NERJA August 1999

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Our holiday in August 1999 to Nerja, in Spain, with our friends Gill, Graham and Steve.

The week-end started on the Friday when I went straight from work to Northampton to collect my Mum and her friend Madeline, (they were looking after our house and Cats for the two weeks we were away) and I returned to Manchester with them on Saturday morning. Saturday evening we went to a our friends', Steve and Jo's (a different Steve's), wedding reception at the Manchester United football ground. We left the reception about mid-night to go home and finish packing, then had a few hours sleep, then got up at 5 a.m. to get the taxi to Manchester Airport for our 7 a.m. flight to Malaga.

The flight was fine, the food was good, and we arrived early afternoon, collecting our bags and the two cars we had hired and headed off to the villa. The first stop apart from fuel was the Magic of Spain office just off the N-340 to collect the key, about turn and a few minutes drive and we arrived at the villa in Jardines de Nerja part of El Capistrano Village. The village had a main very large section with a reception, laundry, baby sitting, car hire, money exchange, cafe, restaurant, market shop and a large muli-level swimming pool surrounded by villas. Our villa was in a seperate self-contained area with another swimming pool. We got into the villa at about 4 p.m. and as is was Sunday the markets had closed for the day, but the fridge in the kitchen was fully stocked with everything we would need until the shops opened on Monday. The rest of the ground floor had a large lounge with a dinning area for six, a down stairs loo, veranda and gardens. On the first floor we had three double bed rooms and bathroom. The up stairs to the roof with a sun lounger, bar-b-q, another shower and a great view.

The weather was great with temperatures at 32 plus every day and fantastic food, I had Paella for the first time, we went to a different restaurant almost every night, The Old Cellar, The Cottage, and I got into Sangria (no it's not a night-club ). At a family run restaurant called The Rendezvous I got the young lady behind the bar to write down the recipe for Sangria, which I have made twice since coming back and it's great.

We went down to the town on the days we didn't go sight seeing, usually by car and after looking around the shops maybe buy a paper we would stop for a coffee before walking back to the villa for a light lunch then off to the pool for a swim and some sun-bathing.

The municipality of Nerja is situated in the eastern most part of Malaga province. To the west, it adjoins the municipalities of Torrox and Frigiliana, to the north with Competa, to the east with Granada province (for the most part, the municipality of Almunecar) and to the south with the Mediterranean Sea. It Is, therefore, the easternmost zone of both the Costa del Sol and of the district of La Axarquia. The main route through Nerja is the N-340, which links it with Malaga, 52 kilometres away, and with the coast of Ganada. Nerja, with a population of 14,000, is the main tourist resort of the eastern strech of the Costa del Sol and the second most important in La Axarquia, after Velez-Malaga, 25 kilometres away.

One of the main attractions of Nerja is its coastline. Unlike the other zones of the Costa del Sol, here the mountains reach the shore, forming majestic cliffs between which nestle picturesque coves and beaches. As you travel eastwards, these cliffs become higher and more frequent. From the viewpoint known as the Balcon de Europa (Balcony of Europe), going towards Torrox, we find the following beaches: Caletilla, Playa del Salon, Torrecilla and Playazo (two kilometres of sand). To the east, up to Granada province, we find: Calahonda, Chorrillo, Carabeo and Carabeillo, Burriana, the beaches and coves of Maro, Alberguillas and Cantarrijan. The beauty of these beaches and cliffs makes them ideal for campers and lovers of water sports alike. The local authorities have imposed a number of limitations on this zone in order to protect it from the impact of mass tourism.

Nerja is situated on a plain surrounded by the rising peaks of the last foothills of the Sierra Almijara, including such impressive mountains as El Alto del Cielo, El Almendron, La Cabeza del Cabello, La Atalaya, Lomas Llanas and Navachica. This last, at an altitude of 1,832 metres, adjoins Granada province. The municipality contains a large number of springs forming rivers and streams. Indeed, Nerja must have had many waterways since the earliest times, for the name of the town during the Moorish occupation was Narixa, which means "abundant spring". To the west of the town the River Chillar reaches the sea, swollen by the Higueron and the Seco.

Our first sight seeing trip was to Frigiliana a beautiful hillside town very white like most of this part of Spain, with the roads and walk-ways going up and up, first left then right and so on, so you would see the houses and flowers until you reached the top to see the fantastic views.

Then we went to another town bordering Frigiliana to the north called Competa another white housed town with a lovely square which was being re-decorated for the following week-ends wine festival, which we were unable to go to as we would be on the plane home. Then off to the west to a place called Torrox one of the most important towns in La Axarquia, its municipal area containing a stretch of coastline which includes the tourist resorts of El Morche and Torrox Costa.

Other places we visited included Granada and the Alhambra Palace, Maro, Almeria, Almunecar and the Cueva de Nerja.

I had never been to Spain before but if I had the money and time I'd go back to Nerja again tomorrow.

A few more pictures, caves, donkey and four of us.

If you prefer you can send a private email to John or Jules.

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