L’Homme and I love going away with the kids. We have done a fair share of UK holidays and quite a few in France too obviously (where I am from). This year, I craved sunshine and I was desperate to return to Spain.
I come from a family where Spain has always had a special status. My Dad is probably the biggest Spain lover you will ever come across and I think he has managed pretty well to communicate his feelings to his 3 daughters and his spouse. From a young girl we used to go in the summer to Costa Brava in Northern Spain and I still have memories of the apartment we stayed in, the long beaches, the promenade and my parents taking turns to windsurf. My love for Spain took a new turn when I was selected to spend a year in Seville (Andalusia, South of Spain) as an Erasmus student while doing my law degree. Spending a year in that beautiful yet traditional city was a memorable experience.
Sadly I had not returned to Andalusia since my year as a student, too many other places to explore, lack of money sometimes, the arrival of the little ones….so this year I asked l’Homme whether we could plan a little getaway over Easter in Spain. We looked for ages into Ibiza but we did not manage to make it happen and instead, l’Homme found us a little gem on the Costa del Sol, near Nerja.
The place advertised on the Monarch website looked gorgeous and great value BUT it had absolutely zero review! It all seemed rather too good to be true. For the rather cautious person that I am when it comes down to booking holiday this was hard….however, on the pics the place looked great so we took a gamble hoping for the best!
We spent hours comparing flight prices, airports, flight times….I don’t want to sound spoilt but sometimes (I know I have already mentioned it in this previous post about Ile de Re)after evenings spent searching and comparing, I felt rather drained and sometimes even disheartened- do you ever feel the same? Thankfully, the will to getaway was so strong, we pulled it off;)
We booked our flights to leave from Southampton airport: a smaller airport with good times for our flight to Malaga (we flew with Flybe after researching our options via Sky Scanner)which helps when you travel with young kids. Our experience at Southampton airport was good: it’s a small but clean airport and fairly easy to get to from SW London: no massive queues for security, no massive corridors to walk, no queues for taking off…that’s quite a change from Heathrow!
The 2h30 flight was long enough with our toddler who didn’t manage to fall asleep and instead got rather frustrated so we were pleased to land and immediately find beautiful warm weather, that was exactly the sort of welcome we were after.
Our first impressions
After the usual shenanigans to pick up our rental car (avoid at all cost Goldcar, there is nothing gold about them!) we made our way towards Nerja about 50mn away from Malaga airport. It felt straight away very emotional for me to recognise all the signs that were part of my life when I lived in Seville, listen to the Spanish radio again, I had underestimated how special it would be to return to this part of the world.
Finding our rental villa at night was a real challenge, we had no exact address just explanations but with no GPS and indications that we hard to spot in the dark and we also had 3 hungry little ones and our share of exhaustion so we got a little worried. Thankfully we made it to the house, we found it which was quite remarkable after a tortuous road that we felt had gone on forever. We sorted our luggage, a quick dinner and got ourselves to bed quite quickly.
It was only the following morning that we were able to fully appreciate where we were: the sun was rising in the bright blue sky, the birds were singing and we realised we were in a fabulously beautiful spot with sea view on one side and mountains the other side all the while surrounded by acres of orchards.
As much as I love our life in London, finding a quiet spot on holiday is well appreciated and this villa which was just the right size for us, ticked all the boxes. What a joy and…what a relief too (our gamble paid off!)
I blogged about this Gingham dress from Primark (in-store only) earlier this month.
Our time in Spain was filled with relaxation, beach time, nice walks, visiting the impressive Nerja’s caves, ice cream eating, family time and ….lots of photo taking for me:-))
What I have loved about our Spanish holiday
- our beautiful home, ‘Villa Robus’. We booked our villa via Monarch website (http://www.monarch.co.uk/spain-mainland/costa-del-sol/frigiliana/villa-robus) and we LOVED it!
- the stunning weather…but then, who does not like some good sunshine? In April the temperatures were around 22 degrees during the day and cooler in the evenings.
- how friendly the Spaniards were with us. It really puts to shame a lot of French waiters (yes, I feel entitled to say that as I am French and I certainly know what I am talking about)
- how reasonable fresh fruits and veg were and how reasonable it was to drink or eat out.
This really interesting article published on the BBC website compared the cost of a holiday between several ‘sunshine destinations’ and says it all. I would really recommend you reading it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39593993
- the area felt lively but not crazily busy as this was the beginning of the season
As a matter of fact, and this confirmed our feelings after our lovely holiday, Spain has recently been named the most tourist friendly country in the world. You should really read this article that was published in the Daily mail only just last week, for more details:
Have I convinced you to return to Spain? I am personally already dying to return!