My wife and I will be visiting somewhere in the general Spanish Costa del Sol area in May 2014. Although Nerja is recommended by Steve, I have seen comments about the poop patrol in the water offshore, and the plans to end the dumping of raw sewage nearby. There was another complaint that getting to the beach is a quite a hike downhill. Any suggestions or comments? Thanks.
I hope someone answers this one.. we are very much interested in similar visit to same area.
'the general Costa del Sol' means a coastline of 200 kms. plus and several kms. into the hinterland.
Why use the the 10 kms. of Nerja's beaches, wherever you stay, whether a problem or not?
Neil, can you actually suggest some other seaside towns then?
Steve is Rick Steves friend and is a guide and contributes to many of RS guide books.
Thanks, Pat. Suggestions for other seaside towns would be a good idea. I've looked at the entire coastline and would like to get the "inside dope" on what its really like in those towns. We are looking for a base to explore the area, but don't want to choose a place that we will not like.
Both of you have asked for suggestions for seaside towns.
Pat - 'Neil, can you actually suggest some other seaside towns then?'
No, except for Malaga city (there are beaches), the Costa or a beach is of little interest to me.
A look at a map and a google will give you images and information on a location. Surely you are not coming all this way just for a beach, which can be found similarly, anywhere in the world?
Ron - 'looking for a base to explore the area'.
Without knowing what you want to do or where you intend with 'area' I could not comment, but no one base is likely to be effective, whatever your transport, if you intend to see or do any justice to the 'area' of Andalucia, a region almost the size of Portugal. The 'inside dope' is almost certainly wherever you go on the Costa there will be many tourists (unless 'off season') and the similar kind of people and premises you can find anywhere in the world at beach or resort towns with the intention of parting you from your holiday €$£.
Actually Neil.. we are looking for a beach. We stayed in Tossa De Mar summer of 2012 and loved it.. it was a great change from the rest of our holiday. where we stayed in some large cities. ( Amsterdam, Paris and Nice). We are looking for small towns on the coast. Sorry if thats not your cuppa.. but I had never been to a place like Tossa and we loved it and didn;t find it comparable to many places we have visited with beaches in other places in the world.
We do not visit Europe for a week or two , like many folks here seem to , but are able to go for 3 or 4 weeks, so yes, a beach town for a week is just what we want.
And we found that towns with medieval centres on the Mediterranean were pretty special, nothing like Hawaii or LA , Mexico, St Thomas or whatever.
If you're looking for beach areas without the condo and golf course resort feel, you probably need to be outside of the Costa del Sol.
We were surprised how much we enjoyed Tarifa. It was a nice little town with decent beaches. We were there in April so not fully beach weather.
Between Tarifa and the border with Portugal is the Costa de la Luz. To me it's more authentic than Costa del Sol where the people you are most likely to meet are tourists and expats. There are miles of secluded beaches and relatively few population centers. I've read many reviews of people having a half mile or so of beach, between cliffs jutting out into the ocean, to themselves - plus it's much cheaper because it's not so touristy.
We visited Chiclana, great beach but probably the most developed area on the stretch between Tarifa and Cadiz. Conil and Barbate would be the other areas where lodging and restaurants would be easy to find and you could choose between convenient and remote beaches to visit.
I spent 10 days in Alicante (Costa Blanca) in September and loved it. The beach is wonderful but as Alicante is a decent size city, there is a lot to do besides the beach. Strolling along the promenade, strolling the streets and alleys of the Old City, visiting Castillo Santa Barbara right downtown, as well as the modern city with it's many stores, restaurants and shops. Can take the tram to Benidorm, Denia, etc. Highly recommend.
Well think we may have found a contender.. lol
Looking at Majorca, but specifically the town of Cala'd Or..
We will be in the Costa del Sol area after Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville, so we will be getting more exposure to Spain than just the beaches and are more interested in the surrounding area like the Alhambra and possibly Tangier. We've already cut down our time in the Costa del Sol area because of the negatives of highrises and tourist hordes, but are looking for that gem in the rough, if it exists. And our returning flight home leaves from Malaga.
