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Nerja is a beautiful traditional Andalusian seaside location. Within this post we will outline Nerja’s 10 best places to visit.
Nerja A beautiful traditional Andalusian white town with an incredible crystal clear sea located in the province of Malaga, Southern Spain.
Having lived in Nerja now for 15 years, I’ve explored many places in Costa del Sol However I can tell you that Nerja is one of those that makes people want to go back again and again, and there’s no doubt why it is one of the most visited towns in Costa del Sol. We are so fortunate to live in such a wonderful location. Nerja has been voted the best costal resort in the whole of Spain.
Its charming people, white buildings, coastal views and fresh fish are a couple of the highlights of Nerja.
The most popular spot in Nerja is the famous Balcon de Europa, however, there are many more things to do in Nerja and its surroundings.
The town has become more and more visited, but at the end of the day, Costa Del Sol relies on tourism. It’s the main sector in the province.
Although it can get busy, especially during the summer holiday season – July and August, you can still enjoy Nerja if you know when to go
In 1959 a group of young people who were walking searching for bats in the night discovered the caves. However, they had no idea of what discovery they had made.
The caves are without doubt the best in Spain. There are amazing rock formations and the largest stalactite in the world. There are over 500 paintings that date back to the Upper Palaeolithic.
Inside there are three different galleries, but only the public gallery is open to tourists.
As you can imagine, they get very busy during the summer months, so booking your ticket in advance will save you queuing (just remember to select your time slot). Also, the best time to go is as they open the doors at 9:30 am.
When I visited Nerja Caves, I thought that it was quite small, but I spent approx. 1 hour there, and I loved it. But I advise you to take a small cardigan as it’s a bit wet and chilly inside.
This is one of the most beautiful spots in Costa Del Sol, and my favourite as well. this should be on everyones buckedt list as one of Nerja’s 10 places to visit.
Balcon de Europa is a round balcony on a cliff overlooking the transparent turquoise sea. There are amazing panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding coast line.
In the past, the balcon was part of the watchtower of an Arabic fortress, however, today it is a viewpoint close to a good range of cafes, restaurants, hotels and independent small shops where you can buy many handmade accessories (leather bags, ceramics, etc.) and souvenirs.
Although it has become a tourist spot, there’s nothing better than watching the sunset from the balcony. I love the combination of clear water with the warm colours of the sunset. It’s a romantic place and you’ll come across some brides taking pictures there as the local church is just a two-minute walk.
If you’re after a delicious meal with breathtaking views in Balcon de Europa, Rey Alfonso is your go-to. They offer fresh local seafood as well as traditional meals such as paella, and even regional meals like pipirrana malagueña (a salad that includes tomatoes, peppers, onion and octopus or prawns).
Playa el Salón is a dark sand beach on the right-hand side of Balcon de Europa. You can access it only by foot – walk down the steep hill and you’ll be in no time on this beautiful beach.
I love the fact that there aren’t many chiringuitos (beach bars) around because it means that it’s more natural and raw. So, if you want to grab some food or drinks, you need to go all the way up to Calle Salón.
Although it’s an amazing beach, if you aren’t a big fan of crowds, it isn’t probably the best beach to visit in the summer months. The beach gets full early mornings until late afternoon evening.
If you’re after local and authentic experiences, you can’t miss Fiesta Blanca, a party celebrated every 14th of August on this beach. Locals dress in white and are ready to have a good night with plenty of entertainment and concerts.
El Salvador is just a step away from Balcón de Europa. It’s a beautiful white church with a baroque neoclassical style.
Part of this church was built in 1697, however, the bell tower was added later in 1724. Like many old buildings, the church was last restored in 1997.
One of the main reasons why this church is popular is the fact that it’s the only church in the world that includes representations of all three archangels.
St Michael (San Miguel in Spanish) is the archangel that holds the most significance in Nerja. It is the town’s patron saint (el patrón del pueblo).
From all the times I’ve been to Nerja, there were weddings or other religious events going on. Not only locals get married here, but many foreigners choose El Salvador for their wedding ceremonies.
Two of our daughter’s got married in El Salvador. Something me and Jean will never ever forget
As you walk around Balcon de Europa, you can hear the chime which happens every hour too.
Playa la Calahonda is Nerja’s beach next to Balcon de Europa. Its beautiful but it gets busy very quickly during the summer (especially weekends as locals go to the beach early to get their spot and spend the day). Also, it’s very small.
Located at one kilometre from Nerja, Playa Burriana is wider and it’s actually considered the best beach in the town. Its clear water and golden sand, make it the go-to beach for locals and tourists.
Near this beach, you can find Ayo, a popular restaurant that is well-known for its wood-fired paella.
This boat is a replica boat of the Verano Azul Spanish TV series that was filmed in Nerja in 1981. The series was based on a group of children who were on a summer holiday in Nerja. The episodes show the adventures and fun experiences of these kids.
The series was very popular and was viewed in several other countries.
This is a tourist attraction where not only Spanish tourists but international tourists stop to take a picture of La Dorada boat.
If you love learning about history and culture, you must visit Nerja Museum located in Plaza de España at only a few steps from Balcon de Europa.
The museum shows you the rich local history from prehistory to today. Not only do you discover more about the cultural heritage of Nerja and the Axarquia region.
The archaeological section is indeed one of my favorites as you see old ceramic and utensils found in the caves. You can also have a look at the skeleton of a young woman who used to live in the caves many years ago.
“Acueducto del Aguila” (The Eagle Aqueduct) is a picturesque aqueduct located just 3 kilometres outside Nerja in the countryside.
The aqueduct used to be a supplier of water for a sugar factory known as Fabrica San Joaquin de Maro (San Joaquin Sugar Mill). The region of the Axarquía was popular for sugar cane plantations in the XVI century.
However, it has recently become a popular spot for photographers. This is due to the beautiful architecture making it justifiably one of Nerja’s 10 best places to visit
The river walk at the Rio Chillar is a popular destination in Nerja. The trail leads through the Chillar River, which flows through Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Nature Reserves. On your journey, you will go through a marble gorge, bathe in natural created pools and encounter a great waterfall. At high temperatures just the right cooling trip for hikers.
Before starting the hike, you have to get the right equipment. That’s a very important thing for this trip. Part of the enjoyment is getting wet.
Most parts of the route take you will be walking in the River itself. Sturdy footwear with a thick sole should therefore be worn. Best choices are sport sneakers or hiking boots. A large number of stones in river makes it hard and uncomfortable to walk on this long tour. My brother had thin-soled bathing shoes and was struggling on the way back. To prevent any abrasions from slipping in a wet shoe, you should also pack thick socks.
Your constant companion should be the sunscreen.
In summer the water level is low and the river becomes accessible to hikers. During this time, the gates open for young and old for a great adventure. Start your walk in the morning. The tour can take up to six hours.
During storm and rain, a lot of water can fall from the sky in a short time. This fills up the river and can make the trip dangerous. In this case, keep an eye on the weather and check the weather at the beginning of your journey.
There is a public and free parking for hikers north of Nerja in the street “Calle Mirto”.