Sun and sand: the two things for which Nerja is most famous. And many visitors to the area don't get beyond them. Which is a shame, really, as there's much more to the area than just a great flop…
If there’s one Spanish institution that needs absolutely no introduction, it’s Flamenco. Perhaps paella, bullfighting, tapas or Rioja wine would yield higher scores in a round of Family Fortunes when attempting to guess Spain’s most immediate subtexts, but Flamenco would certainly be in there somewhere.
What is Flamenco?
It is considered less a genre of music and more an artform in southern Spain. A typical Flamenco performance is made up of four elements: cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dancing) and jaleo (vocalisations and rhythmic clapping). The structure of each song is usually determined by its palo – the specific Flamenco style, according to rhythm and geographical origin among other criteria. Some palos are sung without a guitar; others are danced while others aren’t. However, both Flamenco artists and enthusiasts would probably argue that the key components to any Flamenco recital are spontaneity and individual interpretation of the performers.
Origin, Transcendence & Meaning
Flamenco, as it’s known today, goes back at least 200 years, shaping the cultural perspective of many a Spaniard along the way. However, it isn’t necessarily as central to the lives of ‘Spaniards’, on a national scale, as, say, the pub is among the British. Only in the southern regions of Andalucia, Extremadura and Murcia is Flamenco sometimes considered the holy grail of music and dance.
It’s this undying and moderately provincial passion that characterises Flamenco down to its core. From its 18th century roots in gitano pueblos through to modern day arena-sized performances, the enthusiasm for practicing and watching Flamenco has always remained as fierce. You only have to wander into a busy Flamenco bar to observe its significance and steely staying power. Children, parents, grandparents and great grandparents crowd around the small ensembles and will strain their necks to watch the magic unfold.
Flamenco Shows & Peñas
There is ample opportunity to see Flamenco in Andalucia, but before you do it’s well worth understanding the difference between a Flamenco show and a peña.
Flamenco shows are often better-planned and promoted events and are thus more expensive to attend. They are quite spectacular and can generally be relied upon to see the best-known Flamenco artists. Locals, though, will likely tell you that the real Flamenco is to be found in the peñas.
To be in with a chance of seeing Flamenco at a peña, which roughly translates as a member’s club, you have to read the newspaper; look out for cheap flyers taped to lampposts; talk to locals; generally keep your eyes peeled and ears pricked in bars and cafés, as they are often impromptu in nature. Inside, the walls are bedecked with Flamenco photos, portraits and general memorabilia – it’s clear from the moment you walk in that the patrons live and breathe the music. Performers are not professional, rather people with regular day jobs with an insatiable passion for Flamenco. Generally speaking, anyone can play if they’d like – the principle is akin to a jamming session – though the standard of singing, dancing and guitar playing tends to be very high, despite the performers only being ‘amateur’.
Where to Go
People will pay large amounts of money and queue for unseasonably long periods of time to get a seat at a top Flamenco show or peña. However, in Andalucia, and particularly in major cities like Seville and Granada, you don’t usually have to try hard to find and get into an authentic Flamenco performance in a busy bar.
Unlike other live, acoustic music shows the audience are not required to remain completely silent as songs are played out; singing and clapping along is encouraged, as are cries of approval and encouragement, usually in the form of an ‘ole!’ or a ‘jale!’
Hundreds of shows and peñas take place across Andalucia every month, so it would, frankly, be near-impossible to list all (or even most) of them here. Instead we have picked out a few noteworthy examples of where to see Flamenco in Andalucia.
Jerez de la Frontera
Jerez is popularly regarded as la cuña – the birthplace – of Flamenco in Spain. It boasts the Andalucian Centre of Flamenco for a start, so there is probably a good chance that it all started there, and many of the most famous Flamenco artists come from Jerez, such as Lola Flores or José Mercé. In any case, Flamenco is to Jerez like cheese-rolling is to Gloucestershire. If passing through, and you’d like to catch a show or peña, head to:
Bars & Tablaos
Puro Arte, Tablao Flamenco (Flamenco every night. Reservation necessary.)