'looking for that gem in the rough' - scores or low hundreds of villages and towns which might float your boat, as they have me, dig in here -
I've spent several weeks in Nerja, and you just can't beat the beautiful views. We were there in both August and September, and both times, found the water so freezing cold we could not bear swimming in the Med. And I'm originally from Chicago and grew up swimming in Lake Michigan. I don't remember any "poop patrols" but the beach, which is quite a walk down from town (but not that bad) has the most wonderful paella stands and fun places to sun.
The last time we went to the Costa del Sol, we were talked into staying a little inland in Velez Malaga. A friend of a friend owned a small hotel/BnB there, and it was wonderful! The town does not see many tourists or English speakers for that matter, and we found it to be fabulously charming, and those 6 years of Spanish instruction many years ago did come in handy! We went to the tapas bars at night, and had a wonderful time, and day tripped to Granada and to Nerja. Seriously, you haven't been to Spain unless you see the Alhambra, and make reservations in advance. You will be assigned an entry time, and they strictly ad here to that. Go early, and stay late and enjoy the site at your leisure -- better yet, spend the night at one of the hotels in Granada. We unfortunately did not make reservations and ended up taking a tour by bus -- and they literally ran us through this majestic site. Fortunately, I had been before, but my husband had not, and I feel that he'd been very short changed.
The name of the hotel is Palacio Blanco and they are on Trip Advisor, so you can google them. There are only 9 rooms inside of an old hacienda type building that has an open atrium, and a sweet roof-top sun deck with a nice little 'dipping pool' that is perfect for a hot summer day. The owners are from Holland and are very sweet people, and have totally remodeled the place, including amazing huge walk in showers that are unusual in Europe, and the decorations have just enough 'arabic' accents to make it quite glamorous.
I've spent quite a lot of time on the Costa del Sol. Depending on what you like, Marbella is a large seaside resort. Lots of bars and cubs, nearly everyone speaks English. It has a long promenade (goes right to Puerto Banus) and is a really pleasant place to spend an evening.
Further along the coast headed West, Estepona is a bit more relaxed, has a nice marina and again, lots of bars and restaurants. I don't know if there are many clubs. It's popular with Spanish families. It also has a long promenade.
In both places the beach is easily accessible.
Still recommend Alicante. Mid 80's in early September and the Med had a wonderful temp. Plus the sea breezes were very refreshing. I much preferred that to spending time in the Caribbean. Just my preference. This was my first trip back to Europe in years. Now I have the bug and it is where I want to visit more than anywhere!!
Thanks for more feedback. Definately not interested in clubs( over 50s in clubs looks a bit desperate and pathetic to me, clubs to me are for the younger set) .. and we don't need tons of bars,, some nice restaurants, a few nice cafes.. a beach bar or two.. thats it.. not interested in bigger holiday cities.. and at this time not interested in going inland although that place does sound really lovely.. We really were looking for a beach break after touring mususems and cathederals of other Europeon cities for the previous weeks.
However really do like all the suggestions as it makes me look up things and narrow down what I am looking for.. thanks.
There are many places in Nerja that are right on the beach. You would have to stay a long ways away to have any kind of downhill hike.
Just marking so we can Dd Xona's little hotel to our must do list. Thanks.
I think I'll pass on Nerja and look for something further down the coast. I will spare you all the gross details here, but you can go to this site and get some personal experiences of visitors to Nerja:
me and the missus went last year, we were on the site mentioned and were not told anything about it, all good reviews from the forum but when we were there we couldnt go in the sea cos of the poo. we since found out that the people ont he forum on that site censor the mention of poo and sewerage etc so nobody finds out and anyone that says anything gets there posts closed.
also they say its all lies, but its not we saw it and here is a video if people dont believe us https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1rbFrsGy-Gk watch at ur own risk.
we will never go again and we tend to ask on private message now if we want to know anything about places burnt once never again the main focus of our holday is the beaches and it was nothing like they said it was horrible.