Discover Nerja (Spain): caves, beaches and other tourist attractions

O que visitar em Nerja (Málaga).
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2024-01-25

Are you considering a visit to Nerja, in Spain, and seeking tips to make the most of your time in this captivating region of Andalusia?

Nerja, a charming town on the Costa del Sol, situated approximately 56 km from Málaga (118 km from Marbella), offers much more than meets the eye.

While its main tourist attractions include the renowned Cueva de Nerja, an awe-inspiring cave system, and its fame as the filming location for the popular series Verão Azul in the 1980s, the true essence of Nerja extends far beyond these highlights.

Discover a mesmerizing balcony overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean, indulge in paradisiacal beaches, and uncover a hidden waterfall accessible only by sea.

Nerja promises an array of experiences that will undoubtedly enrich your journey through Andalusia and southern Spain.

Best Things to do in Nerja, Spain

Below is a list of suggestions for what to do and visit in Nerja.

As you will see, there is a lot to see and do in this region of Andalusia, so read these travel tips carefully and prepare an unforgettable itinerary.

Continue reading and discover the best of Nerja – an enchanting destination in Andalusia that offers a plethora of captivating experiences.

Whether you’re seeking breathtaking natural wonders, cultural landmarks, or unforgettable adventures, this coastal town has something for everyone.

To ensure you make the most of your time here, we’ve compiled a list of top suggestions for what to do and visit in Nerja.

From exploring the mesmerizing Cueva de Nerja, renowned for its breathtaking caves, to strolling along picturesque beaches, Nerja promises to captivate your senses.

Take a moment to peruse these carefully curated travel tips and create an itinerary that guarantees an unforgettable journey through Nerja’s hidden treasures.

Visit the Cueva de Nerja. Discover the Hidden Wonders of Nerja’s Caves: Nature’s Masterpiece Unveiled

Visitar a Cueva de Nerja (Grutas)
Cueva de Nerja (Cave)

The Nerja cave, or Cueva de Nerja, has over 4 km of tunnels and is one of the most spectacular caves in Spain.

It was discovered in 1959 by accident, when five friends were playing near the village of Maro and saw bats coming out of a crevice.

Curiosity led them to explore the place and they managed to reach the first chamber (Cascata Room) on their own, but when they saw two human skeletons, they got scared and left quickly.

Visiting the cave these days is more relaxed. Stalactites and stalagmites of rare beauty abound inside the cave for the happiness of visitors.

Incidentally, the largest column in the world, 32 meters high, can be seen here and the acoustics are so impressive that concerts at the venue, when they were allowed, sold out quickly.

Although there are cave paintings dating from the Paleolithic in the Nerja Cave, they are kept in the dark for conservation reasons.

Do you think these are enough reasons to convince you to pay a visit to Cueva de Nerja?

The visit takes about 40 minutes and if you buy the ticket online, you save time at the ticket office and a few euros.

In any case, the normal ticket costs €13 per person and includes an audio guide in English to get the most value out of the visit.

Reliving the Magic: Exploring Nerja, the Real-Life Setting of “Verano Azul”

Remember the beloved series ‘Verano Azul’ that captured the essence of carefree childhood summers?

As a child, those long vacations seemed endless, and although the details of the episodes have faded over time, I still cherish the delightful escapades of Piraña and Pancho.

Nerja served as the backdrop for this iconic Spanish series, and while I may not recognize the exact landscapes today, it’s heartwarming to witness the enduring connection to the ‘Blue Summer’ in this charming town.

Strolling through Nerja, you’ll discover streets named after the show’s beloved characters and the central square dedicated to Antonio Mercero, the series’ director. Immerse yourself in nostalgia as you stumble upon a replica of La Dorada, Chanquete’s iconic boat, nestled in one of Nerja’s picturesque gardens.

As a small fishing village, Nerja has retained its authentic charm, offering glimpses of a simple way of life that resonates with me. It’s a testament to the town’s enduring spirit and the lasting impact of ‘Verano Azul.’

Visiting Nerja is not just an opportunity to relive fond memories but also a chance to immerse yourself in the captivating ambiance of this coastal gem. Explore its winding streets, soak up the Mediterranean views, and experience the warm hospitality that defines this beloved town.

Come and rediscover the magic of ‘Verano Azul’ in Nerja, where the spirit of the ‘Blue Summer’ lives on.

Indulge in the Splendor of the Balcony of Europe (El Balcón de Europa)

Varanda da Europa (El Bancón de Europa).
Balcony of Europe, in Nerja, Spain (El Bancón de Europa).

Once a fortress, the Balcony of Europe has transformed into a captivating viewpoint just a stone’s throw away from Nerja’s historic center.

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking vistas that unfold before you.

To one side, the majestic mountains of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara, and Alhama Natural Park command attention, while on the other, the vast expanse of the Mediterranean Sea stretches as far as the eye can see.

It’s a place where nature and beauty converge, offering diverse landscapes within a single location.

