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Just back from Nerja - trip report

Dunmore East...
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Just back from Nerja - trip report

Trip report

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.

Car hire:

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.

Accommodation:

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!)

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.

Beaches:

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.

Food:

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).

Excursions:

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.

Nerja, Spain
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1. Re: Just back from Nerja - trip report

I think this has to best trip report that I've ever read! That's not just because it's very positive rather it's honest, ie the good & bad?

Thanks kobbo. Good to hear that you had such a great time!

Nerja
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2. Re: Just back from Nerja - trip report

Excellent report. Very comprehensive and informative. Does sound like you had a great time. It's nice to see the good and the bad mixed in but reported without rancour.

Blackpool, United...
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3. Re: Just back from Nerja - trip report

Wonderful report and so helpful for others who are contemplating a holiday here! So glad that the weather was kind,October has been amazing! I have not worn a cardigan or jacket since Spring !

Non "tacky" is a great way to describe this town!

The caves are really mind blowing aren´nt they? I have friends who have been dubious about visiting the caves because they suffer from claustrophobia etc but have been fine in there. They are huge!!! They hold musical events inside in the Summer. If you ever come in May, the San Isidro Fiesta is based up there after the parade.

Thanks for sharing your experiences and hurry back!

Nerja, Spain
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4. Re: Just back from Nerja - trip report

"I have not worn a cardigan or jacket since Spring !"

Sheilamary that is probably because you leave them in every bar / restaurant that you go in! ;) (& yes I know that I left mine ONCE!)

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5. Re: Just back from Nerja - trip report

Good roumded report.

El Pulguila is my favorite tapas place too, along with perhaps La Marina.

I must admit I regularly recommend La Bodega and surprised at your bad meal - sorry about that, did you complain? They are usually very gracious.

I'm guessing you'll return to Nerja.

Stoofer

Harvard...
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6. Re: Just back from Nerja - trip report

We also had a good time in Nerja, although only for a day, in mid-October. We agree with your assessment of Taberna de Pepe -- good meal at reasonable prices. We generally had disappointing food in Spain (we find much better tapas in a Boston suburb, which seems crazy to me), so Pepe was a nice surprise.

The Costa del Sol was what we expected -- mostly overbuilt (and not all that attractively), and not as pretty as the Cote d'Azur -- but Nerja was an exception. I could see spending some time there as long as you could find restaurants you liked.

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7. Re: Just back from Nerja - trip report

> We generally had disappointing food in Spain <

That's a shame, if you know where to eat, Spain has become one of the best countries in Europe to eat IME. The costas are generally not good as they cater for cultural terrorism ( mass tourism seeking food from home) but many of the cities have wonderful restaurants and in the villages you can often find a special place to eat.

Tapas is often an affordable option and Nerja is pretty good for tapas, as is Malaga, great region for fried fish especially.

> We find much better tapas in a Boston Suburb <

I think that's just a case of going to the wrong places in Nerja and you said you only went for a day. Finding restaurants you like in Nerja is as easy as it gets.

Stoofer

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8. Re: Just back from Nerja - trip report

Wow! What a great report! Informative and constructive. Well done!

Glad you had the pil pil and oxtail at Taberna de Pepe - my favourite meal at my favourite restaurant! We've had friends here this week and tried to get on Tuesday night, but it was very full. So we went across the road to Los Cuñados ("the through bar") and had a perfectly acceptable meal, as always.

And, yes, you were lucky with the weather as well. I'm sorry to tell you that it's forecast to continue sunny and warm for another week at least.

Lake Vinuela...
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9. Re: Just back from Nerja - trip report

I too was very surprised at your poor experience at La Bodega.

We were there recently and, as usual, had our choice of Papas a la Pobre or Jacket Potato - never received a dish with frozed Chips or Croquetas.

We have receommended la Bodega many times over the past few years and have always had good feedback but a poor experience like you had makes me very reluctant to recommend anywhere in future.

Hastings, United...
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10. Re: Just back from Nerja - trip report

Thanks for an informative report.

I suspect that if you want to avoid frozen chips you´d have to cross a lot of restaurants off the list (and not all English).