Nerja, on Málaga’s eastern tip, is a fabulous destination for a family holiday, and located just 50km from Málaga, it is really accessible. When on a family holiday, organisation is key to its success, so before you go make sure you wise up on what activities you and the family might want to enjoy while you are away. Here are my suggestions.
Fun For All the Family
Horse and Carriage Rides
A wonderful way to explore the village is a horse and carriage ride – this is something that the younger kids will get very excited about! Relaxed and sedate, this 30-minute tour starts and finishes at the Plaza Fabrica de los Cangrejos. You pay €25 per carriage, which is great news for families of five as you can get everyone in for the same price.
Recommended read: 3 Historical Sites not to Miss in Nerja
A Trip in the Tourist Train
Another novel way to do a spot of sightseeing is to take a trip on the Tourist Train. This delightful little toy train departs from Calle Diputación, close to Plaza Cavana, between 10am and 6pm and from Plaza Fabrica de los Cangrejos between 6pm and midnight. It costs €4 for a 30-minute trip.
Nerja’s beaches are perfect places for the whole family to enjoy, and many of them have some great activities to keep the kids occupied. On Burriana beach, for example, there is a children’s club, and on Torrecilla Beach there are plenty of supervised children’s activities for your kids to get involved in.
Recommended read: Pebble or Sandy Beach in Nerja, Spain
The Nerja Caves
Close to Nerja are some spectacular caves that, despite only having been uncovered in 1959, house some wall paintings that are believed to date back over 20,000 years! Kids will love a visit to this magical place.
Open in summer from 10am-7.30pm and in winter from 10am-6.30pm, it costs €8.50 for adults, €4.50 for 6-12 year olds, and under 6 go free.
Recommended read: A Day in Nerja for the Off-the-Beaten-Track Traveller
Specially for The Little Kids
Inevitably you will want to tire the kids out from time to time, so take note that there is an indoor soft play area in Dino Park in Almirante Carranza (just off Calle Chaparil and down towards Torrecilla beach), which is great fun for the littlies.
Bouncy Castles and Trampolines
Summer sees the arrival of a bouncy castle and a trampoline in Plaza Fabrica de Los Cangrejos, the ideal solution for those with too much energy, and in August there are performances and activities in the same square every night, specifically aimed at younger kids. You can enjoy your aperitif while the offspring is kept busy.
Outdoor Play Areas
Around the village and on the beaches are several outdoor play areas, all of which can be found through this link. I especially like the one in Parque Verano Azul because of its size and the variety it offers.
Eating Out with the Little Ones
Dining out in Nerja is a real pleasure with the children. The Spanish in general are very accommodating of younger kids eating out late with their parents, and, in fact, they expect it. Restaurants usually provide a children’s menu, which makes it easier for some fussy eaters. Lunch is usually eaten from 1-3pm and dinner from 6-10pm.
Parent and Toddler Groups
In Nerja there are two parent and toddler groups. In Pasaje San Miguel (up and left past the Mercadona supermarket), the Fellowship of the King hosts a group on Thursday mornings. The Boatyard Bar on El Playazo beach hosts the ‘Mum and Toddler Roundabout’ group on Tuesdays. You can call on: (0034) 663 583 427 for more info on the latter.
How To Get There
Málaga Airport is the arrival airport of choice for families visiting Nerja. There are some good deals to be had, as long as you book early, with easyJet, Monarch and Jet2, among others. The flight from London is less than 3 hours, which is not long enough for the kids to get truly bored, and depending on when you travel you can pick up flights for less than £200 per person.
For onward child-friendly Málaga Airport transfers to Nerja, get organised and book in advance with Shuttle Direct. When you arrive, a friendly driver will meet you and your family in arrivals and help you get your luggage out to the private vehicle that will be taking you direct to your hotel. The journey takes under an hour and private, child-friendly Málaga Airport transfers to Nerja can be booked for £16.50 per person based on a family of five. For convenience and comfort, book with us and let us take the strain out of the final leg of your journey.
Where to Stay
Apartamentos Balcon de Carabeo – Right in the heart of the old town and a stone’s throw from the Carabeo Beach, Apartamentos Balcon de Carabeo is our recommended accommodation option for families on a budget. Apartments are a great choice for families with young kids who need space to run around, and with air conditioning you know they will have a place to cool off. There is a shared roof terrace, although apartments all have their own balconies. The private kitchenette with fridge and cooker is useful too when you have little ones who need snacks and drinks pretty much non-stop, or for that one night when eating out just isn’t going to happen.
Villa Carabeo Playa – These apartments are again ideal for us families with young children. Right in town and only a 4-minute walk from the Balcón de Europa Viewpoint, Villa Carabeo Playa has everything on its doorstep, plus the benefit of having space for the kids. Beautiful rooms in traditional décor offer a real sense of authenticity, while the roof terrace offers spectacular views. Kitchens have microwaves, hobs and coffee makers, so if you need to stay in, self-catering is an option. We think this is a fabulous family friendly option.
Pension Miguel – This relaxed family run guesthouse welcomes children of all ages. Typical of Andalucía, Pension Miguel is full of colour and flowering shrubs, and there are some wonderful views too. En-suite rooms have ceiling fans and fridges, and there are several communal areas that you can escape to for a quiet read, such as the library. Breakfast is served al fresco at the guesthouse, but there are several restaurants and a supermarket close by, perfect for grabbing extra snacks for the kids. We also love the fact that you can rent beach umbrellas here and borrow other equipment free of charge. This makes those sunny days on the beach easier with very young children who need that shade.
About Shuttle Direct:
When you’re juggling international travel with a few kids and multiple suitcases, you’re going to be looking for any way to make life a little easier. The first step to doing just that is booking your airport transfer online with Shuttle Direct. Shuttle Direct is the number one provider of airport transfers across Europe and North Africa. Wherever you’re headed, let us take you there.