Explore the stalls of street vendors, where hidden treasures and unique souvenirs await your discovery.

If you’re longing for a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean, you’re in luck.

Just steps away from the Balcony of Europe, you’ll find some of Andalusia’s most stunning beaches. Let the sun warm your skin as you bask in the coastal splendor that Nerja has to offer.

The Balcony of Europe is a gateway to unforgettable experiences, where panoramic vistas and the allure of the sea beckon.

Let this iconic landmark be your starting point to uncover the wonders of Nerja and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Discover Paradisiacal Beaches in Nerja, Spain: A Coastal Haven Awaits

O que visitar em Nerja (Málaga).
Calahonda Beach in Nerja (Spain).

Playa de la Calahonda and Playa el Salón captivate beachgoers with their prime location next to the iconic Balcony of Europe in Nerja.

However, venture just a few meters further, and you’ll unveil a treasure trove of equally paradisiacal beaches awaiting your exploration.

Prepare to be enchanted by the sun-kissed shores of Playa El Chorrillo, Playa Carabeillo, and Playa la Caletilla, conveniently accessible on foot.

These pristine beaches, with their crystal-clear waters and picturesque surroundings, offer the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Whether you seek tranquility, sun-soaked relaxation, or thrilling water adventures, these beaches cater to all your desires.

For those seeking a grander beach experience, look no further than Playa de Burriana, the largest stretch of golden sand in the region.

Though situated approximately 1.5 km from the city center, the journey to this coastal paradise is well worth it. Consider a leisurely stroll along the charming streets or opt for a short car ride to reach this magnificent beach.

Once there, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, where beachside cafes and restaurants entice you with delectable culinary delights and refreshing beverages.

Nerja’s collection of beaches showcases the awe-inspiring diversity of the region’s coastline.

From intimate coves to expansive sandy stretches, each beach has its own allure, beckoning visitors to indulge in the captivating beauty of the Mediterranean.

Whether you’re a sunseeker, water sports enthusiast, or simply in search of a tranquil retreat, Nerja’s beaches promise an unforgettable experience.

Embrace the sun, sand, and sea as you embark on a beach-hopping adventure along Nerja’s enchanting coastline.

Discover your own slice of paradise, relish in the Mediterranean charm, and create everlasting memories in this coastal haven.

Unveil the Hidden Gem: Explore the Enigmatic Secret Waterfall

During my short visit to Nerja, I unfortunately missed the chance to witness the renowned secret waterfall, a hidden treasure whispered about by many.

Though its name suggests secrecy, it is no secret that this natural marvel is a must-see for any adventurous soul.

Eager to uncover its elusive beauty, I learned that glimpsing the waterfall is only possible from the sea, making a boat or kayak excursion a necessary endeavor. Allow yourself the luxury of time, and make your way to Playa de Maro, a gateway to this captivating spectacle.

Embark on an extraordinary aquatic journey as you rent a kayak or board a boat, setting your sights on this mesmerizing cascade.

Behold the cascading wonder up close, marveling at its sheer beauty and the sheer audacity of nature’s artistry. Crystal-clear droplets dance in the sunlight, creating a mesmerizing display of shimmering elegance. Time seems to stand still as you immerse yourself in this ethereal realm, where tranquility and awe intertwine.

The secret waterfall of Nerja awaits, ready to unveil its ethereal beauty to those who dare to venture. Embrace the allure of the unknown, and let this mystical journey leave an indelible mark on your wanderlust-filled heart.

Discover the Architectural Marvel: Acueducto del Águila in Nerja, Spain

The Acueducto del Águila, also known as the Eagle Aqueduct, stands as a remarkable testament to the ingenuity of engineering and the rich history of Nerja.

Initially constructed to supply water to the now-defunct San Joaquín Sugar Factory, this magnificent aqueduct has withstood the test of time and continues to captivate visitors with its grandeur.

In 2012, a meticulous restoration project breathed new life into the aqueduct, restoring it to its former glory. Today, it stands as a fully operational marvel, proudly showcasing its architectural brilliance to all who behold it.

Prepare to be awestruck as you set your sights on the Acueducto del Águila’s 38 stunning overlapping arches, which gracefully soar to a towering height of approximately 40 meters. The sight of this remarkable structure evokes a sense of wonder and admiration for the craftsmanship of the past.

To fully appreciate the aqueduct, one can find tranquility at the Coladillada viaduct, a designated viewpoint where you can conveniently park your car. From here, you can leisurely gaze upon the majestic arches, allowing their monumental presence to transport you back in time.

Alternatively, glimpses of the Acueducto del Águila can be caught from the nearby highway. However, it’s important to note that parking is not allowed along the highway, ensuring the safety and flow of traffic.

Immerse yourself in the rich history and architectural magnificence of the Acueducto del Águila. Let its soaring arches and enduring presence serve as a reminder of the innovation and craftsmanship of eras long past.

