The Costa del Sol, in Malaga, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain, but if you’re looking for a low-key vibe, head to Nerja. This former fishing village is wedged between the dramatic foothills of the Sierra Almijara and a long stretch of coast dotted with beaches, coves and rugged cliffs. Central to its waterfront is the famous Balcón de Europa with its breathtaking views of the sea.
Positioned on a clifftop with vistas running miles along the scenic coast, the Parador de Nerja couldn’t be placed in a more idyllic setting. Its pretty landscaped gardens are the perfect spot to soak up the sea-view panorama. When you’re ready for some sunbathing, you can access the neighbouring Playa de Burriana by a glass elevator. Be sure to sample some of the local flavours in the restaurant – the baked wild rockfish is a speciality.
For hip, adults-only accommodation with the latest tech, the MB Boutique Hotel is sure to push all the right buttons. Contemporary rooms feature touch-screen controls for everything from lighting to water flow speed. The free coffee and low-cost minibars are a bonus. Located in the quieter, residential part of town, the hotel is a short walk to Nerja’s best beaches and the vibrant nightlife of Plaza Tutti Frutti. Alternatively, the rooftop chill-out terrace with two giant hot tubs is open until late.
As the name suggests, sustainability plays a big part of the ethos at the MB Hostels Premium Eco. Expect eco-friendly toiletries in your en-suite bathroom and free rental of e-bikes to get you around town. The funky rooms all feature touch-screen technology and have private balconies – many with superb sea views. But you’ll find the best panoramic view on the rooftop terrace, where there’s a fun corkscrew slide for a speedy route back down to ground level.
Once a grand residential villa, this clifftop hotel retains plenty of its original homely ambience. Its elevated position overlooking Playa Burriana has fabulous views, plus there’s direct access to a private beachfront terrace. Pick a spot to unwind in the lush tropical gardens before taking a dip in the pool or large outdoor Jacuzzi. If you’d rather soak alone, take advantage of your room’s own aqua-massage tub.
This luxury B&B option promises more than your average guest house. Most suites are decorated in a beautiful floral style and open on to a terrace or balcony with views over the dramatic sea and mountain landscape. Breakfast is a selection of delicious local organic produce. If you’re feeling lazy, the poolside loungers provide the perfect spot for a sneaky afternoon siesta.
The Easy Nerja Guesthouse is one of the only places in Nerja aimed at backpackers and solo travellers looking for company. There are mixed dorms and private rooms to choose from, as well as a shared kitchen for making your own meals. Tag along on group activities such as paddle surfing, cliff jumping or river trekking. Reminisce about your experiences on the weekly tapas tour or pub crawl with new friends from all over the world.
An unfussy lodging in the bustling centre of Nerja, Hostal Don Peque gives you easy access to numerous local night spots and dining options. It’s also just a five-minute walk to Playa la Caletilla, where you can claim the best patch of sand – providing you arrive early enough. After a night on the tiles you might want to reserve your slot in the rooftop Jacuzzi and let your hangover bubble away while taking in the sea views.