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Rock of Gibraltar or Nerja Costa del Sol?

My last 2 nights in Spain is planned for Nerja, a beach town that Rick Steves claims is his favorite Costa del Sol town.
After 3 nights in MADRID, 3 nights SEVILLA, 1 night CORDOBA and 3 nights GRANADA, I thought last 2 nights in beach town like Nerja may be relaxing before we travel back to US. However, recently I was wondering if a family hike to top of Gibraltar may be more exciting/memorable for my family of 5 (3 older kids...ages 23, 22 and 18).
I understand that it's all personal preference but I would like to know traveler's thoughts about hiking up Rock of Gibraltar and visiting surrounding area. (Like I said, I would be doing this on the last 2 days of our Spain vacation instead of spending last 2 days in Nerja. Also, would be traveling to Rock of Gibraltar from Granada)

Thank you....Loved all your previous help.

Posted by
1288 posts

Nerja is a smaller place that has sufficed as a day trip for us, but if slowing down and having some beach time is important this could be a good place. I am not a fan of Gibraltar (it is a rock), but other folks love it.
What time of year are you going and from what airport are you departing?
If the answer is Madrid, then I recommend a couple of nights in Toledo.

Posted by
20 posts

Could anyone recommend a 2 night stay somewhere else that may be interesting instead for my family of 5? (kids 23,22 and 18 yrs). We will be finishing up 3 nights stay in Granada so would like last 2 nights in a place not too far away from Granada since I am trying to limit the time on train. Nerja just seemed like a good place to stay (and only 2.5 hour bus ride from Granada) since we all like swimming and have never been to the "Costa del Sol" but after hearing comments about sewer problem, I'm not sure I want to finish my Spain vacation next to polluted stinky water. (or rish getting sick...Yikes!)

My hotel in Nerja is fully refundable so that is not a problem.
Would staying in Malaga for the last 2 nights be better than staying in polluted Nerja?
Does Malaga have nice beaches or is there a sewer problem there as well?

Thank you!

Posted by
1288 posts

Malaga has beaches close to town center which are nice, just be aware the sand is more pebbly than soft sand. There will be plenty of local families in attendance and you can rent an umbrella, small table and a couple of beach chairs per day for around 10 euros.
Old town malaga has a very pleasant pedestrian area, an old fort, a nice marina and an interesting cathedral. We believe prices for food and local shops to be more competitive than other tourist destinations.
For all the rumors about sewage near Nerja i have never seen a news article documenting the issue.
Rick appears to not like the condo canyons which have been built up on the hillsides outside of malaga and the accompanying expats who desire to ignore Spanish culture.

Posted by
16883 posts

I was just about to check this list of Blue Flag Beaches, but now I won't! Gibraltar doesn't strike me as the right place to end the Spain trip, since it's so un-Spanish, and many people find the monkeys bothersome. Did you tell us from which airport you fly home?