Nerja lies to the East of Malaga quite near to the end of the by dfhercbml

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									Nerja lies to the East of Malaga. quite near to the end of the Costa del Sol. This
part of the coast is properly called the “Costa Del Sol Oriental” and sometimes
colloquially referred to as “Costa Tropical”.
Most people agree that the area escaped the worst of the property developers.
Nonetheless, there is substantial tourism and ample evidence of foreign communities.
However, the traditional Andalusia architecture and way of life dominate.
Nerja is without doubt a real town, which benefits from tourism but is relatively unspoilt
by it.
The type of tourism is apartment rather than hotel oriented. The largest concentration of
apartments is to the east of the town in the picturesque El Capistrano complex, which
consists of El Capistrano Village, Capistrano Playa, Capistrano St Juan and Capistrano
The Capistrano village is mature and quaint. It maintains the pueblo atmosphere of a
Spanish village.
St Juan is positioned high above the village and the town itself; it is ideal for those who
like a good walk particularly up hill!!
The jewel of the Capistrano complex is Capistrano Oasis. This was the last to be built
and benefited from the mistakes that were made elsewhere. The head of the
Development Company informed me that he was most pleased with his fourth and final
pueblo, Oasis. The gardens are extensive and the building to land ratio relatively low.
The quality of the development reflects in the building standards and the higher property
values. Needless to say, the community charges for Oasis are higher than elsewhere.

What to see

The caves at Maro mentioned above are actually called the ‘Cuevas de Nerja’, which is
probably a little unfair given that they are plainly not in Nerja. Local boys hunting bats in
the hills above Maro rediscovered them in 1959. If you go down onto the main
Burrianna beach and make your way to Ayo’s Merendo and watch the flamboyant Ayo
cooking his paella, this interesting individual with his legs protected with cardboard is
one of those boys who rediscovered the caves (he Is also a town councilor!).
Once a year in July there is a music and dance festival in the caves which draws big
names from the music world,

Frigiliana is a typical whitewashed Spanish hill village twice voted most beautiful village
in Andalusia. If you wander the cobbled streets you will find plaques on the walls, which
tell the story of the battle in 1569 between the Spanish, and the local Moorish people.
Oasis Community
The location of the Oasis complex pitched as it is across an ampi-theatre shaped valley
accentuates the natural beauty of the site. Looking from the Tanger side of the complex
the backdrop for the complex is an old aqueduct, which marks the Eastern boundary.
The aqueduct is a wonderful scene-setter for the more distant view of the Sierra Almijar

The complex has two pools and a children’s pool. The main pool is at the bottom of the
valley adjacent to the Restaurant L’Exotico. For those wanting to go native there is a
petanque court near to the children’s pool.

You will find a pool pass in the apartment that you will be required to show to the pool
guard on request. You can hire sun beds by the pools.

Oasis is a very attractive and well-maintained estate and would ask that you refrain from
hanging beach towels from the terrace.

There is a community office by the main pool open from 10.00 —12.00 where you can
get information, borrow books etc. The ladies name is Gill – she is very helpful and
If you follow the stream that separates the children’s pool from the petanque court up
the valley you will come to a large fishpond you will be staggered by the size of some of
the fish, which are up to 15’ long

The easiest walk to the beach is back up the complex to the sentry-Post opposite Las
Fuentas Restaurant. Turn left along the N340 walking towards the town center and then
take the first left off the main road (not the track going down alongside the wood yard,
but the first made-up road). A 5-minute walk will bring you to a traffic island with a large
urn mounted on its side in the center. A right exit off the island will bring you to a
junction. The first on the left, going down a steep road will bring you to the end of
Burrianna Beach. Alternatively, if you go past the junction you will come to the reception
for Capistrano Playa. Walk past the reception and past the sentry-Post and this will
bring you to a first set of steps. These will eventually take you down through the
complex to Burianna Beach.

If you enjoy a walk, you can walk along the main Burrianna Beach and then onto the
various walkways, which link the beaches between Burrianna and the Balcon De
Europa (the heart of the old town).

Nerja is on a rocky outcrop and the Balcon De Europa is a promontory jetting out to the
sea. The name is said to have originated from a visit in 1885 by King Alfonso X11
For most people the Costa Del So! has the best climate in mainland Europe. Not over-
hot in the summer, not cool in the winter, generally more equable, more equal all year
round. Little rain, yet very green because of the mountain spring water from the Sierra
Nevada Mountains just behind.

Most of Spain is like a desert in the summer, brown and yellow, dusty and dry. Nerja is
green. When other parts of the Mediterranean exceed 100*F (38*C), Nerja is likely to be
80*C (27*C). When most of Europe is below freezing; the warmest place in mainland
Europe is likely to be the Costa del Sol.

Away from wet cooling winds of the Atlantic and away from the cold, covering most of
Europe and even most of Spain. On average you can rely on 323 sunny days per year.
Even during a shower of rain, it will be 200F warmer than the UK and in January it
enjoys temperatures around 65*F. Nerja, however, has a better climate than the rest of
the Costa Del SoI. It has a very special “micro-climate” all of its own. Further from the
straits of Gibraltar, which let in the cool, damp Atlantic influences; closely sheltered
within its bay and by the high mountains immediately behind it; Nerja is sunnier, drier
and warmer than Malaga and Marbella in the western Costa del Sol, it is, climatically,
the best.

The traditional crop was always sugar cane, nowhere else in Europe can grow it. Sugar,
avocados, even bananas grows well. These are sub-tropical crops. Hence the coast
being known as the “Costa Tropical”.

There is a bewildering amount of pottery and ceramics and the weekly market on
Tuesdays is certainly worth a visit. It is now on the open land behind Rambla Del Rio
Chillar. The nearest supermarket is the large supermarket, Super Sol. on the main road.
There is also a smaller supermarket on Capistrano village just above the offices of
In the town there is an interesting gift shop called ‘Ideas’, on the right hand side as you
walk down Calle Pintada.
Up in the village of Frigiliana the old sugar mill / mansion house is a craft shop with
some reasonably interesting stuff.
Our local equivalent of “open all hours” is the ‘Centurion’, which is a small family run
supermarket on Calle Ruperto Andquez. it is about halfway down on the right hand side
near to the junction of Calle Herrcra Oria.
Where to:
Eat In and Around Nerja

At lunchtime a popular venue is Ayo’s on Burrianna Beach to watch his trademark
three-foot wide paella come to pass. The beach itself has a series of Merenderos
serving the espetos de sardinas (grilled sardines skewered with bamboo canes). In
Maro the Cuevasol has a covered patio at the front but there is also a small open patio
at the rear of the restaurant, which is a suntrap. A local family runs the restaurant, and
local people frequent the bar. The food is simple and they serve Tapas. Just to the left
of the Balcon de Maro there is a gourmet restaurant, Casa Maro, with a beautiful view of
the fields and countryside running down to the coast. The owner’s classic American car
is worth a peek! Going back into Nerja, if you want something simple to eat, near to
home and reasonable cost try Las Fuentas at the top of Oasis. If you fancy a full English
breakfast, this is just the place; it hardly seems worth the effort of cooking breakfast at

There is also the Restaurant L’exotico, set at the heart of the complex; this is an
exceptional restaurant, a firm favorite to all that dine there.

You will soon find out that most restaurants have more or less the same menu on offer.
Some better restaurants are Pepe Rico on Post Office Street (Atmirante Ferrandtz).

34 Carabeo (in the Hotel). There is also a Carabeo snack bar just above Carabeo
beach, which is pretty good. There is a French style bistro Au petit Paris on C.Malaga
not far from the Balcon de Europa recommended by other guests. On the road to Torrox
Costa from Nerja is a very comfortable restaurant El Chicle.

Many restaurants have a ‘menu del dia’, usually three courses. Casa Vicente and the
Galleria on C/. Los Huertos are very reliable and good value.

In Frigiliana Signora Rosario cooks good local dishes. I can recommend her platos
combinados’, which is pork, cooked in a sauce. Ratatouille and country potatoes. You
can skip the pork and it makes a very tasty vegetarian meal. Originally she did this from
her own domestic kitchen behind the church at Botequilla. She has recently branched
out and has also acquired a restaurant on what passes for the main road leading out of
Frigiliana. If you are leaving the church then turn to the right and start walking downhill a
little, Signora Rosario’s new place is just on the left hand side. The other house
specialty for Signora Rosario is the sweet Frigliana wine, which is sold from the barrel. If
you leave Frigliana and travel up country (and up hill) for another five or ten minutes you
will come to a rustic country restaurant. El Cerro.
Getting About

Nerja’s taxi drivers are generally honest and helpful.
Their fares are set by law and should be displayed.
As far as car hire is concerned, it is best to
arrange before you go, particularly in the high season.
One company that has always been very good on
the personal service at reasonable prices is Lesagro in CaIle Los Huetros. They can
also arrange transfers to the airport.
A very interesting form of alternative transport is the ‘Wally Trolley’. This vehicle
trundles about picking up people from the hotels and restaurants on the outskirts and
coming in to the town finishing off at the Balcon de Europa. The nearest pick up point
from Oasis is on the main road past the Nerja Club Hotel and Verano Azul where you
see the sign for Udo Heimer restaurant
Also on the Balcon de Europa there are the horse-drawn carriages, which will slowly trot
around the town.
There is a very good bus service around the town and buses can take you up to
Frigiliana and over to the caves at Maro. A local bus picks up at the top of Oasis.

There is a 18 hole golf course being constructed 5min from Oasis but in the mean time
there is Bavaria Golf at Torrox or there is course at Salobrena, which is to the east of
Nerja on the N340. It is about an hour drive. It is a 9-hole course and when you have
played your round, the town is certainly worth a visit with a fine Moorish castle
overlooking the whole place. You can hire golf clubs and if you contact Lesagro cars,
they will probably book you up a day’s golfing in advance and may even be able to
organise you a partner.

The Beaches
Burrianna beach has all of the usual water sports. The tourists share the place with the
local fishermen and the whole thing makes a quite nice mix.
Maro has a more rustic beach quite a way down from Maro village. There is a restaurant
on the beach, which serves very presentable food, and the whole ambience of the place
is much more relaxing than Burrianna beach. Although there are beaches, which are
regarded as being official naturist beaches, Maro is at least at the one end, an unofficial
naturalist beach. The various pitches appear to be naturists on the far end adjacent to
the scuba divers, followed by everyone else.
La Herradura to the east of Nerja towards Almuneca has very clear clean water good for
scuba. There is a local club school, Scuba Nerja. based on Burrianna beach.

Axarquia was one of the earliest regions in Europe inhabited by man. The caves of
Nerja, which were probably occupied as long ago as 20,000 years are important in
terms of human habitation in the area. The caves were occupied until about 1000 BC
when the entrance was blocked, possibly by an earth tremor. In the time of King
Solomon the area was called Tartessus and there is biblical reference to King Solomon
collaborating with King Hirani of Tyre in mineral exploitation from the area.

The main tribes from the Axarquia region were Mastienos or Bastetanos, a mixture of
the original Iberian peoples with Celts from the northern-east. Apart from trade with the
Levantines, the merchants of Axarquia traded with Egypt, Crete and Greece. The
Greeks are the first to leave permanent settlements. The Greek-built harbour existed at
Mainake just to the west of present-day Torre del Mar. The Greeks also brought with
them their expertise in shipbuilding and agriculture technology.

The Phoenicians probably founded Cadiz (Tadir as it then was) in 1100 BC and
Almunecar (Sexi) and Malach, the staging post along the route back to the Levant.
Jewish merchants followed the Phoenicians and amongst other things brought the
lemon to the region.
The Phoenicians had a substantial harbour at Velez-Malaga and from the main N340
one can see the sand stone quarries from which the Phoenicians took their building
materials. There is a Phoenician necropolis dating from 700BC at Cerro del Sombras on
the Frigiliana road.
A natural harbour in what is now the province of Marcia produced the Phoenician port
city of Carthagena (New Carthage).
The Roman s conquered Carthago Nova (Cartagena) in 209BC.

The records show that Menoba in the Almayate / Velez-Malaga area was the main
trading centre of Axarquia. Under the jurisdiction of Menoba were several smaller
townships including Clavicuum (Torrox) and Detunda (Maro). Nerja as a settlement did
not exist at that time. At some stage there was a Roman presence where Nerja is now.
This is based upon the findings of coins and artefacts in that area. The Roman
presence may have been the result of the building of a military road completing the
connection between Cadiz and Rome. This road was for many centuries known as the
Via Augusta’. It forded the Rio Chillar up river of the present bridges.

During the course of the years, Nerja, Narixa, has embellished and matured. Each era
of its dramatic history has a unique story to tell.
Roman coins were found at the turn of the century near Maro at Frontana Cortijo and
there was a Roman smelting iron oven in the Rio de la Miel Valley. More recently in the
1960s a stone bas-relief bearing Latin inscriptions was discovered on the Cerro de
Cancharrales in a line between El Capistrano village and the sea.

The original aquaduct between Nerja and Maro was built in the third century AD, but it
has been almost entirely rebuilt mostly in 1951.
The Balcon de Europa is said to have acquired its name in 1885 when King Alphonso
XII visited Nerja after a severe earthquake. He promenaded along the ‘Paeso de La
Bateria’ and uttered the words ‘Peru si estos es el Balcon de Europa.
Originally the Balcon had been the site of an Arab fort. The English dismantled a later
fort in 1810 in order to prevent it falling into the hands of the French.

Ancestors, grandfathers and the great grandfathers of this land have past down many
great legends of the past to their own children, generation to generation.

From the recent archeological discoveries in the Nerja Caves, mineral deposits have
been found dating back to the Bronze and Neolithical ages

The first written proof over the existence of ‘Narixar’ was in 917, from the hand of the
great Arabic geographer and poet, Ebn Sadi, who indicated that Nerja was as big as a
town and surrounded by rich orchards and fields irrigated by the Chillar River, with a
grand trade in rich silks. Ebn Sadi dedicated many poems to what he described as the
beauty of Nerja.

The name Nerja, derived from the Roman “Naricha’, means rich in water.

In 1506, order was given for the construction of a castle. Today, upon this exact spot,
you will find the well known ‘Balcon de Europa”.
In 1515, during the reign of the infamous Catholic kings, a phase of re-population was
indicated and from this moment on Nerja occupies a place in history as a town,
assuming an important part in the historical events of Spain.
In 1567, Nerja , together with the villages of Torrox and Frigiliana, found itself involved
in the Moorish rebellion captained by Martin Alguacil and Hernando El Darra against
Felipe II Alguacil and Hernando were defeated in 1569 in “El Tajo de Alconar”

In 1571 the small fortress of “La torrecilla” was built to serve as a watchtower for
approaching pirates.

By 1591, Nerja’ s first industry was established - a sugar factory that remained
prosperous for some 400 years.

By 1655 the population had grown to 400 inhabitants and Nerja’s street map extended
to include Calles Carmen, Iglesia, El Tajillo, Puerta del Mar and Plaza Cavana.

By the middle of the XIX centaury, Nerja’s population had increased to 8000 and
boasted a flourishing trade in industry and agriculture: Wine honey, sugar, mines and

However, by the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century a period of
decadence was to set in. The phylloxera plague attacked and destroyed the vineyards,
the surrounding woodlands devastated and wasted by bad administration and the price
of sugar fell dramatically. As a result emigration to South America increased. In 1910
the village suffered the effects of cholera.

During this difficult period, political and social unrest amongst the people grew. Nerja fell
in to line with the rest of Spain during this pre-revolutionary period.

By 1951, the region was peaceful again after the great civil war. Agriculture prospered
once again, dramatically helped by the beginning of tourism in the area. The tourism
trade experienced its first boom upon the discovery of the “caves of Nerja”.

From 1960 onwards, the tourism trade in Nerja flourished bringing with it prosperity and
progress and a huge change in the social life and attitudes of its people.

Today, Nerja is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Andalusia.
Diary of Events
Every city, every region and every town and village celebrates their own special days in
honour of saints, gods, historical events, people and dates. Each of these days are
unique in their own way, full of great preparation, expectation, sound and colour

Nerja is no different. Andalusia has their own language when it comes to expressing a
day such as this Fiesta (party) day.

5th of January: PROCESSION OF THE THREE KINGS: As in other towns of the
Spanish peninsula, Nerja hails in the New Year in Great Spirit.

The 5th of January sees the procession of the three kings, the characters of which are
played by well-known personalities of the town. Sweets are thrown from their carriages
to the delight of both old and young.

20th of January: SAN ANTON: Traditionally named the ‘fiesta of fire’. This fiesta is
celebrated in the neighbouring village of Maro. At dusk, bonfires are lit as an offering to
the patron saint Anton.

“Last week of February: Carnival: A fantastic display of colour and character, including
the election of the king and queen of the carnival. The “Entierro del Chanquete’ - (the
burial of the sardine) marks the end of this fiesta week.

March / April: Easter: The passionate natures of the
Andalusia people is clearly reflected in the streets of Nerja during this summer week as
the different brotherhoods pay their respect to Jesus Christ.
Regardless of individual religious beliefs it is difficult not to become immersed in this
deeply moving ceremony.

‘3rd of May; DAY OF THE CROSS: The month of May formally marks the beginning of
Spring, as beautifully decorated crosses with an abundance of colourful and aromatic
flowers are erected throughout the village
Prizes are given for the best cross and traditional culinary specialties are also exhibited
arropia (caramel and honey), marcocha (popcorn and honey) and honeyed fruit.
Diary of Events
‘15th May San Isidro, Undeniably one of the most colourful and unique days of the year.
Traditionally, San Isidro is commemorated to pay respect to the patron Saint of Nerja

The day begins in full traditional flamenco dress in a procession of beautifully
decorated carts that make their way up to the neighbouring village of Maro,
just 4 Kms away. The procession however takes 2 to 3 hours to reach their
destination as regular interruptions are made for traditional song and dance.
Once in Maro, this atmosphere of wine, song and dance lasts well in to the
night time.
 23rd and 24th of June: The night of SAN JUAN: A traditional Nerja fiesta
that dates back some 200 years. This particular celebration is without
doubt a family affair.

Groups of family and friends camp out by individually lit bonfires throughout the night,
grilling sardines and awaiting midnight. Legend has it that those who bathe their faces in
the Mediterranean sea at midnight on the night of San Juan will preserve their beauty
and grace for years to come.
‘ 16th of July: VIRGLN DEL CARMEN: This is the fishermen’s traditional celebration
with a nocturnal maritime procession and a firework display.
“July FESTIVAL OF THE CAVES OF NERJA: Now regarded as the official opening of
the Costa’s cultural life.
In this special week, internationally acclaimed symphony orchestras, ballet companies
and other important musical personalities perform in this unique festival deep within the
caves themselves. Yehudi Menuhin, Joaquln Cortës, and Maya Plisetskaya are just of
the international celebrities who have contributed to the festival.
‘8th - 10th of September: LAS MARAVLLLAS: This is the Patron festival of Marc and a
lively procession is hosted accompanies by the junior and senior municipal bands.
‘8th - 12th of October: NERJA FAIR: This 4 day celebration that remains uninterrupted
day and night is held in honour of the patron saint of the town and dates back to 1804.
NOVEMBER Cultural Activities
‘31st of December: NEW YEARS EVE: This joyous celebration marks the end of the
year and traditionally.
The entire population of Nerja congregates on the Balcony of Europe and bring in the
New Year consuming 12 grapes, one to each chime of the church clock. A firework
display and live music accompanies the crowd until the early hours of the morning.

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