The eastern section of the Costa del Sol ribbons east of the city of Málaga as far as Almería, and is generally uninspiring. Inland there are plenty of attractive sierras to explore but, though far less developed than its twin coastal strip to the west of Málaga, there’s little to tempt you to stop before you reach the twin resorts of Nerja and Almuñécar – which are its saving feature. First, some 40km out of Málaga, comes NERJA, nestling in the foothills of the Almijara range. This was a village before it was a resort, so it has some intrinsic character, and villa development has been shaped around it.
The focus of the whitewashed old quarter is the Bálcon de Europa, a striking palm-fringed belvedere overlooking the sea. The beaches flanking this are also reasonably attractive, with a series of quieter coves within walking distance. There are plenty of other great walks around Nerja, too, well documented in the turismo’s own leaflets; or, at Smiffs Bookshop, c/Almirante Ferrandiz 10, you can buy individual leaflets detailing walks in the area by local resident and hiker Elma Thompson.