Exploring Nerja and Frigliana
by Mattfromtexas on July 1, 2016
Spain bursts at the seams with things to do, see, eat and experience. You can discover a love of flamenco in Seville, marvel at the Alhambra in Granada, tour the works of Gaudí in Barcelona, soak up the urban hustle and bustle of Madrid, and sunbathe to your heart's content on the Balearics. But what about those smaller towns and villages that tend to get forgotten by tourists? In the case of Nerja and Frigiliana, these lesser-known spots are just as worth a visit as the country's most famous cities.
You can start your Spanish odyssey by flying to Malaga. From here, it’s less than an hour’s drive to Nerja along the Costa del Sol. Though popular amongst day-trippers, Nerja has avoided over-development and still retains an old world charm. Most striking to a tourist used to shiny hotels and flashy sea fronts are the narrow, winding streets and simply whitewashed houses with their wrought-iron balconies and overflowing flower-boxes.
Top attractions in Nerja include the Museo de Nerja, which traces the town’s history from the Paleolithic era to the present day, the picturesque Playa Calahonda cove, and the totally unmissable Nerja Caves — a vast stalactite-covered labyrinth which regularly plays host to music concerts.
When you’ve finished up in Nerja, you can head up to the even smaller, more remote village of Frigiliana, which sits nestled against the western borders of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama Natural Park. Like Nerja, Frigiliana (which is only seven kilometers north of its neighboring town) is notable for its terracotta roof tiles and beautiful whitewashed houses.
A winding maze of cobbled streets that boasts stunning views of the surrounding landscapes, Frigiliana is a lovely place to visit even if all you end up doing is walking around and taking photographs. However, there are some interesting things to see in the town, including the Fuente Vieja fountain, the San Antonio church, and the Renaissance Palace. You can also see the remains of an old Moorish castle and hike along El Fuerte — the hill that rises above Frigiliana — if you walk to the top of the village.
From Frigiliana, make your way back to the coast by walking the pleasant seven kilometer trail that leads through the Higueron river valley. Once in Nerja you can sit back, relax and enjoy a well-earned tapas dinner at one of the town's quaint little restaurants. What more could you want from a holiday?