Review of a holiday to Nerja in April 2013.
it was a first time visit to Nerja, Costa del Sol and was really very good. We booked a week at very short notice as we were totally fed up with the snow and cold in England. I have to say that the whole trip was very sucessful. The flight from Manchester arrived exactly on time and the captain announced that this was the aircraft's first flight since its arrival in England from Seattle just one week previously. A groan went around the plane as we were all thinking the same thing... its first flight and we are on it! Everything went to plan and we were through Malaga airport quickly, onto a coach and with 22 other passengers all bound for Nerja, we were soon on our way. Just short of 50 minutes drive with no stopping off at other resorts, just one stop at the Riu Monica in Nerja. A glass of Cava was handed out while we did the check in and then off to our room. Bog standard room with 2 single beds pushed together, bath and shower, a balcony with an afternoon sunny aspect and if we leaned out a bit we could see whether the sea was smooth or a bit choppy.
Almost everyone staying in the hotel was over 50 and most were around the 60-70 year age group, most were either English or German. We had bed, breakfast and evening meal and the buffet meals were the usual 4 star standard. There were 2 sittings for dinner and open seating for breakfast. We were all given early dinner on the first night but we asked to change to later dinner so that we could have a longer afternoon and then get showered and changed and go across the road to a bar for drinks before dinner. The prices in the hotel are always higher than the local bars but the bar prices there were all around 3 euro for a pint of San Miguel and 5.50 euro for a pint and a red wine. I think this seemed to be average for Nerja. Coffee sitting at a beach cafe in the morning was about 1.50 euro each so not cheap by Benidorm standards but not outrageous either.
We walked a lot as the weather was warm (around 18 - 20 degrees most days) but overcast about 4 days out of 7 which was a bit disappointing. Just right for walking but not quite good enough for laying on the sunbeds. The beds did get towels left on them for long periods and there didnt seem to be enough of them if it had been really warm and sunny.
We took a local bus, 1 euro each single fare, to Frigiliana. It is a lovely whitewashed hill town about 20 minutes away. Nothing going on that day as I'm not into markets so we didn't choose market day to go. It was a lovely ride up on the bus, we had a coffee each in a cafe with a superb view back down the mountain, then after a stroll through the narrow streets we caught the bus back to the hotel for a cuppa on our balcony and a read/snooze for an hour. I took a travel kettle and my own tea/coffee/dried milk and it was very welcome to be able to make a drink whenever we wanted. The beds were really solid as someone else commented on the Riu hotels, and my poor arthritic hip just hated the bed. I didn't have a good nights sleep all week so it was a great relief to get into my own bed on our return and I slep all night long. I do know a lot of folk who like firm beds but for me they were too hard.
There didn't seem to be anywhere else we could go as we don't hire a car and rely on public transport to get around. A trip to Granada was on my to do list but the Thompson organised trip was expensive x 2 of us and the local bus necessitated a 6:30am start so I declined on that one. Someone we met went to Torrox to the market but they didn't rave about it. The beaches are shingle rather than sand and consist of about 5 or 6 small bays divided by rocks and with a fair amount of steps to negotiate up and down again. We rather liked that but I would say think carefully if you don't like walking or don't do steps/hills very well. The water was really lovely and clear and not poluted as I have read on Trip Advisor BUT ... there was an awful lot of dog poo on the pavements and we saw so many local people walking dogs that didn't appear to be carrying poo bags with them. I kept my eyes peeled all the time when out walking and that was the one thing that I would say needs some attention from the local council or whatever their municipal authority is.
All in all we had a lovely week in a pretty Spanish town and came home feeling relaxed but a bit overweight even though we did a good deal of walking every day.
Photos to follow all being well....