If you are looking for something a bit different to do during your stay, why not a trip into the countryside for a bit of hunting. Not for animals, but for wild asparagus and wild fennel.

Spring, basically from February to April, is the time for catching wild asparagus and you may well see whole families traipsing through the countryside, knife in hand and eyes glued to the ground.

Although Asparagus is quite distinctive, it is not particularly easy to spot, unlike wild fennel, but with a bit of patience (or watching the locals) you should be successful.

There are around 15 species of wild asparagus in the Mediterranean area, some truly wild, others being more ‘escaped’ domestic varieties.

Asparagus likes water, but does not like water-logged areas, grows in well draining soil near ditches or riverbeds where there is plenty of moisture nearby. It usually likes full sun, although some varieties will also survive in heavier soil and semi-shaded areas. It is often found hiding under bushes, thorny thickets or near rocky areas alongside riverbeds.

So, where are you almost certain to find some in Nerja without too much trouble?

Behind the old San Joaquin Sugar factory is a track up into the natural park which takes you through a beautiful eucalyptus-lined gorge before winding up to a point midway between the track connecting the Nerja Caves and El Pinarillo.

All along this route you will find loads of asparagus, and wild fennel, much of it right next to the track, albeit somewhat hidden from plain sight in the case of asparagus.

Wild asparagus is slightly thinner and darker than the cultivated variety and has a lot of flavour, otherwise it is basically the same. You can cook it as you would any other type of asparagus.