Nerja Area Guide: Welcome to the Jewel of the Costa del Sol
Welcome to the Nerja area guide, here you can plan the perfect holiday in Nerja, and discover the best of Nerja.
50 kilometres from the historical city of Malaga, is an exquisite village that most refer to as the Jewel of the Costa del Sol. Nerja, is only about an hour and 30 minutes away from Granada, and the Sierra Nevada. All around the town of Nerja is the impressive Sierra Almijara mountain range, which acts like a shelter, making the town of Nerja seem like a luxury cove on the Mediterranean Sea.
Back in time, Nerja was once a quaint fishing village, much like most of the major areas across the Costa del Sol. Today, Nerja is now one of the most popular tourist resorts along the entire Coast. Nerja has a population of over 12,000, but during peak seasons this number almost triples. What makes Nerja even more extraoridary is the collective resistance of the town’s folks to over develop the area including such developments like high rise apartment blocks.
Nerja’s Local Attractions
One of the best known attractions and by far the most impressive is the Balcon de Europa (the Balcony of Europe), a promenade that stretches along the edge of a cliff top. The platform has breath-taking panoramic views of the Mediterranean coastline, and you get a spectacular view of the sheltering mountains.
Deeply rooted in Andalusian culture, the mixture of heritage and cosmopolitan makes this town worth a one or two night stay. If it’s fabulous beaches you are looking for, Nerja provides in more ways than one. Boasting 16 kilometres of white sandy beaches, and sparkling clear calm waters lightly splashing against smaller coves. Privacy is something you might just find along its coastline for those who want a more romantic atmosphere.
For water sports enthusiasts, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. Nerja provides the perfect location for water skiing, scuba diving and sailing. Nerja’s main beaches are Burriana and Torrecilla, which have both been awarded the blue flag. Locals are quick to recommend Burriana beach, where visitors can enjoy delicious and very affordable food. This includes mouth-watering shellfish barbecues on the beach. One speciality is the monster paella, and UK visitors will love the traditional steak and kidney pie, washed down with a pint at the Black Horse.
The Caves of Nerja
East of the town in Maro are the Cuevas de Nerja (Caves of Nerja), which was discovered back in 1959. The caves contain wall paintings believed to be at least 20,000 years old. Huge chambers are open to the public for a walkthrough, with one of the chambers being converted into an auditorium. The auditorium can hold several hundred people, and in the summer time the chamber is used for concerts, with internationally renowned orchestras and flamenco artists.
Making the caves even more interesting is the formation of Karstic cavities, with its origin dating back millions of years. It was during the Triassic period, where large amounts of calcareous mud settled on the fond of the ancient Mediterranean Sea, transforming into calcareous dolomite marble – something you will see sheltering the caves.
Today, only one-third of the halls are open to tourists, which include the Entrance Hall, Creche Hall, Elephant Eye-Tooth Hall, Ballet Hall, Phantoms Hall and Cataclysm Hall. The higher halls were only discovered in 1960, and the newer galleries only discovered in 1970 are restricted and only accessible to a specific group of visitors.
The Old Quarter
Around town one section stands apart – the old quarters remains virtually unchanged with its narrow and winding streets. The whitewashed houses are typical Andalusia, and the terraces are overflowing with geraniums.
Many tourists love hiring horse-drawn carriage to explore the town’s most interesting streets and attractions. You will no doubt be impressed with the 17th century church of El Salvador, and of course, the Gardens of Capistrano Playa. The streets are lined with a variety of shops, cafes, ice cream parlours, bakeries, and plazas. Plazas, otherwise known as “town squares”, is the perfect place to sit and watch the world pass you by.
For those of you with a bit more of an adventurous spirit, you can travel further inland and explore the miles and miles of Andalucian countryside. In the mountains just behind Nerja is where you can see the beautifully preserved whitewashed Pueblos including the town of Frigiliana, which has barely changed over the centuries.
Just like most of the Costa del Sol, Nerja enjoys over 300 days a year of sunshine. Average temperatures in the summer is 30ºC, while the short winter dips down to around 15º. Nerja also provides the perfect escape from the bustling and very busy cities of Malaga, Marbella, and Estepona. Nerja is the perfect escape no matter what time of the year.
Visit the Jewel of the Costa del Sol this Summer
If you plan on renting a holiday let this summer on the Costa del Sol, you must make sure to visit Nerja. We recommend spending at least a couple of days to truly take it all in and see the sights. One full day at the beach or even a full day of hiking is worth the journey from Malaga airport.
Have you been to Nerja? What was your favourite part? Let us know in the comments below.