Spain Guide


Nerja Nightlife

Nerja has a lively nightlife in the summer months with late night bars, music cafes and clubs staying open until the small hours. It may not be as wild here as the party scene in Torremolinos but if you can keep going until 3 or 4am you'll find Nerja can keep up with you, especially in high season.

Start with a tour of some of the local tapas bars which offer a mouthwatering variety of traditional Spanish tapas steamed mussels, spicy prawns, local cheeses and "chorizo" sausage.

Tapa literally means cover and this delightful Spanish tradition started when bar owners used to put a piece of bread over customers' drinks to keep off the flies. In some bars you'll still find the owner gives you a free tapa with each drink. Some of the best tapas bars are located in and around the old quarter for best value for money, watch where the Spanish workmen go and follow them.

El Chispa in Calle San Pedro has a good reputation for a varied selection of tasty tapas.

Move on to one of the hundreds of street cafes and restaurants which offer regional Spanish dishes as well as international cuisine.

Local specialties include many seafood dishes and you'll find some great fish restaurants here. Try the red pepper with fish and clams, "migas" breadcrumbs with garlic and clams, sea bream and red mullet from local waters, noodle and fish broth or the famous Andalucian "pescaito frito" fried fish. For something sweet try the local "sanjaunera" cakes made from flour, oil, sugar, anise and eggs.

There are good Italian, Chinese and other international restaurants along with the inevitable burger bars and fish and chip joints. The restaurant in the Parador Hotel is of particularly high quality.

Now you're ready to move on to one of the many late night bars and clubs to listen to music and dance till the early hours.

Most of the nightlife is centred around Antonio Millon and the adjacent Tutti Frutti Square. This area is littered with bars, many with music and live entertainment they come to life around midnight and keep going past 4am in the tourist season.

For Guinness lovers there are two Irish Pubs in Nerja, The Harp and Dirty Nelly's.

Discos include Jimmy's on Antonio Millón, Castillo on Diputación and Narixa, down an alley to the seaward side of the church on the Balcon de Europa.

If you plan your holiday around one of Nerja's big fiestas you can join in a traditional Spanish knees up with music, dancing and street parades.

Some of the fiestas have more of a religious solemnity than others but during the livelier ones you'll be able to enjoy the spectacle of locals in traditional flamenco costumes, expert horsemen giving equestrian displays in the street and outdoor partying day and night.

One of the biggest celebrations takes place in October when Nerja has its four day "feria" with fairground rides and non stop eating, drinking and dancing in the streets.

There's a carnival here in February and the important religious feasts of San Isidro (May 15th) and San Anton (held in nearby Maro in January).

January 5th sees the wonderful Three Kings fiesta when locals pose as the three wise men to deliver presents to the children of the town. This is a bigger celebration than Christmas Day for the Spanish and the partying continues until the early hours.