Why I love NERJA!

Every May the Hammie family get on a plane and head for Nerja, a little town about an hour east of Malaga, on the Costa Del Sol.

We have done this every year since 2003 after I swore I would never take an Irish Summer Holiday again.
I know I know - when you get the weather there is no better place.
But my souvenir of our week in Kerry in 2002, was a weather proof jacket.
So Slan to the South West and Cead Mile Costa!

Being an autistic family, we went to the place that the 3 generations of Hammies had been going to for 20 years - Capistrano - And we keep going back.

The first year we booked a package. But after that found it easier to book a villa independently through Owner's Direct, and found that flying on scheduled flights, and renting a car privately at the airport was a whole lot better than the package and waiting experience for our kids.

We usually go in May, because it is pleasantly warm, and not too busy as everybody else is still in school. (this year it was delayed thanks to the attic grant situation)

Nerja has no high rises and no night clubs. In fact it was dropped from most budget travel packages years ago. It is popular with young families and the sort of older couple that has raised their family.
Poolside you get a lot of permatans, stretch marks and unwise speedo action on older men - but it does make one feel a bit young and gorgeous, in your €1.50 Tesco Bikini and sarong.

One of the three enormous swimming pools. Boo is the small black dot.

Bratty enjoying one of her 3 daily splashathons in the Top Pool. Our Villa was about 15 metres away.

When the weather is fine but not too hot, Boo and I enjoy a daily walk down town to Anahi, a cafe near Riu Monica which now has wifi!

Best order is the Anahi Burger. Australian Style burger with everything including a fried egg - but no beetroot. Boo has the Sandwich Con Jamon sin Queso (toasted ham sandwich) a big bowl of EXCELLENT chips and lashings of coca cola light.

He calls the waiter, "Gracias" - you can guess why.

The view up the Balcon de Europe - a natural cliff that forms the town centre and place to meet.

There is a beautiful church on the Balcon; El Salvador -which is very popular for Irish Weddings apparently. At Capistrano we would see Irish Families over for a weddin' with the tell tale red shoulders. Factor 30 next time dears!

The Balcon has a number of touristy hotel cafes with elderly but efficient waiters, fine views and set menus. On our last day I sat alone at one of the cafes and enjoyed a negro y blanco, a combination of ice cream (helado) and coffee. Yu-um!

The Passeggiata takes place here each evening with local spanish families joining the tourists to enjoy the breeze across the water, eat ice creams and give pennies to the mostly awful street performers and moving statue people.

Boo loves moving statue people - But he teases them ruthlessly until they move on...

Excellent Pizza and Pasta place off the square too.

There is also a number of carriages awaiting the tourist with €35 to spare..

Boo just jumped in here - the Jarveys didn't make a cent out of us!

Now you see the hat


And no I didn't climb down to retrieve it.
Those little dots on the beach are people, there are a LOT of stairs.

Everyday we take the kids swimming, several times. Then Daddy and Bratty go to Almunecar to McDonalds for some chicken nuggets and chips. And a Cafe Helado for Daddy.
It's about a 30 minute trip there and back along the mad coastal roads, but it keeps a little girl happy, and I think Daddy enjoys the drive.

Sometimes Boo goes too.

And there I will leave you for today. We had a lovely break, amazing how long a week can be without all the home stresses. Plenty of holiday stresses too of course but at least it was in the sun!

I did do some re-runs while away which did not come up on google reader. So you can check them out here and here and of course here which includes our little mishap in 2007. Would love to hear your comments on those edited posts.

For now, Adios!

The photos are a mix of 2005 and 2009, I actually found an old disc that I had not got round to printing.


Anonymous said…
Great blog, it looks idyllic. Lovely photos too. What a inspiration your family are for others venturing into the holiday territory abroad with autistic kids. Gives everyone hope.

Andra xxx
Lisa said…
That's great, thanks Andra. And hopefully the commenting bug has been fixed. You have to click twice sometimes I think.
Clive said…
Looks and sounds like you all had a great time!
jazzygal said…
Sounds fabulous Hammie and a bit of sunshine does indeed make things seem a little easier.

I remember our 1st 2 awful summer holidays...how I EVER went on one again I'll never know! I also remember that for the first 3 or 4 years we too had to make the nightly pre-dinner trip to Mc D's so that WiiBoy would eat about 5 chips!! but now he's like Boo and will tuck into a pizza or Pasta!!