Details: Calle Conocedores, 28; Tel: +34 647 743 832; (puroarteflamencojerez.com)
Tabanco el Guitarrón de San Pedro (Flamenco Thursday night, Saturday afternoon, Sunday night.)
Details: Calle Bizcocheros, 16; Tel: +34 649 65 69 18; (Facebook Page)
Tablao del Bereber (Flamenco on Friday.)
Details: Calle de las Cabezas, 8-10; Tel: +34 605 94 75 77
Tabanco El Pasaje. (From Thursdays to Sunday.)
Details: Calle Sta. María, 8; Tel: 956 33 33 59; (tabancoelpasaje.com)
La Guarida del Angel
Details: Calle Porvenir, 1; Tel: +34 615 60 12 23; (Facebook Page)
Peña Flamenca Los Cernícalos
Details: Calle de Sancho Vizcaíno, 25; Tel: +34 956 33 38 71; (flamencodejerez.com)
Peña Flamenca Buena Gente
Details: Calle Ánimas de San Lucas, 9; Tel: +34 956 33 84 04; (Facebook Page)
Peña de la Buleria
Details: Calle Empedrada, 20; Tel: +34 856053772; (Facebook Page)
The Flamenco festival in Jerez is held during the last week of February and first week of March (Jerez.es). This is when the big names come out to play and the best classes are held. To attend a class, you must book in advance in September when tickets go on sale (yes, it’s that popular!)
Since Seville is a much larger city than Jerez, there are, unsurprisingly, many more Flamenco bars and peñas to be found. However, Flamenco isn’t quite as popular as the livelier and crowd-galvanising Sevillanas, which dominates Seville’s renowned Feria in Spring.
Bars & Tablaos
Tablao Flamenco El Arenal (Flamenco every night. Reservation necessary.)
Details: Calle Rodo, 7; Tel: +34 954 216 492; (tablaoelarenal.com)
La Carbonería (Flamenco every night.)
Details: Calle Levíes, 18; Tel: +34 954 56 37 49
T de Triana (Flamenco on Tuesday, Thursday.)
Details: Calle Betis, 20; Tel: +34 95 43 31 203; (Facebook Page)
Casa de la Memoria (Flamenco every night. Reservation necessary.)
Details: Calle Cuna, 6; Tel: +34 954 560 670; (casadelamemoria.es)
Tablao Álvarez Quintero (Flamenco every night.)
Details: Calle Álvarez Quintero, 48; Tel: +34 605 13 01 30; (tablaoalvarezquintero.com)
Torres Macarena (Flamenco on Wednesday night.)
Calle Torrijiano, 29; Tel: +34 954372384; (torresmacarena.com)
Niño de la Alfalfa (Flamenco Friday night.)
Details: Calle Castellar 52 Acc C; Tel: +34 619038562; (Facebook Page)
Amigos de Manuel Mairena (Flamenco Tuesday to Sunday.)
Details: Calle Guillén de Castro, 26; Tel: +34 686947804; (Facebook Page)
To be absolutely sure of catching a show, go in Autumn when the Peñas de Guardia take place, featuring talent young and old. If you go in Spring during Feria, the standard will be very high but many of the tents with best shows are often ‘guest list only’.
Flamenco flows liberally through the veins of Granada’s music scene, and can be traced back as far as the 1700s when gitanos – gypsies – first arrived on the scene. The musical culture in the city was already rich in flavour but the gitanos brought with them their own enchanting artform, which combined with Andaluz styles to create Flamenco as it is known today. It is the gypsies who have preserved Flamenco throughout the years. The barrio of Sacromonte is still home to many people of this origin and this is where the best, most authentic Flamenco – gitano style – in Granada takes place. However, Flamenco can be found all over the city, more predominantly in El Albaicin.
