I like this place. So, do many other people. Property prices are closer to Marbella prices than usual Malaga, or Granada prices. The slump hasn't affected Nerja quite as much - the demand is still there.
Due to the geological history it has many small coves with secluded beaches. This time of year you can find a small beach for yourself with rare interruptions. Full English breakfast in the sunshine, looking over the sea and considering a swim whilst finishing off with a cigarette and beer. €6.10 at cafeteria Jamaica. My taste buds were reminded of life back in East London. No indegestion here mind. Nice, relaxed start to the day. A little unhealthy perhaps, but I am going swimming in the sea later. All this in March :) You can do it in February, or even January also!
On the Eastern edge of Costa del Sol with views towards the mountainous province of Granada. In 1884 a huge earthquake destroyed the village and sent entire mountains sliding into the sea. Very evident today with small coves and good little rock climbing cliffs. The village was rebuilt, but what you sea today has only really happened during the last 40 years, or so. When the new autovia was finished Costa del Sol boomed, and so did Nerja. However, Nerja has managed to retain something that many villages lost. It has some authentic charm and historical context. You can watch local fisherman working on the beach in the morning. Tiny lanes meander through the old town leading you from beach to beach. The only really commercial feeling part of town is Burriana - the largest beach.
People don't expect artists to enjoy conservative places like Nerja (it is very conservative and very 'grey'!), but I love these places out of season. Surprisingly very inspiring. Relaxing with plenty of time for thought, yet the fun side can also be found if you enjoy an alternative approach to life. No more expensive than Granada if you choose to live the way I choose. Great for a family holiday also.
The history is fascinating. Read about it on wikipedia I know about the legend of the caves and tunnels that possibly reach the Alhambra in Granada. Plenty of prehistoric evidence here also. There is a misleading tourist information board on the Balcon de Europa which states that the original fort was destroyed by the English. It should really tell you that it was destroyed by British forces (apparently Irish) in support of the Spanish fighting Napolean during the Peninsular war.
I have just one gripe. The tourist information board by the market place tells all about how Nerja has been inspirational to artists for centuries. So, why do the police threaten to take me to the station if they catch me sketching big again? "It is my work" I tell them. They then point at their guns and tell me to respect their work. It gets to you eventually. You start wondering if the people who robbed all of your belongings are the innocent and you are causing people and society a problem by creating art. No musicians allowed either. A single moan, but an almighty moan - it spoils the atmosphere for everyone. Music and art adds a huge amount of touristic value to towns. When are the authorities going to realise?
Couple more days then I move on.