Nerja is on the coast some 50 kilometres east of Málaga on the N340 coastal highway, and marks the eastern tip of Málaga’s Costa del Sol. Once a sleepy fishing village, the town now has a population of over 20,000, rising dramatically with tourism in the summer months. Nerja also falls into the area known as “Axarquia” which covers the entire eastern side of the province of Málaga.
How to get there: You can reach Nerja by bus, taxi or private/hire car. A bus service runs from Malaga airport to the central bus station in Malaga where you can catch a bus direct to Nerja. A taxi from the airport will take approximately 40 minutes and will cost currently around 70 Euros. A hire car can sometimes work out cheaper when considering the return taxi fare. In high season it is essential to pre-book your hire car. If travellng by land, Spain has the biggest and best high speed rail network in Europe and you can travel from London or Paris and connect to the AVE train at the Spanish/French border and continue at high speed all the way to Malaga. And if you’re travelling by car Spain has a direct motorway route from the French border.
It is a very attractive white town that has maintained a great charm despite growing numbers of foreign residents and tourists. The local authority adheres strictly to building regulations and new developments are built to resemble Andalucian villages. The old part of the town, full of interesting shops and tapas bars, dates from the 14th century and has a labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets in typical Moorish style.
The mountains of the Sierra Almijara, which lie to the north of the town, finish abruptly at the Mediterranean in Nerja. The magnificent cliffs form natural coves and bays which stretch for miles along this part of the coast. There are 9 kilometres of well maintained and differing sandy beaches, shared by fishermen and sunbathers.
The town has a very Cosmopolitan population made up of many different nationalities. Initially, in the early seventies, the British discovered what was then just a village, and started to construct the very first developments for foreign buyers, the most famous of which was the El Capistrano Village which led to three more complexes of the same name. Some of the first estate agents in area were also British but one of the very first was from Denmark. Through the eighties the town saw perhaps its biggest expansion with many new complexes, apartment buildings and houses and also many improvements to the towns infrastructure. Today, the town has consolidated itself as one of the prettiest and most popular destinations along the entire Costa del Sol. It still retains its Spanish flavour whilst blending harmoniously with the many foreign residents that live all year round, and an equally important number who reside in the winter taking advantage of its mild climate.
Balcón de Europa
One of the most popular spots within the town is the Balcón de Europa, built on the previous site of a 10th century castle, hanging over cliffs and beaches to gain better advantage of spectactular views. High arches and trees shade horses and carts that transport tourists around the town. The Promenade is lined with cafés and restaurants and in the summer is home to a multitude of artists, vendors and street musicians. Ancient cannons, which once spurned forth pirates and invaders, stand guard and add a touch of history. The parish church of El Salvador, in the same area, is 17th century Baroque-Mudejar which has recently been restored.
Nerja & the Balcony of Europe (with the soundtrack from the famous TV series – “Verano Azul”.)
See more videos of Nerja at the foot of the page.
Ayo’s Merendero Burriana (Beach restaurant)
Go on a Sunday and experience the traditional Spanish atmosphere with giant paella cooked over a open fire at the famous “Ayo’s” beach restaurant. Paella is 6 euros for as much as you can eat and there is also an a la carte menu featuring Roast Pork on a Sunday plus a wide selection of fish and meat dishes. Get there early on a Sunday as it tends to get busy from midday onwards, and be prepared to wait for a table (you have to find your own table, don’t wait to be seated by a waiter!). Also note that credit cards are not accepted, strictly cash payment only.
Ayo himself has featured on numerous holiday and travel programs the world over, was once a marathon runner for Spain and also appeared as one of the judges for Spain one year at the Eurovison Song Contest.
Caves of Nerja
Three kilometres from the town centre are the Nerja caves where skeletal remains and artefacts, dating from 30,000BC to the Bronze Age, were discovered in 1959 and opned to the public in 1961. Wall paintings inside the caves date from the Palaeolithic and post-Palaeolithic periods. The visitor is able to enter various different chambers including one which houses the world’s widest column as well as very large independant stalactites and stalagmites. Every July a festival of music and dance is held inside the caves attracting some of the most famous artists from the world of Ballet, Spanish guitar and Flamenco.
- July/August 09.30am-8pm
- Rest of the year 09.30am-6.30pm
History of the Nerja Caves (in Spanish – but worth watching!):
Summer 2013 Nerja Caves Festival entrance tickets can now be reserved in advance at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nerja Caves Museum
The Museum was officially opened on March 25th 2012 and is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday and is situated in the centre of Nerja in the Plaza de España, behind the Nerja town hall.
Video – Paco de Lucía – Caves of Nerja Festival – Summer 2007
East of the Balcon is the little Playa de el Salon, still flanked by fishermen’s cottages, followed by a two kilometre stretch of Torrecillo and Playazo. In the other direction there are the beaches of Chorrillo, Carabeo, Carabeillo and Burriana. On Burriana Beach there are internationally famous fish restaurants that, due to the mild climate, are able to remain open all year. The beautiful Jardines de Capistrano Playa descend to this beach. Throughout the town there are numerous other restaurants that offer a wide variety of international cuisine.
