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Vonse Jan 16th, 2016 04:02 PM

Cadiz or Nerja?
Now that I've finalized our Portugal-Spain itinerary I'm having second thoughts. As it stands our trip is as follows, starting the last week of March:

Lisbon - 4 nights. Fly to...
Seville - 5 nights, with day trip to Cordoba and maybe Cadiz. We'll pick up a car on the last day and head to Nerja, stopping on the way in Ronda. We'll drop the car in Nerja.
Nerja - 3 nights. Bus to...
Granada - 3 nights. We'll pick up a car on the last day and drive to Toledo, dropping the car on arrival.
Toledo - 2 nights. Train to...
Madrid - 3 nights

The thought behind Nerja was to have some down time in the middle of our trip with very little sightseeing, maybe a day trip to Malaga. Mostly we'd be happy to wander the town and sit in a cafe, on the beach or on our hotel terrace overlooking the sea for a couple of days. I've read there's a sewage treatment plant issue in Nerja, but I haven't been able to determine the nature of the issue or the impact it would have on our enjoyment of Nerja. Is there raw sewage in the sea? Is there a stench?

Even apart from any sewage issues, I'm wondering whether Cadiz is more scenic and culturally interesting. Love to know your thoughts.

Alec Jan 16th, 2016 04:31 PM

In March, it's certainly not beach weather. Well, people walk along and may sit in the sun, but water is too cold to swim in (though some brave ones dare). Remember Easter is early this year and Semana Santa will be from 20th to 27th March, and it will be very crowded everywhere, especially in Seville. Have you booked accommodation there, and possibly elsewhere too? Try to arrive in Seville after 27th (Easter Sunday), when pressure on accommodation will be less.
Nerja is pleasant, very Spanish resort despite influx of Northern Europeans, many of them permanent residents. No high-rise hotels like in Torremolinos. Don't worry about the sewage works. It's situated inland, nowhere near where toursits go, and won't be operational until at least June 2016.
Cadiz is interesting. The old city jutting out into the sea is full of little alleyways with local life and fish restaurants, if a little scruffy. Then there are long stretches of beaches on both sides of the access road. If you want to relax by the sea, Nerja may be more suitable.

kimhe Jan 17th, 2016 12:58 AM

Definitely no stench in Nerja, water looks crystal clear and thousands of people, also the locals, go swimming here all the time as we and our friends have done for the past fourteen years. But It's the last town along the coast to get an operating sewage plant, and it will be very good to have that in place by this summer.

Nine small and large beaches among the cliffs, many of them very pictoresque and excellent for a walk, or just to sit and relax. Several fine chiringuitos/beach restaurants , perfect for relaxing with a glass and a bite and just staring at the sea until sunset.

3000 year old Cádiz (Phoenician Gadir) would be more culturally interesting, but few places beats Nerja when it comes to "wander the town and sit in a cafe, on the beach or on our hotel terrace overlooking the sea for a couple of days".

Several hotels with fabulous sea and/or mountain views. First time in Nerja (2002) we stayed both in the top end Parador and on the top floor of very low price Hostal Mena, the last with a lovely sea and mountain view terrace.

Hotel Carabeo and Hotel Balcon de Europa are excellent options:

Lots of fine tapas bars and restaurants in the old town in Nerja. In all these places you get a free tapa to choose with every glass of whatever in the bar area for some 1,50-2€. Some of these bars/restaurants are just as genuine as it gets and serves a wide range of delicious and freshly prepared/grilled tapas. For example:
La Marina:
La Puntilla:
El Pulguilla:

And you also have several top notch restaurants in town:
Fusion Food & Lounge:

Old time Cafeteria Cavana, just behind the main church, is my favourite cafe in Nerja:

And you have the spectacular Nerja caves just outside town, were people here more than 30 000 years ago:

Vonse Jan 17th, 2016 09:28 AM

Thank you Alec and Kimhe! I'll stick with the original itinerary and try to fit Cadiz in as a day trip from Seville. We purposely booked our time in Seville to avoid the crowds for Semana Santa. We don't really care if it's swimming weather (we'll be in Nerja April 7-10); we're happy to sit on the beach all bundled up if necessary.

All of our accommodations are booked. We have an apartment in Seville and are staying at Hotel Carabeo in Nerja. Kimhe, I appreciate your restaurant and tapas recommendations, thanks so much!

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