Bars & Tablaos
El Tabanco del Tio Gregorio (Flamenco on most Thursday and Friday nights)
Details: Cuesta de San Gregorio 24, Granada, Spain 18010; Tel. 662 13 70 46; (Facebook Page)
Eshavira (Flamenco on Thursday-Saturday nights)
Details: Calle Postigo de la Cuna, 2, Granada, Spain 18010; Tel. 958 29 08 29; (Facebook Page)
Tablao Flamenco Jardines de Zoraya (Flamenco every night. Reservation necessary.)
Details: Calle Panaderos, 32; Tel: +34 958 20 62 66; (jardinesdezoraya.com)
Cuevas los Tarantos (Flamenco every night.)
Details: Camino del Sacromonte, 9; Tel: +34 958 22 45 25; (cuevaslostarantos.com)
Venta El Gallo Restaurant (Flamenco most nights.)
Details: Barranco de los Negros, 5; Tel: +34 958 22 84 76; (ventaelgallo.es)
El Templo del Flamenco (Flamenco every night.)
Details: Calle Pernaleros Alto, 41; Tel: +34 622 50 00 52; (templodelflamenco.com)
Cueva La Rocio (Flamenco most nights.)
Camino Sacromonte, 70; Tel: +34 958 22 71 29; (cuevalarocio.es)
Peña La Platería (Flamenco every Thursday.)
Details: Placeta de Toqueros, 7; Tel: +34 958 21 06 50; (laplateria.org.es)
Sala Vimaambi (Flamenco Thursday-Saturday.)
Details: Cuesta de San Gregorio, 30 Granada; Tel: +34 958 22 73 34; (vimaambi.com)
Soniquete (Flamenco Fridays and Saturdays.)
Details: Carrera del Darro, 51; Tel: +34 639 69 20 41
There is no particular time of year when Flamenco is best in Granada. All through the year you can find high-quality shows being advertised around the busier areas of the city, in Plaza Nueva or along Carretera del Darro, for example. Entry fees are usually between 6-15 euros.
While Malaga might be better known for its large amount of upscale places to eat, and trendy bars and clubs, there’s much in the way of authentic Flamenco, too. All around Malaga province there are peñas hidden away in small towns and villages. The best thing about them is that many of them do not want to be found, although if they are, then customers are always welcomed with open arms. The higlight of the Malaga Flamenco calendar is the Bienal de Arte Flamenco which comes to town at the end of the summer every year.
Bars & Tablaos
Liceo (Flamenco Thursday-Saturday night. Reservations are required.)
Details: Calle Beatas, 21; Tel: 625 55 70 12; (liceoflamenco.com)
Bienal de Flamenco (Month-long festival held every September. Shows in participating bars.)
Restaurant Tipi Tapa (Flamenco Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights.)
Details: Calle Málaga, 4, 29640 Fuengirola; Tel: +34 951 31 16 30; (flamencotickets.com)
Kelipé Centro de Arte Flamenco (Flamenco Friday and Saturday from 9:15pm to 10:30pm. Reservations recommended.)
Details: Calle Caldereria, 6; Tel: 692 82 98 85; (kelipe.net)
Sala Chela Mar (Flamenco every Sunday.)
Details: Calle Vendeja, 30; Tel: 951 25 63 92; (Facebook Page)
Peña Flamenca Fosforito
Details: Arenisca 12, Santa Cristina; Tel: 952 35 11 15
Peña Flamenca Juan Breva
Details: Calle Ramón Franquelo 4; Tel: 952 21 08 76; (Malagaturismo.com)
Elsewhere in Malaga Province
Flamenco in Andalucia is by no means limited to the big cities, though. The towns of Malaga Province alone are home to several great, authentic places to catch the real deal. Here are just a couple we can particularly recommend:
Peña Flamenca Niño de Vélez, Vélez-Málaga
Vélez-Málaga isn’t the most conspicuously ‘luxe’ of towns. But what it lacks in airs and graces, it more than makes up for in a serious Flamenco scene. Spearheaded by the tireless Flamenco Abierto Axarquia, the town has undergone a Flamenco revolution in the past year or so and has seen great artists like Diego Carrasco & Family, Jorge Pardo, El Pele, José Valencia and Raquel ‘La Repompilla’ Heredia perform.
