Visit Nerja in May and not only will you be able to feel Spring in the air, but you'll also be able to smell it and hear it! This is when the stunning countryside comes to life; when flowers bloom to life, birds chirp happily and bees buzz about in delight. May is the ideal month to visit if you like mountain hiking and prefer sightseeing to beach lounging. The days are warm and pleasant yet the sun not so intense...making day-long outings here purely perfect.
The average daily temperature for this month is 19°C, with highs of 24°C and lows of 15°C. It is not uncommon, however, to experience an unusually hot day in May yet with average sea temperatures of 17°C, taking a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean is always a pleasant option. On some evenings the temps can also drop to single digits, so it's wise to bring a warm jacket nonetheless. Summer may be on its way...but not just yet!
May is usually the craziest month of the year as far as the weather is concerned. Unlike most other months, where change is predictable and progressive, May could see you suffer a 15°C one day and 36°C the next, at ANY time of the month. This is why it is advisable to be prepared with clothing and flexible with plans.
In May, you can usually expect rain on a total 8 days, with rainfall amounting to only 24mm. Coupled with an average of 12 hours of sunshine each day, it makes this arguably the best time of year to visit the splendid Costa del Sol.
Where to stay
If you're a foodie and prefer not to stray too far from the delicious action of Nerja, then consider the fact that accommodation choices close to the above mentioned eateries abound.
Budget conscious visitors could opt for the Cantares Apartment complex on Avenida Mediterraneo right across the road from the slightly pricier Hotel Riu Monica. Not only is it just a couple of hundred metres from stunning Torrecilla Beach, but it's also beside a fantastic eating and dining strip, where you'll also find Cafe Jamaica.
The boutique hotel attached to Restaurant 34 is also one of the very special accommodation choices in Nerja. Hotel Carabeo boasts a fantastic and absolute waterfront location and is as luxurious as its in-house restaurant would lead you to imagine. Room options are varied and Carabeo also offer self-appointed apartments for longer stays. Best part? Hotel guests enjoy a 10% discount when they dine at 34. Bonus!
If you do fall in love with Burriana Beach, as many before you have, then you'll be pleased to know that dining al fresco there every evening is made particularly easy considering the wide range of accommodation choices nearby. Check out the amazing exclusive villas and mid-range apartments for rent here and you'll be sure to find an option which suits your taste and budget.
Eating and drinking out
In Spain, bars, restaurants and café are quite interchangeable, meaning that you'll be offered great food and delicious drinks no matter where you go.
An especially favoured brunch spot is Café Jamaica, which serves about the best and most generous American breakfasts in town. At Jamaica, everything (including brekkie) is on offer all day long making it ideal for a lazy long lunch or to grab a quick toasted sandwich in between sightseeing. Their alcoholic beverages are particularly well sized and priced.
Another fab spot is 34, a delightful restaurant and tapas bar which you'll find on the grounds of Hotel Carabeo. At this time of year, the outdoor terrace is open again for al fresco dining and overhead heaters are on the ready should the temps drop. This place is hard to beat: it serves delectable food (the pig cheeks come highly recommended!), offers premium service and is cosy and comfy to a fault. Leaving with a full and happy belly may be difficult after a lovely night out. Charming and rustic yet elegant, a full meal will set you back about 50 per person.
For great sundowners with a view, head to the little bar at the end of Burriana Beach, they have comfy lounge chairs on the esplanade and play a good mix of music, both ideal accompaniments for the yummy cocktails. It is here that you'll find a selection of chiringuitos, which is the name given to small enterprises which serve drinks and a selection of tapas. They all offer comparable deals and fare and all serve up extremely fresh and local produce. On a warm may evening this is about as wonderful as a Nerja dining experience can get.
Things to do
May is a great time for leisurely strolling and window shopping in Nerja's historic town centre. Head to the beautiful El Salvador Church, and after having admired the weird and wonderful saintly relics of the iglesia, grab a table at one of the eateries on the square adjoining the church and enjoy a relaxing spot of people watching. For amazing coastline views you should, of course, head up to Balcón de Europa; and don't forget to plan a day trip to nearby Frigiliana, an absolutely charming white washed village, home to arguably the most striking Moorish architecture in the entire Andalucian region.
If you'd like to explore Nerja and its surrounds with ease, it may pay to indulge in a private tour or two. Having the logistics all sorted by someone else means that you need not waste time organising your own transport, checking out opening times or researching the best places to visit. This is especially true for those who are visiting the Costa del Sol for the first time or those on short breaks only.
May is the last month of the year when you can join one of John Keow's phenomenal hiking tours. Run only during the cooler winter months, these tours offer a comprehensive glimpse of Nerja's surrounding hills and will allow you to visit places way off the beaten track. You'll enjoy professional care combined with unsurpassed views and a thoroughly enticing insight into what life is like in the Andalucian countryside. Please do note a certain level of fitness is required to undertake most hikes, so let John and his team advise you as to which one is best suited to you.
Another formidable tour agency in Nerja is Life Adventure, which offer day long jeep tours to the gorgeous Andalucian mountains. Amazing value for money and utterly fun, these 4WD trips will see you explore the national parks above the Nerja Caves, reach breathtaking viewpoints above and through the Sierra de Almijara and Tejeda mountains. Refreshments and lunch are included.
Segway Tours are renowned worldwide for offering a fun alternative to an otherwise ordinary city tour, and nowhere is this more apt than in Nerja. On Playa de Burriana is where you'll find the head office and where you can ask all about the tours on offer. The great thing about Segways is that they are incredibly easy to get accustomed to, can get you to viewpoints and over all sorts of terrain with ease, and can be operated by young and old alike, making the especially popular with families. Holidaying in Nerja with your grandma and 6 year old niece? Then this is the tour for you!