It wouldn’t be a true south Spanish town without an old town full of old whitewashed houses, cobbled streets, and a church, right? In this regard, Nerja doesn’t differ from the rest – it’s another beautiful town located on Costa del Sol in Spain, surrounded by mountains and sandy beaches but this one has impressive caves as well! Once a fishing village, now a popular holiday resort, which kept its traditional Andalusian charm. Nerja is also a perfect place to visit whenever you’ll be near Frigiliana. Let’s discover what to see during one day in Nerja, Spain
Interesting fact. Town owes its name to the Moors. “Nerja” comes from the word “Narixa”, which translates to abundant spring/abundant source.
One day in Nerja, Spain. What to see?
Nerja Old Town
Strolling around the picturesque Nerja Old Town is a must if you want to escape from vivid resorts, and feel a true Andalusian vibe. Old Town is full of cobbled streets with whitewashed houses decorated with bright flowers. It’s also full of restaurants, tapas bars, cafes, and shops selling handmade products.
In Nerja Old Town, you’ll also find places like Balcón de Europa, El Salvador Church, or the Museum of the village of Nerja.
Balcón de Europa
Balcón de Europa (eng. Balcony of Europe) without a doubt is the main tourist attraction in Nerja and one of the best in Andalusia. It’s a round balcony situated on a cliff, which offers magnificent views over the Mediterranean Sea and Costa del Sol. In the past, the balcony was part of the watchtower of an Arabic fortress, from which people scanned the sea for pirates. Balcón de Europa gained its name in 1885, during the visit of King Alfonso XII (whose statue you can also admire on the balcony).
Iglesia de El Salvador
Iglesia de El Salvador (eng. Church of El Salvador) is located a step away from the Balcón de Europa. The church was built in the 17th century, the bell tower was added in 1724, and was last restored in 1997. Also, Iglesia de El Salvador is one of the few temples in the world to have representations of all three archangels.
Museo de Nerja
Museo de Nerja (eng. Museum of the village of Nerja) is located in Plaza de España and is a must for those interested in history and culture. This interactive museum explores the history of Nerja from Paleolithic times to the 20th century. One of the most fascinating “objects” inside is the skeleton of Pepita, a young woman who used to live in the caves many years ago.
Entry is free if you’ve got your ticket for the Nerja Cave. In other cases, it’s 3€, and 2€ for children (6-12).
While in Nerja you can’t miss going to a beach, even for a little while. There are 10 beaches in the town center and a few others on the outskirts. On most of them, you’ll find many restaurants and bars, toilets, showers, sunbeds, or even jet skis to rent. Playa de Burriana is the largest, and the most popular one. Other popular are Playa la Caletilla, Playa Torrecilla, Playa de la Calahonda. We also really enjoyed the small Playa Carabeo.
Mirador Del Bendito
While wandering in the Nerja Old Town, sooner or later you’ll reach Mirador Del Bendito, right next to the Playa de Burriana. Mirador is a great place to relax for a little while and offers beautiful views over the sea, and a beach.
Acueducto del Águila
A little further out of the old town, in the direction of Cuevas de Nerja, the Acueducto del Águila (eng. Eagle’s Aqueduct) is located. It was built in the 19th century and used to be a water supplier for a sugar factory known as Fabrica San Joaquin de Maro (eng. San Joaquín Sugar Mill). An aqueduct can be seen from the road leading to Maro. Acueducto del Águila has been officially named a Site of Special Cultural Interest by the Andalusian Government.
Cuevas de Nerja
Cuevas de Nerja (eng. Nerja Caves / Caves of Nerja) are one of the main attractions near Nerja. They were discovered in 1959 by a group of young locals who were on a late-night walk searching for bats. Until then they lay unseen, even though these caves had been used by early civilizations. In 2012 it was announced that possibly Neanderthal cave paintings, dated 42000 years, have been discovered in the Cuevas de Nerja (but you won’t be able to see them, due to conservation purposes and preservation from the green sickness). Caves of Nerja is most famous for housing the world’s largest stalactite with 32m height, and a base measuring 13x7m – very impressive!
The whole visit is relatively short, normally up to 1 hour. There’s parking available on site.
Price: €12 + management fees if you buy it online, €14 if you pick it up at the ticket office(May 2022)
Bonus for hiking enthusiasts: Pico del Cielo
Pico del Cielo is the highest summit in the area, with an altitude of 1508m a.s.l. It’s located in The Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara, and Alhama Natural Park, just outside of Nerja, only 6km from the coast. Technically it’s an easy hike, but it may be tough in terms of endurance, as about 4 hours are needed to reach the top, and the whole trail is about 18km (check out the hiking route here). At the summit, amazing views over the coast and inland are waiting, and you can even see the African coastline on a clear day.
Bonus: a trip to Frigiliana
If you still haven’t visited Frigiliana, now is a good time to do so. This charming little village is located only 7km inland from Nerja, at 320 m a.s.l, squeezed between the Mediterranean Sea and Parque Natural de Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama. Frigiliana has a typical Mediterranean vibe and is one of the best-preserved villages in the whole province of Málaga. The town was also named by the Spanish Tourism Board the most beautiful village in Andalusia.
Bonus: a trip to Torrox
If you still don’t have enough sightseeing, and you still have the strengths you can drive to Torrox, which claims to have “the best climate in Europe”. The town is divided into two parts: Torrox Costa and Torrox Pueblo, 4km inland. On Torrox Costa, you’ll find beautiful beaches, lighthouse, Roman archaeological remains, and 15th-century watchtowers. In Torrox Pueblo just stroll through the streets, rest for a while on Plaza de la Constitución and the 17th century Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación Church.
Learn more: 7 Best Things To Do In Torrox, Spain
How to get to Nerja, Spain?
There are few paid parking lots in the area. We left our car in this parking lot for 1€ for the whole day. It’s located very close to Balcón de Europa, about a 10 min walk.
You can also try to get to Nerja by bus. Bus to Nerja from Malaga will cost you about €6-9, and the journey will take about 1.5h. From Mijas journey will be quite long, about 3 hours, and will cost about €8-17.
Where to eat in Nerja?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Nerja:
Where to sleep in Nerja?
Nerja - Map of places
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