Details: Calle Tejeda, 10, Vélez-Málaga; Tel: 606 510 329; (Flamencoabierto.com)
El Burro Blanco, Nerja
Nerja’s long-standing tablao is, on the surface of it, a fun, lively place to have a drink and watch some tourist-friendly Flamenco. Don’t be fooled, though: on weekends, things get underway late and you can catch some of the best performers in the area strutting their stuff.
Details: 3 Calle de la Gloria, Nerja, 29780; Tel. 615 15 39 61; (Facebook Page)
As well as regular shows and peña performances, various espectáculos take place throughout Andalucia, especially over the summer months. These ‘spectacles’ can be more theatrical and friendly to the casual observer than ordinary shows. The Alhambra Palace in Granada, for instance, generally hosts events in the past, as has the otherworldly Cuevas de Nerja (Malaga) – a large, stalactite-laden, underground cavern with an installed Flamenco stage at its core. Now that’s pretty spectacular.
In southern Spain and looking to see some authentic Flamenco? Speak to our concierge and let them find – and book – you the very best.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 42015 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-04-11 15:08:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-11 15:08:18 [post_content] => Sun and sand: the two things for which Nerja is most famous. And many visitors to the area don't get beyond them. Which is a shame, really, as there's much more to the area than just a great flop and drop break. From wonderful walks to fabulous fiestas and, yes, some of the most beautiful beaches around, we've picked out just a few of the very best things to do in Nerja. Happy exploring.
1. Laze on the BeachThere's a pretty solid chance that if you're after tips for what to do in in the vicinity of Nerja, then a beach day is going to be fairly high on your checklist. Thankfully, there are no fewer than 12 beaches to choose from in and around Nerja. Three of our favourites in town are Playa de Calahonda, Playa de Burriana and Playa El Chorrillo.
2. catch the sunset from the Balcon de EuropaAfter a long, lazy afternoon on the beach, there's only one place to head: the Balcon de Europa. Grab an ice-cream, saunter down to the end of the promenade and watch the sun slowly melt into the Mediterranean. Altogether now... WOW.
3. Be amazed by the caves of NerjaFunnily enough, the sun doesn't even shine in Nerja's biggest attraction. But that doesn't make it any less spectacular. The Caves of Nerja is a 5km complex of caverns that includes the largest stalagtite in the world, some Bronze Age remains and, it's thought, mankind's oldest artwork - which dates back some 42,000 years. Remarkable. (Carretera de Bajada a Playa de Maro, s/n, 29787 Nerja, open 0930/1000-1530.)
4. Go Snorkelling from One Cove to AnotherJust a mile or two to the east of Nerja the sparkling coves of the Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo Natural park stretch away. Snorkeling, sea kayaking or paddle boarding (see below) trips set off from Playa Burriana or Playa Carabeo for you to enjoy the crystal-clear sea teeming with sea life.
5. explore the coast by paddle BoardThe beaches of Nerja itself are urban, which comes with the distinct plus side of there being plenty of bars and restaurants on hand to choose from. But running away to the east is a stunningly wild, cove-lined coast that's great for exploring via paddle board. Rental and guided tours are available from Playa Burriana and Playa de Maro.
6. get out to a nearby villageVenture from Nerja and the idyllic whitewashed mountain villages of the Axarquia are within easy reach. Competa, Maro and the lovely Frigiliana (pictured) are some of the most inviting.
7. Eat Fresh Fish Cooked on a BBQ on the BeachEspetos de sardinas - sardines skewered and cooked on a BBQ until they're deliciously tender - are a local delicacy. One of the best spots to try them in Nerja is at the far westernmost end of town in Chiringuito Mauri (Playo Playazo, 29780 Nerja). Best washed down with an icy beer or two, of course.
8. walk the rio chillarEven by southern Spanish standards Nerja is surrounded by some pretty top-notch walking. Soaring above the town are the jagged peaks of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Mountains. For something just a little less adventurous, the most famous walk around Nerja is up the Rio Chillar. You follow a beautiful, ankle-cooling river as it babbles its way down from the hills, discovering narrow ravines, waterfalls and rock pools along the way.
