i might put up a trip report later when I have more time detailing places I've eaten etc. but as a past resident and regular visitor to Nerja and often on this forum my favourite places are easy to search and regulars will know my usual likes and dislikes anyway so not much point. After last visit nothing has changed, one thing you can rely on with the local spanish run places is that when they have a good formula they stick to it, close your eyes and it's groundhog day from years previous ;-)
A couple of places I like where closed and I missed a few friends in the local catering industry that where on vacation but there are so many choices that when one great place is closed another will be open so just keep moving around.
This trip was business (don't properly holiday on the CDS these days) based in Malaga city and Marbella however I got over to Nerja for 4 nights and again 2 nights before heading out of Malaga. Another few days in Spain but that's another story, so how did I find Nerja in February?
The town has obviously been hit by the local and European economy through last year so I wasn't absolutely sure what to expect off season comparred to what I know is going on in places like Benalmadena and Marbella. It seems to me to be holding up fairly well given the circumstances.
The town was quiet but had enough visitors to make it seem like a regular non resort town, I've not been to Nerja in February for many years but it reminded me of how the town was before the boom - an attractive town in an attractive setting as we know, not mobbed with visitors but with a vast choice of eating and drinking places. The old town tapas scene that I enjoy most was pretty busy actually day and night, as we crawled around some bars were obviously much quieter than summer but there was atmosphere of the type I personally enjoy and what first attracted me to Nerja 25 years ago. By day some of the more touristy ameneties were clearly quiet or dead but in my experience most that come to Nerja so far off season expect that to be the case, I;msurprised more weren't closed.
Some hoteliers I know were quite pessimistic and have several serious concerns moving forward but I think there is a local realisation and optimism that whilst things are indeed bad country wide Nerja is still well placed to keep attracting folk that seek a more low-key holiday off season. Looking at how some of the bigger resorts die in winter as relying on British visitors seeking home from home Nerja still offers a middle road alternative. No raging nightlife just a nice town for a quiet getaway to experience local culture with some tourist facilities if you want them.
This visit reminded me of how much I like Nerja, more recent summer visits have reminded me why I sold up so for me when I read that the town is quiet and not much going on I'd look deeper, for many it might be an improvement to the boom years in terms of personal experience, the negative factors affecting tourism might just see Nerja attracting some new visitors that might have previously avoided - only time will tell.
If people have researched what Nerja has to offer I see no reason for them to be concerned about a ghost town, Nerja is what it is, I've had two really enjoyable visits and met some visitors that were first timers saying they'll be back next winter as it suits them down to the ground. The local hospitality is great as always, lovely to catch up with some old faces and friends, I ate too much, drank too much and was sorry to head back to Malaga though I'm really fond of the city and had a great time there too. I even managed to do some work over the 18 days in the region ;-)
On the downside:
I've still never met anyone from TA Nerja forum and apologise for not getting in touch to meet as I said I would, I was simply on a very short notice schedule and couldn't plan anything, I was with folk day and night plus we went over to Salobrena and Granada whilst I was on these short vacation visits.
Not too bad first days but geneary I was unlucky with the weather, towards the last days it was geting pretty cold and last nights in Malaga it was very cold! ;-( That's the luck of the draw in February and something folk need to consider. European weather movements have changed i recent years so it's hard to guarantee the weather anywhere these days during winter.
Nerja is much as I expected and hoped for except the weather, research places that might interest you off season, Nerja has a lot going for it.