Have you ever wondered how tapas works? Do you pay or is it free? Which bars have tapas on offer and can you just ask for it?  I’ve been here for nine years and I’m still no expert on the tapas culture – well that was until I took a tapas tour with the professionals.

My Dad’s a regular visitor to Nerja and I decided to book us in on a tour with Nerja Tapas Tours. I’d heard great things about the tours and as my Dad is huge tapas (and beer) fan, I figured it would be a fun night out!

We met our guide Pepe in the centre of Nerja along with another couple also taking the tour. Andrea and Gary were in Nerja on holiday and keen to get the most out of their visit, including finding out more about the tapas bars and Spanish culture in general.

With introductions made and bellies rumbling, Pepe whizzed us off to the first bar on his route. Heading off the beaten track into the old part of town we enjoyed a delicious fresh fish tapas in a bar I’d never visited before. Pepe was keen to share his knowledge with us and filled us in on how to spot a good tapas bar and how to go about ordering tapas. He recommended tapas that we should try and also ordered some extra raciones to make sure we sampled all the classic dishes.

After a few beers we soon started firing questions at Pepe. Along with the five bars on his route, he recommended several other bars to try. It was clear Pepe was a fellow foodie and loved the social aspect of the tapas culture. He explained the difference between tapas, raciones and media raciones and also recommended local and house specialities. Pepe filled us in on the history of tapas and how it varies from region to region.

By the end of tour we were full of tapas and all keen to put in to practice what we’d learned. After many years in Spain, I was pleasantly surprised to learn something new. It also gave my Dad the confidence to head out on his own and order tapas like a local. Nerja Tapas Tours are a great way to start your holiday in Nerja, Torrox or Frigiliana. It’s also a fun thing to do if you have friends or family visiting or want to celebrate a special occasion. Find out more about the tours at nerjatapastours.com

Katie Rhead