9. Devour Baby squid at El PulguillaOK, so you don’t have to have baby squid - although we highly recommend you do - but you definitely should grab a quick tapas and a beer/wine in this stalwart of a restaurant in Nerja. Elegant fine dining it ain't, but it is a great way to experience a typical Malaga fish restaurant. (Calle Almte. Ferrándiz, 26, 29780 Nerja; 952 52 13 84)
10. View the AqueductThis 19th century aqueduct was built to supply the surrounding sugar cane factories with water. During the summer it's a sweaty 10-minute walk from the centre of Nerja, but (as you can see in the image above) it makes for a spectacular photo opportunity when you get there.
11. Pause for Thought in Ermita de las AngustiasBuilt in 1790 this church is the home of Nerja’s patron saint, Our Lady of Anguish (Plaza de la Ermita, 11, 29780 Nerja). It might not be the grandest of churches, but it is a lovely, cool little spot to catch your breath in for five minutes or so on a hot summer's afternoon.
12. Plan a Trip Around a FiestaNerja is in Andalucia. Which means, inevitably, it's a place that's serious about letting its hair down every once in a while. The five festivals that Nerja goes for in a big way are Easter, Carnival (February), San Isidro (May), Virgen del Carmen (July 16th) and the Epiphany (5th January). Nominally religious they may be, but trust us, they're also really just a good excuse to P-A-R-T-Y.
13. See Authentic FlamencoNearby Velez-Malaga has one of the most vibrant flamenco scenes in Malaga province, thanks to the efforts of local flamenco-cultural initiative, Flamenco Abierto (Flamencoabierto.com). So if you want to catch some real flamenco, as opposed to the tourist nonsense that's so often served up, the Peña Flamenca Niño de Vélez on a Friday evening is the place to head.
14. Eat at SollunBefore opening this lovely little restaurant in Nerja chef Juan Quintanilla helped put Skina in Marbella on the Michelin-starred map. As soon as you sit down, though, it's clear that Sollun is an even more personal project. If you choose to work from the short menu, the chef himself will come out of the kitchen and recommend what's particularly good that day. The tasting menu is a thing of beauty: it features a selection of dishes with a heavy local focus, each paired with a suitable wine. (Calle Pintada, 9, 29780 Nerja; 653 68 94 52) Like our pick of things to do in Nerja and looking for more recommendations on the Costa del Sol? Have a browse through a few of our favourite Marbella day trips. Alternatively, if you're after a beautiful country villa nearby, check out our Axarquia luxury villas collection, here. [post_title] => Things to Do in Nerja that You Just Can't Miss [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => things-to-do-in-nerja [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-01 08:13:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-01 08:13:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=42015 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 37138 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-03-12 12:50:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-12 12:50:30 [post_content] => Marbella: the perfect spot for a lazy, sun-soaked break in southern Spain. But what is there to do should the pull of the pool begin to wear thin? From beautiful beaches and natural parks to dazzling white villages and grand, historic cities, there are plenty of great day trips from Marbella to keep you busy.
