November is a gorgeous month to visit Nerja, not only have the crowds dwindled down but so has the intense summer heat which has been a constant during the previous few months. As winter barges in uninvited in northern Europe, with usually ghastly consequences, the Costa del Sol in southern Spain is still blissfully bathed in sunshine and warmth. Want to escape the harsh reality of an impending winter in the UK? THIS is where you ought to head to!
It is not unusual to still have temps in the high 20s during the first week of November, although the average daily temperature will hover about 16°C, with expected highs of 20°C and lows of a chilli 13°C. By mid-month you can expect to feel a most distinctive chill in the air, and by the last week you'll be left with little doubt that winter is on its way. It's at this time that the coast is also influenced by a chilly easterly wind, yet temps are not expected to drop to single digit so as long as you pack a warm layer you will be more than comfortable outdoors.
The sea retains the warmth of summer, so dipping in the Mediterranean, which will boast an average water temperature of 18°C is still not considered pure insanity. The sunshine shall be your companion for 8 hours daily in November, and although the average rainfall this month will be a substantial 84mm (over 11 days) it is nonetheless drier than anywhere else in Europe. This month is renowned for wicked, short but intense thunderstorms which, when admired form a high-rise beachfront window, are an absolute sight to behold.
Where to stay
Finding affordable accommodation in November is insanely easy, so you may want to splurge on one of the more luxurious hotels considering they offer amazing winter-time deals. If you still prefer to self-cater, or at least enjoy the homely feel of a rental place, then your options will be nearly endless.
Browse through a variety of different apartments, flats and town houses for a great deal at My Nerja Holiday Rentals. This is a great way to find and centrally located place to stay with added privacy.
Eating & drinking out
Although Nerja boasts hundreds of fantastic eateries, a great majority of which stay open all winter long, you may want to know about a few special joints in Alhama-de-Granada. If you're planning to soak at the thermal pools for a whole morning, then why not walk through the charming town and enjoy a great lunch as well? Alhama is likewise not short of great tapas hubs; the most popular two, by far, are La Placeta and Bar El Tigre. You'll find both on Plaza de la Costitucion right in the centre of town. Both gems are absolutely fantastic and offer some unique and delectable tapas along with a cocktail, beer or glass of tinto or sangria. So good are the tapas here that they are worthy of a visit from Nerja even if you don't fancy a thermal soak. At both bars your tapas will be freshly made to order and, considering both offer a varied selection of local delicacies (with seafood and vegetarian being the most popular) we'd strongly suggest you indulge your taste buds at both places!
If you wish to savour something a little different, on your return to Nerja, then head to Fusion Food & Lounge, where local Spanish produce is prepared with distinctive international influences. The creative genius behind Fusion has guaranteed an almost cult-like following among locals and visitors alike. It is here that your eyes will feast as much as your taste-buds. Presentation is inspiring and the flavours absolutely mind-blowing. Try the Abanico Iberico shoulder of ham marinated in chilli and coriander for a taste explosion and, whatever you do, make sure you leave enough room for a serve of melt-in-your-mouth crème brulèe.
Things to do
Aside the myriad of sights and activities in Nerja town, there are also several nearby destinations which you should visit during your stay.
November is a wonderful month to visit the wildlife Bioparc in Fuengirola, just an hour's drive west of Nerja. Normally brimming with kids during the summer period, Bioparc is an absolute delight to explore at a quieter time of year, especially when you consider that this animal sanctuary is smaller than most zoos.
The park does amazing conservation work and is home to a myriad of interesting animals from all over the world. The spacious, natural surroundings are ideal if getting a close look at some exotic species is what you like best. The Komodo dragon is a crowd favourite and the big cats (tigers and lions) also never fail to impress. African and Asian wildlife make up the majority of the exhibits here. You can easily reach the park with a rental car by taking the A7 out of Nerja or, alternatively, catch a bus or train. The zoo is just minutes away from both stations in Fuengirola.
The Alhama-de-Granada thermal springs are an exceptionally great place to visit on a cold November day. Steaming in the open air and surrounded by stunning natural landscapes is a divine way to warm, relax and rejuvenate. The hot pools are found just two kilometres out of Alhama, a mountain town which sits on the other side of the Tejeda Mountains, just behind Nerja. The driving time should be merely an hour or so.
On the grounds of the thermal water source there is a hotel whose pools you can use for a very small fee; however a better option would be to soak in the small public pools which have been set up with rocks on the side of the river. Follow the signs to 'Balneario' as you exit the town and, before you reach the hotel, you will see a rather large car park. Stop here, walk down to the river shore and voila'...you're there! The Romans and Arabs used this spot for centuries and revered the waters for their therapeutic, healing and detoxifying effects.