It can’t be denied that one of the best things about living in Spain is the weather. Whilst in my first couple of days in Granada in February the shroud of grey sky threatened scattered showers of rain and the peaks of the Sierra Nevada were coated in a thick layer of snow, a few weeks later things had really begun to heat up. Primavera, por fin! By the beginning of March it was definitely time for a beach trip.
There are many beach towns within an easy distance from Granada by bus or the incredible idea that is the Blabla Car journey sharing app, where people advertise spare seats in their car for cheaper travel. Malaga is one option for those who want a more bigger, more resorty city (or just miss Primark). Almuñecar and la Herradura are also only a couple of hours away by bus – although I’ve heard from some that the beaches of Almuñecar aren’t very beautiful. By far my favourite (on the Costa Tropical of Granada at least) is the seaside town of Nerja. Nerja has a range of beaches dotted along its coastline- it really depends what you feel like. I tend to choose a smaller cove to the left of the Balcon de Europa (which I’ll explain later). Perfectly picturesque with rocky cliffs surrounding it, palm leaf sun umbrellas and vintage-style dilapidated fishing boats with peeling paint, it’s the best spot to relax in the sun.
I also visited a larger beach down the coast on an Erasmus* trip. These larger beaches are great if you want to play football or volleyball and generally have a more active vibe. You can also rent pedalos with slides on them – but I do have a crippling fear of getting too tired and swept away to Morocco by the current… Another great thing about this larger beach is the home comforts. One of the supermarkets I discovered sells English food and drinks – including my favourite HobNobs biscuits!
*As a side note: these Erasmus groups are well worth having a look at. You don’t actually have to be an Erasmus student and it gives you the chance to travel really cheaply to cities like Barcelona, or to other countries like Portugal or simply on beach trips. In Granada the most popular is a company called Best Life Experience.
Nerja is also famous for its caves, which are supposedly incredibly beautiful. I won’t lie to you though, I haven’t ventured that far yet. Most of my trips have involved me trying to tan my Philadelphia white skin so I don’t feel so out of place amongst the Spanish locals!
Nerja is also the perfect mix of tranquility and practicality. Not too big, but not so secluded that there are no toilets and no places to eat! My favourite restaurant is an Italian place with a terrace that looks over the beach. Perfect for a glass of sangria and a big bowl of pasta (or a Caesar salad if you’re pretending to be watching your bikini bod). When in Spain you also have to try the ice cream – and Nerja is packed full of ‘heladerìas’. Maybe it’s not as good as the famous Italian stuff, but there’s nothing better than admiring the view with a nice cream cone…
…Which brings me to the Balcon de Europa. A must see in Nerja, the viewpoint juts out over the Mediterranean Sea offering panoramic views of perfect blue waves across to Africa (although I don’t think you can quite see it!).
After a long day of sun and sand you arrive home exhausted and all you want to do is fall into your bed and sleep. But believe me: it doesn’t take long for the itch to come back and you’ll find you end up planning beach trips most weekends! ¡A la playa!