1. Caminito del ReyThis incredible gorge-clinging walk offers some light exercise, incredible views and is a great day out for the whole family. Tickets need to be bought beforehand - book here. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 15 minutes
2. RondaHead inland to the north west of Marbella and you come to a beautiful town perched on a gorge. This is Ronda. See the oldest bull ring, Moorish baths, a lovely old palace or two and, if you have time, whip round a quick wine tour. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 5 minutes
3. GibraltarCrossing the border from Spain to the UK at Gibraltar is certainly a novelty. This slice of Britain in Spain is interesting enough, but scratch a little deeper and there's a fascinating history to uncover, too. Don't miss the caves or the wild apes while you're on what locals fondly call 'The Rock'. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 5 minutes
4. AntequeraKnown as the 'Town of Churches', Antequera has more places of worship than any other town in Andalucia. The fortress at the top of the town (pictured) and cathedral are the highlights, but don’t miss the ancient dolmens on the edge of town, either. Eat at Arte de Cozina (Artedecozina.com) and you'll have a thoroughly Andalucian day out. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 10 minutes
5. Sierra de las Nieves Natural ParkWith a mix of jaw-dropping 2000-metre peaks and labyrinths of caves, this natural park near Ronda is truly spectacular. There are plenty of opportunities to go trekking, caving, 4x4 touring, mountaineering, mountain biking or horse riding. Nearby villages El Burgo, Istán, Monda, Parauta, Tolox and Yunquera are all worth a visit, too. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 15 minutes
6. Los Alcornocales Natural ParkSpanning Cadiz and Malaga provinces, Los Alcornocales is very different to the Sierra de las Nieves. Famed for its cork oak trees and humid conditions, it’s actually the rainiest place in southern Spain and so has a large network of rivers and streams. Organise a hike through this park with lunch in one of the area's pretty, remote villages. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 25 minutes
7. TangierYes, Africa is a realistic day out from Marbella! You can charter a boat and travel to Tangier in Morocco for a day. On top of the fantastic boat ride across the Mediterranean, it's wonderful for lunch and a spot of souk shopping. (Or see our trusted partner Toma & Coe's Tangier trip, here.) Distance from Marbella by car and boat: 3 hours
8. Rio GuadalminaIf you like a bit of adventure, walk the Guadalmina river and jump into rock pools, shower under waterfalls and hike through the gorgeous countryside. A guide can be arranged. Distance from Marbella by car: 25 minutes
9. CasaresThis picture-perfect whitewashed village makes for a lovely day out. Stroll about, take in the views and have a spot of traditional villagers’ lunch. A great contrast to the more sophisticated and cosmopolitan Marbella. Distance from Marbella by car: 40 minutes
10. Setenil de las bodegasA trip to Andalucia is as much about hanging out in small towns and villages as ticking off the big historic sights in cities. Setenil de las Bodegas has an incredible street where the houses are built into and under an overhanging rock face (pictured above). An utterly unique place. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 20 minutes
nearby citiesFive of Andalucia's finest cities are within easy reach of Marbella. Each has their own allure...
11. MalagaMalaga is a city with A LOT going on. With plenty of great restaurants, historic sights and art galleries to pop in and out of, there's more than enough to keep you busy all day long. (For more information on Malaga, see our guide.) Distance from Marbella by car: 55 minutes
12. GranadaIf there's one thing you have to see above and beyond all others in Andalucia, it's the Alhambra Palace. A breathtakingly romantic 12th-century Moorish palace, it’s beautiful whether you're inside, outside or looking onto it from the pretty Albayzin area of town (pictured). Make sure you buy tickets before you go. (See our guide to Granada here.) Distance from Marbella by car: 2 hours
13. Jerez de la FronteraA great day trip from Marbella is Jerez de la Frontera. A relativity small city, it's perfect for strolling old streets lined with handsome palaces or lingering in lovely, historic squares. Don’t miss the Spanish Riding School (Realescuela.org) or one of the Sherry bodegas for a tour and a tasting. Distance from Marbella by car: 1 hour 50 minutes
14. CadizSouthern Spain's longest continually inhabited city, Cadiz has great beaches and a lively but laidback vibe. Visit the cathedral, eat in the market and see the city from above via the 'Camera Oscura' (Torretavira.com). Distance from Marbella by car: 2 hours
15. CordobaAs the Alhambra is to Granada, so the Mezquita is to Cordoba. A cathedral inside a mosque, it's a mesmerising building. There’s also a Roman Bridge, a beautiful 17th-century main square, the Plaza de la Corredera, and a network of narrow old streets to explore, too. Distance from Marbella by car: 2 hours 10 minutes So, that's our pick of the best day trips from Marbella. You can plan your day yourself or get in touch with us and we can organise it all for you. One way or the other, though - happy exploring! Alternatively, if you're looking for a beautiful villa in Marbella to rent, check out our selection. [post_title] => Perfect Day Trips from Marbella [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => marbella-day-trips [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-01 07:56:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-01 07:56:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=37138 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) 1