Soaking up the sun in Costa Del Sol // Nerja, Spain

Soaking up the sun in Costa Del Sol // Nerja, Spain


Jackpot! We NAILED it with our weekend in the Costa Del Sol in Nerja, Spain.

I had wanted two very basic things: sunshine and water. What we got was: a charming Spanish town, stunning views, ridiculously yummy tapas, culture, AND a sunny beach. A blissful weekend before our final days in our wedding countdown (ONE month from today I’ll be a Mrs., ah!).

Here’s the deal. Getting to Nerja is actually a CHEAP cake walk. We flew via RyanAir into Malaga, took the train to the city center then hopped a local bus for 4E to Nerja. (Yes, yes, that’s already three forms of transportation but I swear it’s straightforward!)

Upon arrival, we checked into our hotel right in the town center (highly recommended, only 75E/night with breaky and a gorgeous rooftop deck & pool), changed and headed down to the beach!


(cue uber-relaxing beach pics)

A beach cabana and cushy chair for 4 euro a day? Yes, please!

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If it’s not obvious, all of these pictures were been taken in between beach-side naps… 


Yawnnn… our tummies started grumbling. We stroll up to the boardwalk and check out our options.


The highly rated Sabor de Amor (Tapas Plaza) was an absolute win! Whoopsies, no pictures of the shrimp cakes and tapas that we quickly devoured!


Back to beach for another nap AND a 45 massage (for 15 Euro!), then a stroll into town.

Sighh, vacation-life is good-life.

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Wrapping up our afternoon, we ducked into the hotel for showers then strolled to the main square to find a huge celebration for Dia de la Cruz taking place. 

“Dia de la Cruz” (Day of the Cross), is said to have begun back in 1878. Traditionally the young men of Nerja and surrounding villages would sing to the marriable girls after midnight on April 30th. This tradition has now become an opportunity for the various localities of the town to get together as a community and enjoy music, food and dancing. (via

The square was filled with groups of ladies in matching flamenco dresses and on lookers. In front of the church a stage was setup where the groups performed songs and dances. We lingered for quite awhile but at the time we were completely unsure of what was going on, it sure did add to the charm of the place though!

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That evening we popped over to Maria Bonita for their infamous seafood paella. Color me delighted. It’s hard to tell but we shared the one side of the table (we do this often) so we could enjoy the ocean views at sunset. You really can’t beat a meal like that.

Paella in Spain is a hands-on ordeal – peeling locally caught shrimp, fresh mussels and squid in between generous scoops of rice smothered in a seasonings, squeezes of fresh lemon juice, and veggies. YUM. You can bet we cleaned our plates.

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Let’s cut to the chase here – pencil in Nerja at the tippy-top of your beach bucket list. Cinque Terre, Almalfi, these destinations are GREAT but Nerja is off the map in an especially appealing way. Aside from the beauty of the landscape, it’s filled to the brim with authentic Spanish culture and tradition. We loved Nerja and will definitely return.

 Have you gone somewhere with low expectations only to have your socks completely knocked off?



  • This looks amazing! Penciling it in right now!

  • Nerja is really well known in Spain, and it’s pretty amazing. I went on a rainy winter day and it was beautiful! Did you get a chance to go to the caves?

  • Oh my goodness! How beautiful!!

  • I totally have that blue necklace, is it from Target, I love mine! Beautiful pictures as always, I love a good beach vacation.

  • I absolutely love your dress!

  • So gorgeous! You have totally sold me on Nerja/Spain and totally checking out that hotel for us for possibly next Spring 🙂

  • Looks fabulous!! And I love your dress! Ugh, we did NOT get to see enough of Spain. We’ll have to go back asap!

  • My only question is why do those flamenco dancers look so grumpy?! 🙂

  • You take beautiful photos! I love the ones with the Espanolas in their trajes de flamenco, makes me want to hear those rhythms again…I’ve actually been to Nerja too! I remember we just took about an hour bus ride out from Granada to visit the ocean. Glad you had an amazing little trip! To me, those little off-the-track gems are the best!

  • What an absolutely incredible list! x

  • GOOD. Take me with you when you go! 😀

  • I didn’t, but now I have another reason to go back. I was curious how Nerja was viewed in Spain – is it kind of cheesy tourist destination or a low-key beach? I absolutely love it.

  • I agree! Isn’t an exotic island in Thailand but close! ;D

  • Ha, great minds buy alike, right? I miss Target so much and I’m sure you do too!

  • Thanks, dear! I actually got it from a consignment shop a few years ago. I’m not sure why I don’t shop at consignment stores more often, you can find great stuff.

  • My mission here is done! 🙂

  • ha! I’m so glad you said something. I didn’t want to sound rude in the post but I was wondering the same thing. It was funny, when they were talking amongst themselves they seemed happy but when someone held up a camera it was like everyone put lemons in their mouths.

  • Thanks, Stephany, I actually bought it at a consignment store a few years ago.

    I think you should go back to Spain ASAP too…and take me with you! 😉

  • I agree with you Lisa! Off-the-track spots are the best and really provide a much better peek into a culture, which is kind of what travel is all about, you know?

  • Thanks, dear! Have a lovely weekend! 😀

  • It’s pretty highly regarded and not as touristy as nearby Malaga. Most people in Seville head to the Huelva or Cádiz province, as they’re nearer and not so crowded (until August, that is!)

  • i am truly kicking myself for not knowing about this place when i went to malaga! i will head here as soon as i possibly can. x

  • Gorgeous beach destination Margo, looks like you had a lovely time!

  • Thanks, gal. I sure did! 😀

  • I didn’t get a chance to see much of Malaga, though I’m sure it’s beautiful, but I agree that Nerja is definitely worth a visit pronto! 🙂

  • Looks lovely and relaxing 🙂 P and I like to sit on the same side of the table too! Usually, it is more for sharing food purposes but a view is a good reason too 🙂

  • It looks so beautiful there! I grew up about 15 minutes away from the beach in CT and always find myself wanting some kind of beach vacation during the summer. Also, your multicolor dress is so cute!

  • That place is gorgeous! I cannot believe how inexpensive it is, you definitely nailed it! 🙂

  • This is beautiful! I’m moving to Spain in August and it looks like this will be at the top at my list before it gets cold! Thanks for sharing 🙂


  • Meredith

    Hi! I have really enjoyed reading your blog the last few months! I was wondering if you could tell me the name of the hotel you stayed in while in Nerja? I couldn’t find it in your post. Your pictures are beautiful! Thanks,