Taking kids away on holiday can be a challenge when they are old enough to know their own minds. As a mum myself, I am well aware that if the kids are happy, the parents are happy, so choosing the right destination is really important. Nerja is a delightful seaside resort on the Costa de Sol, in the Andalucía region of Spain. Unlike some of its more concrete dominated neighbours, it is a very attractive place, and it’s just perfect for families with teenagers who might be beginning to want a little independence.
I highly recommend this resort because there is just so much to keep the teenagers occupied. Here are my top favourite activities that both kids and adults will enjoy.
What To Do
The Nerja Caves
A great way to get the kids interested in a little local geography is to take them to these caves. Only recently discovered by a few boys from a nearby village (the kids will love that), the caves are considered one of the most significant finds in recent history.
Features include the incredible cave paintings, believed to be the oldest found so far, and the magnificent column, considered the tallest cave column in the world. Both have made it into the Guinness Book of Records.
Work is still going on in these caves to uncover more clues to the area’s history, and recently Roman pottery, Moorish coins and other interesting discoveries have been found. With so many sections open to the public to explore, you can get the kids really excited about what they might uncover here.
Read more about the Nerja Caves here.
I don’t know any teenager who doesn’t take tanning rather seriously, even if they might not admit it, so a day at one of Nerja’s 12 beautiful beaches is a must. Burriana and El Playazo are well known for their extensive sandy shorelines, while Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo is a hidden gem along this coastline, which has, in places, been monopolised by tourism.
Recommended read: A comprehensive guide to Nerja’s beaches.
If your kids are anything like the teenagers I know, they’re probably always wanting to try something new – so take them sea kayaking! This is a wonderful activity that everyone can enjoy, and your trip will take you from Burriana Beach to Maro. While the youngsters hone their kayaking skills, you can indulge in the stunning scenery along the journey.
Hiking Up the Rio Chillar
This is very high on my list of favourite family days out. If you’re looking to get the kids active and enjoy some ‘away from technology’ family time, this walk is a fabulous option. Not just any old hike, this one takes you up the region’s most beautiful river. Try and go midweek if you want to avoid busy periods, and remember to take lots of water and sunscreen.
Paella at Ayo’s
I am a keen advocator of educating kids about the local cuisine when they travel and I absolutely love seeing youngsters trying food they may never have even seen before. If experiencing local culture is something you want your kids to do, take them for an authentic paella at Ayo’s, on Burriana Beach. Not only are the food and atmosphere fantastic, but the setting is idyllic too.
Open every day, this place, run by Ayo for almost 50 years, is delicious Spanish food at its best.
Recommended read: Paella
For more information on what to do in and around Nerja, read these articles.
How To Get to Nerja
Nerja is ideally situated close to three major airports, Malaga, Granada and Almeria, which means you get more choice of flights and can budget accordingly. Among the budget airlines flying to Málaga, the closest airport to Nerja, are easyJet, Ryanair, Monarch, and Vueling. Flights can be snapped up for the bargain price of £200 per person if you book ahead of time.
In just under three hours from leaving London, you and the gang could be landing in Málaga, and in less than an hour from there, you could be starting your holiday in Nerja. To keep the teenagers onside you will want your onward travel to be as easy and stress free as possible, so I suggest leaving the logistics to Shuttle Direct. You can pre-book, enjoy a personal meeting on arrival and relax on a comfortable, fixed price transfer for under €39 per person, one-way.
Where to Stay:
Toboso Apar – Turis – Great for families with teenagers, the Toboso Apar is only a minute’s walk from the beach. Older teens might even be able to venture there on their own. I love the apartment concept, as it allows great flexibility for catering and much more room for families with older kids, who have a habit of spreading out. Despite the independent living style, the complex has loads of fabulous facilities. While the kids relax by the pool, you can enjoy the sauna or a session in the gym. In the ideal location for the town, too, this hotel is a winner.
Hotel Plaza Cavana – You will be in the good books with the kids if you stay in this beautiful hotel, and not just because of the free Wi-Fi zone. A stone’s throw from the beach, the kids will feel they have the independence they crave. I particularly love the air-conditioning facilities at the Hotel Plaza Cavana and the spacious rooms that offer a haven of tranquillity for a relaxing after-lunch nap. Even the kids will get into the swing of the siesta when holidaying in southern Spain!
Apartamentos Marina Turquesa – Another apartment complex, the Apartamentos Marina Turquesa is an elegant property a 10-minute stroll from the beach. If you have older teens who are into the gym, they will love the facilities at this fitness centre – that is when they aren’t making the most of the free Wi-Fi. Fridges in the apartments are a real bonus for storing those extra snacks and bottles of water, and the washing machines are an added luxury.
About Shuttle Direct:
Providing fast, reliable and comfortable transfers from all major hotels, airports, cruise ports and train stations throughout Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct are the number one choice. We have a professional team that take great pride in making your onward journey as seamless and efficient as possible. Book in advance and let us do the rest.