the menu (3.50 for a half portion is enough between two people). Next time we're in Nerja, we'll definitely be trying the restaurant out the back.
Taberna de Pepe - we had a lovely meal of gambas pil pil, oxtail stew, bottle of red wine, plus two small beers with gorgeous 'spanish ham' tapas to start - bill total was 30euro. This place is pretty small and can be quite busy - we had to wait for a table - but it was so worth it :)
Ayo - ate here 3 times, couldn't resist the gorgeous paella - a steal at 6euro a portion (including optional seconds if your belly can handle it!). We also had the most beautiful lamb stew served with potatoes - the best meal of the holiday - it was called 'Cordero', but not sure if it's on the regular menu as it was their special of the day.
Pinnochios - we had one meal here - a very nice grilled swordfish with beautiful baked potato, and an ok seafood risotto. Friendly service, nice garden terrace, seems like a good place for families.
La Bodega - I hate to say we were very disappointed with our meal here. The stuffed potato tapa we got was only ok. Then for mains we had grilled meat (paradillo) and squid romany style - the squid was nice if a bit chewy. The meat was ok - a bit dry - could've done with some salsa or sauce. But what let the meal down for us was the frozen chips and potato croquettes that came on the side - a real let down. And it was the most expensive meal of our trip at 35euro (including a jug of sangria).
Maro - we had a small stroll around Maro village after our trip to the beach, and an ice cold beer in the plaza outside the church. Gorgeous peaceful little village. It was quite surreal walking around during siesta time - so so quiet - kinda like walking around a church - where you feel like you should be whispering instead of talking!
Frigiliana - gorgeous blindingly-white traditional spanish village. Lovely to just walk around and explore some of the little side alleys.
Nerja caves - we have visited many many caves on previous holidays and were questioning whether it'd be worth going to see more caves - but they really are spectacular. They're on such a grand scale. Even though the outside part of the caves (tourist shop, restaurant, etc) seemed to be thronged with people, inside the caves it was quite peaceful and not too crowded. There's also a lovely little park area above the caves with tables for picnics and a great playground for kids.