Offering sandy beaches, a quaint, unspoilt Spanish way of life and a stretch of truly stunning caves, Nerja has become a top attraction for tourists from all corners of the globe, and Europe in particular. Marking the eastern limit of the Costa del Sol, the area is effectively the starting point of the Costa del Sol’s 100 mile stretch to Gibraltar.
About the area
Once a sleepy fishing village, Nerja now has a resident population of over 25,000. It features stunning sandy beaches and a number of beautiful hotels and guest houses. It also has a wide range of traditional Spanish architecture and buildings to look at as you navigate yourself around the narrow winding streets.
Famous for its recently-discovered caves and ex-pirate fortress, Nerja is a fantastic place to start your Costa del Sol adventure. Whether you are looking to relax on the beach or throw yourself into Spanish culture, the thriving town is a top choice for tourists.
What to see
Two words: the caves. Stretching for nearly five kilometres, Nerja’s caves – known as ‘Cueva de Nerja’ in Spanish – are millions of years old. However, despite their age they are, in fact, a relatively recent discovery. It wasn’t until 1959, when five friends uncovered a sink hole while hunting for bats, that the caves were found. Upon discovering this sinkhole, along with several skeletons and ceramic ornaments, the friends ran out of there to alert the authorities. A year later in 1960, the caves started allowing visitor access, after preserving the artefacts they held inside. They have since become one of Spain’s most popular attractions and, due to one of the cave’s chambers formation as a natural amphitheatre, are often used to hold concerts and events.
Another attraction to check out if you’re in the area is the ‘Balco de Europa’, or the Balcony of Europe as it’s otherwise known. This fortress was originally designed to keep British pirates at bay but today it is mainly used by tourists to take photos of the outstanding views.
How to get there
If you are planning a holiday to the Costa del Sol, Nerja is definitely well worth a visit. Plus, the road to get there is fantastic, only taking approximately 45 minutes along the AP7 from Malaga.
To get there via train, Nerja’s nearest station is Malaga. Once you arrive at Malaga station, you can easily pick up a bus or taxi, taking you on the short journey into town.
Photo credit: Mark Holt