- Burriana Beach. Very popular beach, family atmosphere. Picturesque setting and high level of services and equipment. The beach has the International and prestigious Blue Flag awarded each year by the European Union.
- Playazo Beach. Long and wide beach, not very popular, as this away from the more urban area. It offers some services.
- Torrecilla beach. Small urban beach with promenade, large influx of people and good level of equipment and services.
- Salón Beach. Small urban beach located on a cliff, with some palmeras. Good services.
- Calahonda Beach. Beach cove located in a closed, well equipped with marine promenade.
- Chorrillo Beach. This is a set of 3 bays, the generically called Chorrillos. Good services accessed from the Balcony of Europe.
- Carabeo Beach. Small beach with access via a ladder or from the Burriana beach.
- Alberquillas Beach. Beach surrounded by vegetation, nestled in a natural setting. Difficult access. It is usually frequented by nudists. An offical naturist beach can be found 20 minutes drive east of Nerja, the Cantarrijan beach in La Herradura in the neighbouring province of Granada.
Nightlife & Restaurants
For those looking for nightlife you should go to Tutti Fruti Square where the disco pubs are located. Many are run by English speaking people so it should be no problem to order what you want. Nerja has much to offer for food lovers such as a wide range of fish restaurants all the way along Burriana beach where you can sample local specialities such as pescaito frito (Fried fish) and paella, many traditional tapas bars situated in the old part of the town which give a free tapa with every drink and a large number of international restaurants eg, Greek, Italian, French, Mexican and Indian with prices and menus to suit everyone.
There exists a wide range of hotels and hostals throughout the town, ranging from excellent low priced pensiones (hostals) to 4 star hotels, such as the government owned Parador overlooking the Burriana beach and the Balcon de Europa Hotel in the centre of the town.
Parador de Nerja (4*). Calle Almunecar, 8
952 520 050
Hotel Al Andalus. Situated 4 kilometres from Nerja.
952 529 648
Hotel Balcón de Europa (4*). Paseo Balcón de Europa. Nerja
952 520 800
Hotel Mónica (4*). Plaza de la Torrecilla. Nerja
952 521 100
Hotel Jimesol (3*). C/ Chaparil,6. Nerja
952 525 888
Hotel José Cruz (3*). Playa de Burriana, C/ Lucena, 60. Nerja
952 524 446
Hotel Chaparil (2*). Plaza Chaparil, 1. Nerja
952 524 708
|Hostal Plaza Cantarero. C/ Pintada, 117. Nerja||952 528 728|
|Hostal Casa Manuel. C/ Almirante Ferrandiz, 117. Nerja||952 525 958|
|Hostal-Cafetería-Restaurante Marissal. Balcón de Europa, 3. Nerja||952 520 199|
Camping (Situated 2 kms. east of Nerja on the N-340 road.)
|Camping Nerja. Ctra. N-340, Km. 297.Nerja||952 529 714|
Activities & Sports
For sport lovers Nerja has its own sports stadium for athletic events and football matches as well as a public heated indoor swimming pool. The countryside around Nerja offers those not wanting to spend all their time on the beach a range of other activities. You can go walking in the Axarquia where there are plenty of trails for walkers of varying levels. You can get information and maps from the tourist office in Nerja which can be found just of the Balcon de Europa or if you would prefer to go on some organised, guided walks from Nerja. You can also go cycling or mountain biking, horse riding, paragliding or take a jeep safari. There are two options for anyone wishing to camp, the campsite on the outskirts of the town or a less organised camping area in the park above the caves.
Many of the traditional festivals are still celebrated in Nerja some of which include the town feria between 8th October and 12th October, Holy week in March or April, the festival of San Isidro celebrated on May 15th with a parade starting at the Balcon de Europa and ending at the caves with a big country style party, and of course the mid summer’s night of San Juan in June where partying and barbecues go on all night long on the beaches. Also in the Caves, the annual international music concerts and ballet in the month of July.
Nerja, like Torrox, will also benefit from the new marina, scheduled to start some time soon, that will be built on the municipal border between the two towns.
Tourism Office (Nerja)
C/ Carmen, 1. Bajos del Ayuntamiento – 29780 Nerja. Tel: (+34) 952 521 531. Fax: (+34) 952 526 287. Email: email@example.com
Villa de Nerja
The Nerja Cultural Centre is located in Calle Granada street. It is the town’s largest cultural building and offers all year round cultural and film events distributed in various halls with theater, musicals, dances and exhibitions. The main auditorium has 355 seats and a stage of 130 m2. A calendar of events can be found on the official website.
Cueva de Nerja
Recinto Cueva de Nerja (Maro) – 29787 Nerja. Tel: (+34) 952 529 520. Fax: (+34) 952 529 646. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nerja Street Map
Property for sale in Nerja
If you are considering the purchase of a property in Nerja, check out the link below to see a wide range of over 500 properties for sale in Nerja:
Estate Agents in Nerja: