Nerja – the hidden jewel for a family holiday

nerja costa del sol

Nerja is a classic Spanish beach resort on the Costa del Sol that has resisted the ambitions of developers allowing its centre to retain a traditional white-washed village charm. Located just a 65 km taxi ride from Malaga airport on the N-340 coastal highway Nerja sits at the base of the Almijara Mountains gazing out at the Mediterranean Sea. Meaning “abundant springs” in the language of the Moors, Nerja is steeped in history dating back to cave dwellers of Palaeolithic times and the Balcón de Europa a former 9th century Moors fortress that is now a palm fringed pedestrian promenade with majestic views. Despite the history, most people visit Nerja for either fun in the sun, a quiet family holiday or perhaps a bit of both.

Woven into is 16-kilometre coastline Nerja boasts 10 beaches including the Blue Flagged Playa Burriana an 800-metre stretch of wide sand that steeply drops off into deep water. With every beach activity on offer from banana boat rides to parasailing Burriana beach is the town’s most popular hangout. The best beach in Nerja for families with young children is Playa Torrecilla, another Blue Flagged Beach a 10-minute walk west of the town centre. Not as big as Burriana but with all the same facilities and a gentler slope into the water. Nightlife, like just about anywhere on the Costa del Sol is buzzing with no end of Irish pubs, Indian restaurants and Spanish cantina’s all touting for your business. If you get fed up with the beach life there are plenty of local attractions to visit such as the spectacular wall paintings in the Nerja Caves that are believed to be many thousands of years old. For the best views in all of Andalucía, approximately one away is Benalmádena’s “Monte Calamorro” where you can enjoy a cable car to the heavens. Once you get to the top you will be treated to a bird of prey exhibition and views that stretch from Gibraltar to the north coast of Africa. Visit Aventura Amazonia where the kids can zip-line over six circuits and fly through the air on the longest ride in Andalucía. Waterparks are a huge hit during the summer months and the Costa del Sol has Aqualand in Torremolinos and Parque Aquatico in Mijas where you can go to get wet and wild. On the door step to Nerja is Almuñécar’s fun water park, Aqua Tropic.

For nature lovers visit the Bio Park Zoo in the neighbouring town of Fuengirola where you can see gorillas, crocodiles and many more animals and the Selwo Marina in Benalmádena for their dolphin and sea lion show. Other activities for children include go-karting, mini golf, ten pin bowling and ice skating. The nearby city of Malaga has much to offer in terms of history and art with a magnificent Cathedral and a museum dedicated to its favourite son Pablo Picasso. Malaga is also the place to go for designer shopping and the chance to see Spain away from all the tourists. Further afield excellent day trips include the mountaintop city of Ronda and the El Tajo gorge that separates its 15th century Old Town from the new. Travel to the foot of the Sierra Nevada for one of the most visited places in Spain, the Moorish Alhambra Palace and be taken in with its beauty. Nerja has so much to offer that it is hugely popular during July and August. To see Nerja at its best visit late September, early October when the weather cools off a bit and the tourists are gone.

Majorca for family holidays

cheapest holidays to majorca

Mallorca’s best family-friendly resort

Mallorca has long been a popular tourist destination for families looking for a fun and exciting place to spend their summer holidays and it’s no wonder why. With picture perfect weather except for the odd storm or two during the winter and spring, Mallorca averages around 300 sunny days a year. Add to this a coastline dotted with secluded coves white pristine sandy beaches and gin-clear turquoise water and you have on paper at least the ideal summer beach destination.

Now you have decided that Mallorca is for you which part of the island is more suited to families with children? First of all, we can discount the party towns of Palma Nova and Magaluf with their neon signs and all night raves for the other side of the Tramuntana mountains and the town of Port de Pollensa.

Getting from Mallorca (Majorca Palma International airport PMI)

Palma de Mallorca Airport bus service is run by Empressa Municipal de Transports.

There is a bus service that runs approx every 15 minutes. This bus stops at Plaza de Espana Palma centre. At this location it is possible to connect to many resorts and towns around the whole Island by bus or train. There is also an option to continue to Paseo Mallorca or Paseo Maritimo, excellent bus stops for Shopping in the City or to visit the Historic Centre. The last stop is at the beautiful Palma Port.

To get there take a taxi from Palma Mallorca International Airport to your accommodation in Port de Pollensa and expect to pay between 70€ -80€ for the 45-minute ride.

So much to see and do in Majorca

With stunning mountains for a backdrop and history dating back to the Romans, this former little fishing village is classy without being pretentious and has all the facilities needed for a perfect family holiday. Not as crowded as some of the other beaches on Mallorca the Blue Flag beach at Port de Pollensa is 1.5k of white sand in a horseshoe bay in an unparalleled setting. With calm shallow water that is perfect for children and parents can relax knowing that the beach has life guards on duty all season long. The beach also boasts two playgrounds one on land near the all the waterfront shops and bars with another full of inflatable objects built out over shallow water. What also sets the beach at Port de Pollensa apart from others is its charming harbour where you can sign up for a tour of the bay or rent your own boat or kayak for a day of snorkelling in one of the many hidden coves. The bay at Port de Pollensa is perfect for windsurfing thanks to its fairly predictable winds and with the Tramuntana Mountains right on your doorstep.

More things to do in Mallorca

Why not rent a bicycle and find out why the world’s top cycling teams choose Mallorca for their winter training? Mallorca is also a leader in the relatively new sport of canyoning a term used to describe a combination of mountain climbing, abseiling and being carried downstream by fast flowing water and while its adrenalin pumping fun you need to relatively fit in order to give it a go. For a gentler pastime take an evening stroll down the “Pine Walk”, a pedestrianized promenade that boasts some of Mallorca’s most spectacular Villa’s before stopping off at a hotel terrace bar for a cocktail overlooking the sea. Popular day trips include a visit to the Tuesday market in the Old Town of Alcudia and a visit to the capital Palma taking the 103-year-old narrow gauge railway train from Soller. In Port de Pollensa you will find family’s that return year after year for their summer holidays after having found what they consider to be the ultimate beach holiday destination.