Great photos. Our neighbours ( a retired couple) go to Nerja twice a year for 4 to 6 weeks! They love it too.

BTW: I always have to click twice to comment..on every blog!! xx Jazzy
Anonymous said…
Looks like PARADISE, Hammie!
grufalomum said…
Sound an idyllic location - but not sure the people of Nerja would appreciate being taken over by the whole irish autistic community every summer - can you imagine! lol

Glad you all had a good time & I hope you & Mr.H managed some sort of a rest / break to recharge the batterys!

But I agree even the worse meltdown can seem marginally better when the sun is shining :)
Nan P. said…
Welcome back!

You "read" quite relaxed. You probably all needed the break, and as a family...
Te said…
We were in the same country for a bit! Your holiday pics are great! Was giggling reading about Boo torturing the statue people (I've always wanted to do that!), and looking at the hat photos...glad you had a good holiday, isn't Spain great!
Petunia said…
What a fabulous place! Even looking at the pictures made me feel all holidayish... I would love to have gone away this year but unfortunately it wasn't to be on the cards. Will definitely go next year as have missed my yearly dose of vitamin D courtesy of the sun! May even give your little paradise a go (you shouldn't have told us all about your little jewel in the sun hehe) xxx
Lisamaree said…
Clive: We had our moments but it was lovely to get away and I enjoyed the hotter weather!

Jazz: There are a lot of retired people in Nerja, some of them even like children!

Sal: I am rather fond of the place.

Gruff: they could do worse than a lot of Autistic families. We are loyal, we really try to manage our kids, we spend a lot on what our kids want and we travel out of season - it could rescue the economy!

Nan: we sure did, Thanks!

TE: Forgive me I forgot you were there! Next time I will set you up for some babysitting hey? Glad to hear you are loving Spain. Must check in with you again.

Petunia: you would love it. And out of season it is even better value. xx
K.Line said…
Oh man, what a paradise. I am palpably envious of this vacation! (Of course, such a beautiful vacation spot couldn't happen to a nicer one than you, but you know what I mean...) The pools. The ocean. The architecture. Sigh.
WendyB said…
Looks beautiful. I'm so jealous of those pools. I have a thing for pools
Make Do Style said…
Wow you've sold it to me - we need to find the perfect holiday retreat. I of course have aspirations to Barbados as it is my favourite but then I love France, Italy, Spain and Greece too.

the kids look beautiful. I'm glad Boo jumped into the cart, I've always wanted to do that. I like the nerve of the boy!
Elizabeth said…
Now I love it too!

Thanks for the recap. It was lovely. The kids are beautiful, growing rapidly!
Seeker said…
Hello my darling, this sounds and that photos look like you all had a fantastic time. Just great, sweetie.


Meadow said…
Hi Hammie,

I am Petunia's sister, and I occasionally read here via her blog.... We are Nerja fanatics too...we have been going almost every year since we stumbled upon it on our honeymoon (after traveling around barcelona, and Andalucia for 2 weeks, we collapsed in nerja for R&R before we headed home)

We have been going most mays, and some septembers since 2000.... last year we brought our daughter for the first time, and we stayed in San Juan de capistrano, and loved it! We usually stayed on Burriana, but too noisy with young kids. R loved running around on the balcon every evening after our icecream..... its such a lovely place, we will always go back!


PS Boo and Bratty are gorgeous!
Skye said…
It looks fabulous there!

So good to hear you had a great break.
Jules said…
Great! Looks like Boo just had a wonderful time eating that yummy Pizza. =D

A Writers Den
Brown Mestizo
rpg games said…
It’s like living in paradise. I love the amazing view.
Aw! I wish I could go there. It is such a beautiful place to spend vacation with the family.
Unknown said…
If you want to have a good drink with a delicious tapa and be setting with the Alhambra palace in front of your eyes, you must come to Granada!. I recommend you The White Nest Hostel. It is located in the best area of the Albayzin with magnificent view of the palace and paseo de los tristes. You can find a young international group of like minded people, in fresh vibrant surroundings. You will have a great time to remember your entire life… I propose you to stay in Hostels Granada and experience the life of Albayzin, Sacromonte and the heart of Granada itself.
We look forward to seeing you again for Nerja ❤