Mediterranean Coast: Nerja & Frigiliana

After weeks of pestering D-Man to take me to El Balcón de Europa, which faces Africa, I awoke Saturday morning to D-Man telling me it was time to get up. Then Tessa trotted into the bedroom and mashed her nose up against mine, wagging her stubby tail. I pushed her wet face away and rolled over. She sighed loudly and lay down, probably willing me to get up with her mind. Then D-Man proclaimed, “Up, up, up! We’re going to Nerja.

My eyes flew open like the living dead and I skipped to the kitchen, gulped down my coffee, hopped into the bathroom to brush my teeth, and off we went.

I’ve been wanting to go on a hike around Nerja’s caves for ages, but the day was muggy – you could see hot, dark fog floating around Nerja for miles around – so we settled on basic admission, which is a stroll through the caves instead of the hardcore hike, which was fine by me.

There was a cool spot called La Sala de los Fantasmas, or the Chamber of Ghosts.


Then we moved on to the Balcony of Europe.

It looks nice and bright in the photo because D-Man used a lot of ISO on the camera, but the weather was strange. It was foggy, really hot and stuffy, and you could feel the sun beating down on you even though you couldn’t really see it. I felt a little bad for the sticky Spanish bride having her wedding photos taken on El Balcón.


Preventing my forehead from getting melted off by using a 3€ parasol. Succeeded in poking D-Man’s left eye.


We got to the tip of the Balcón and I was pleasantly surprised by how crystalline blue the water was.


The foggy beach up close: kind of mysterious, don’t you think?


Then we went for a stroll and some lunch in Frigiliana, a nearby town further up the mountains known for its narrow curving streets and furry donkeys.


Typical potted plants of Andalucía: my favorite contrast against the whitewashed houses and patio walls.


D-Man gets creative:


We ended our day trip at La Esquina, a cozy Spanish restaurant with a French chef, and indulged in a variety of media raciones, or half rations, of Manchego cheese, chicken curry, blood sausage, ensaladilla rusa, tender beef in a tomato-based sauce (and in a mustard-based sauce), and refreshing gazpacho. One of the best things about eating in these tiny agricultural towns in Andalucía is that you can really taste the difference in the food. The ingredients are fresh and local, and the prices are incredibly decent.


What local day trips, or local foodie experiences, have you indulged in lately? 


24 thoughts on “Mediterranean Coast: Nerja & Frigiliana

  1. Ohhh what an amazing trip, even if it was muggy and foggy it looks fantastic! :) You should of dipped into that crystal clear water! When I was in Valencia and I couldn’t believe how warm the sea was at the end of October, I didn’t even think twice, I took of my clothes and swam in my underwear :D

    • I did do some dipping, but what I really wanted was to jump in! I have no qualms about swimming in my underwear, but they would have definitely been see-through and the beach was much too crowded for that, heheh. I couldn’t help but hold myself back this time and be modest.

      Yes, I love that the seas here get so nice and warm. Back home, the Pacific Ocean almost never seems to warm up! (Except in Hawaii and in the Latin American countries). I love that October here in Spain is still great for swimming in the sea. :)

  2. I love your little trips… makes me wish I was there too. And makes me very hungry LOL! Love your pics. I’m hoping that in time, I’ll have a chance to explore at my leisure too ;)

    • You can explore at your leisure right now, wherever you are! :) Even back home, I’d always look up cool little places to go on day trips to (most of the time at no extra cost, other than transport). I’d like to see more of South Africa, lady! :)

  3. what a fun and adventurous day trip! wow, what gorgeous pics and water color. Curious…can you see Africa on a clear day?
    I love the colorful painted pots – I want to replicate them somehow., I want to go to southern spain. the travel bug has bit big time again since we’ve returned. I can’t stop thinking about the next trip!

    • No, I later found out that you can’t see Africa from Nerja, but you can if you make it up to Torrox, which is the next town over, in the mountains. Even then the day has to be really, really clear. But you can easily see Africa from Tarifa!! That’s Spain’s southern tip, which almost meets with Africa’s northern tip.

      Ah, the travel bug – when it bites, it bites hard and doesn’t let go! You’d love southern Spain. And I think you’d easily be able to find colorful pots for your home. :) A quick trip to Home Depot, then an art/painting project for the kids, and ta-da! Ooh, get a lot of succulent plants, those grow well in northern Ca. The giant flower-shaped kind are my favorite!

  4. So glad you finally made it! The weather down on the coast was really weird just before I left for London…all that weird hot fog. Didn’t realise that there was another type of hike you could take in the caves other than just following the route round inside.

    • Yes, me too! Te iba a mandar un SMS, though I felt bad about it being last minute, but then remembered you were in England until later this month. The hot mist from the coast reached Granada central yesterday, and we had lightning storms last night. It’s still incredibly hot and humid at the moment, but I kind of like it – it’s more tropical than dry and desert-y.

      As for the hikes, I didn’t know either! But D-Man had looked up info for the caves beforehand, and there’s a guided tour through some of the other caves, where you get to go deeper into them using caving equipment. It sounds like loads of fun, but I also think it’s quite expensive (and perhaps a bit overpriced?) – about 80 or 90 euro a person.

  5. Wow, how great that day must have been! I always kick myself for not going on daytrips more often when I actually do them.
    I’ve been to southern Spain but never there and of course would love to go one day. Foggy weather at that time of year does seem odd, but at least everything else was beautiful!

    • I’m the same way! I try to get out at least once a month, but sometimes time flies by without you noticing it, and other times you’re so busy throughout the week, you really just want to lounge around. But casual day trips are a great way to reboot. :)

      The fog has been strange. It was followed by a tropical lightning storm (it hit the next day), which was then followed by an earthquake later the same night. Eek!

  6. That daytrip looks like a perfect one: the food, the characteristic town, beach and more. I agree with Jenna, we all should do this more often!

    • We really should. It’s a great way to get out of our daily routines and re-energize for the upcoming week! I really enjoy visiting quaint towns and eating local food, they make for some of the best weekend outings.

  7. What a beautiful day trip : )
    I loved how you describe D-man trying to wake you and you being persistent to go back to sleep until he said the magic words!
    Your post made me miss Andalucia and the potted plants hanging on walls and windowsills! Beautiful.

    • Enjoy Portugal for now. ;) Pretty soon you’ll be missing all those roast chicken meals, caldo verdes, and quaint little towns. I hope you’re having a fabulous time!

      • Definitely enjoyed Portugal and enjoying my travels (despite my longing for home). I’ve just reached Burn Out. I’ve done it before. ha.

  8. Ah Nerja! I’ve been there on 3 separate occasions, when I was studying abroad in Malaga (it’s about an hour bus ride away). The first time I just hung out on the beach and the second time we visited the caves (the weather was too horrid to go on the beach though). The third time, I brought my sister and a friend. It was June and I should have been more careful with the sunscreen… I got the worst sunburn on my legs and was peeling for weeks afterwards! Despite the bad memory, I love this little town! :D

    • It’s a great little town. :) But yes, come June, the sun here gets super strong and you have to be more careful! I feel like it’s different than the sun I grew up with in California – it can really make my skin prickle in Summer!

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