Prepare to be enchanted as you stand in the shadow of this extraordinary aqueduct, a testament to human achievement and a beacon of Nerja’s cultural heritage

How Much Time Should You Allocate for Your Visit to Nerja?

When planning your trip to Nerja, one question that often arises is, “How long should I stay?”

While it is possible to visit the Cave of Nerja and explore the historic center in a day, it would be a missed opportunity not to extend your stay and immerse yourself in all that this charming city has to offer.

During the summer months, I suggest dedicating a portion of your day to exploring the vibrant center of Nerja, with its picturesque streets and delightful shops and cafes. The remaining time can be allocated to experiencing the awe-inspiring Cueva de Nerja. It’s important to note that the summer heat in this region can be quite intense, so plan accordingly and take breaks to stay cool and hydrated.

However, if you truly want to make the most of your visit and fully indulge in the beauty of Nerja’s beaches and surrounding areas, I highly recommend setting aside a minimum of five to six days.

The pristine beaches that dot the coastline are a true gem, offering relaxation, breathtaking views, and opportunities for water sports and exploration. You won’t want to rush through these stunning natural wonders.

Allow yourself ample time to stroll along the golden sands, take refreshing dips in the turquoise waters, and discover the hidden coves that abound.

Engage in leisurely seaside walks, bask in the glorious sunsets, and savor the local cuisine at beachside restaurants.

By allocating a few extra days, you can fully embrace the laid-back atmosphere and immerse yourself in the true essence of Nerja.

Whether you choose to spend a day or a week in Nerja, I can assure you that the experiences and memories you’ll create in this enchanting city will be cherished for a lifetime.

Accommodation in Nerja, Spain

As I mentioned earlier, my visit to Nerja was just a day trip from Marbella. However, the city offers so much to see and do that it’s worth considering an overnight stay.

When choosing accommodation, I usually opt for centrally located hotels for convenience. In Nerja, I believe that the best area to stay is right in the historic center. This is because the city is small, and you’ll find the main restaurants and attractions here. It would also be delightful to take a leisurely stroll from the downtown area to the Balcón de Europa after a satisfying dinner.

One luxurious option in the heart of Nerja is the Hotel Balcón de Europa. It offers direct access to Caletilla Beach, an infinity pool with stunning sea views, and two excellent restaurants.

If you prefer a more budget-friendly option that is still relatively close to the beach, the Hotel Toboso Chaparil is a great choice. It features a pool, a restaurant, and offers more affordable prices.

For those seeking affordable accommodation in Nerja and don’t mind being a bit farther from the center, the Torres de San Juan Apartments or the Easy Nerja Bronce guesthouse are both good options.

If none of the above-mentioned suggestions pique your interest, there are plenty of other accommodation options available in Nerja. Take a look at the comprehensive list below:

Hotels in Nerja, Spain

Restaurants in Nerja, Spain

During my visit to Nerja, I had the pleasure of having lunch at Restaurante Europa, located within the Parador de Nerja, which also offers accommodation.

It was truly an incredible dining experience!

The restaurant serves both lunch and dinner, providing guests with the option of a daily special or à la carte service.

The food was impeccably prepared, bursting with flavors, and presented beautifully and the attentive and friendly staff added to the overall dining experience.

To complement the delicious cuisine, the restaurant offers a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean Sea, creating a memorable meal that is not easily forgotten.

However, if you’re looking for more budget-friendly dining options in Nerja, there are other restaurants to consider. Tapas Biznaga Café and Redondo – Bar de Tapas are two such establishments that offer tasty meals at more affordable prices.

Whether you choose to indulge in a culinary experience at Restaurante Europa or opt for one of the cheaper options, Nerja has a variety of restaurants to cater to different preferences and budgets. Enjoy exploring the local gastronomy during your visit!

How to Reach Nerja, Spain: Transportation Options

Nerja, located on the Costa del Sol in Southern Spain, is a charming municipality within the province of Málaga.

Nestled in the beautiful region of Andalusia, it offers a picturesque coastal setting that attracts visitors from around the world.

To reach Nerja, there are convenient transportation options available.

If you prefer to drive, you can easily access the town by renting a car and taking the A-7 highway from Málaga, which is approximately 56 km away. The scenic drive allows you to enjoy the coastal views along the way.

Rent a car in Nerja

Alternatively, if you prefer public transportation, you can opt for a direct bus journey with the ALSA company. The bus ride from Málaga to Nerja takes approximately 50 minutes, providing a comfortable and hassle-free travel option.

Upon arrival in Nerja, you will be greeted by its charming streets, beautiful beaches, and warm Mediterranean climate. The town offers a wealth of attractions and activities, ensuring a memorable experience for every visitor.

Whether you choose to explore the famous Cueva de Nerja, relax on its stunning beaches, or immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage, Nerja promises a delightful getaway on the Costa del Sol.

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*I visited Nerja on a day trip offered by TBEX Europe.

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