The Nerja Cave, Environment and Activities in 2021

For this season we plan to present you with many alternatives to the typical sun and beach holiday, to give you more choice and to find lovely places away from the crowds.

And the province of Malaga is brimming with such enchanting places, just a few kilometres from the coast. In fact, due to the phenomenal weather we can enjoy outdoor activities all year round. And taking into account the current situation, we have already seen during the last few months the clear trend in the increase of inland destinations and thus getting away from the cities.

The Nerja Cave


This time we present the Cueva de Nerja, a huge cave, also known as the “natural cathedral”, located just 750 metres from the coastline of Nerja, the easternmost municipality of the Costa del Sol, bordering the province of Granada. The Nerja Cave is not only famous for its spectacular rock formations, archaeological sites and cave paintings, but also for its International Festival of Music and Dance, which is repeated every year during the month of July.

Visits to the Cave

It is not essential to buy tickets in advance to visit the cave, but it is advisable to save time waiting at the ticket office. Tickets can be purchased online through the website.

Opening hours

Entrance to the Nerja caves Photo Jorge Ogalla

Early in the morning (from 10 am to 11:30 am) they are less crowded and the visit can be made more comfortably. It should be borne in mind that opening times vary throughout the year.
* General opening hours: from 10 am to 4:30 pm (last visit at 3:30 pm).
* Special opening hours: 10 am to 7 pm (last visit at 6 pm) from 23 June to 8 September. Easter Week: from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday 10 am to 5 pm (last visit at 4 pm).
* The Cueva de Nerja is open every day of the year except 1st January and 15th May.
* Holidays from October to April: 2 November, 7 and 8 December, 21 December to 6 January, 1 March.

Nerja Cave Services

The Nerja Cave offers currently several services to visitors:
Audio-guided tours
Audio guides in 15 languages
Organisation by family units
Cueva-train, road train between Nerja and Cueva de Nerja
Nerja Museum free with the entrance to Nerja Cave
Guarded car park
Breastfeeding room
Botanical garden
Nature trail to the mountains
Restaurant with terrace area
Souvenir shop
Children’s playground
Areas and zones for families and family games

Family area outside the Nerja Cave

To be considered

Wear closed shoes with non-slip soles.
It is forbidden to wear flip-flops.
If you enter with inappropriate footwear, you do so at your own risk.
Access with children under 6 years of age is under the strict responsibility of their parents or guardians, who must ensure their safety and appropriate behaviour.
The cave has several areas of unevenness that are overcome with just over 400 steps.
It is forbidden to enter with pushchairs and wheelchairs.
The average temperature inside the cave is 19ºC. Warm clothing is not required.
It is not allowed to touch or alter the geological formations.
The rock art cannot be shown for conservation reasons, it is extremely fragile.
Respect the cave’s own fauna.
It is not allowed to eat or drink inside the cave.
Do not leave rubbish.
Photography without flash is allowed.
The use of tripods, selfie sticks, laser pointers or torches is not allowed.
Do not raise your voice during the visit, respect other users.
Any activity that could damage the cave or its infrastructures is forbidden.
Pets are not allowed (except guide dogs).

Covid, implemented measures

Due to the circumstances brought about by Covid-19, the Cueva de Nerja Foundation has implemented a series of measures to guarantee the health of all visitors to the cave.
Organisational safety protocols have been implemented, such as visits by family units, a distance of 5 metres between each of them, and the obligation to wear masks and gloves.
In addition, a thermal camera has been set up at the entrance to measure the temperature of each visitor, to prevent anyone with a fever from entering the cave.

Thanks to the security measures put in place, the Nerja Cave is the first monument in Spain to have the Safe Tourism Seal with which the Spanish Tourism Quality Institute (ICTE) certifies monuments (visitor tourism). It is a certification called Safe Tourism Certified, which recognises that the monument guarantees the safety of its visitors.

The Nerja Museum, which belongs to the Cueva de Nerja Foundation, has also obtained the Safe Tourism Certified, becoming the first museum in Andalusia and the second in Spain to receive this certification.

How to get there:

More information on the official website

Surroundings, Axarquia, White Villages

First of all, for those of you who are not yet familiar with the Axarquia region, i.e. the eastern Costa del Sol, the atmosphere here is quite different from the always bustling western Costa del Sol, with a coastline that is overcrowded due to its high tourist offer, which has been well established for decades.

On the eastern coast you can still feel how the Costa used to be, with open spaces without construction, great scenic landscapes, simple beach bars.

So, if you still haven’t decided where to travel to this year, discovering the Axarquia can be a very good idea. Only a few kilometres away there are mountains up to more than 2000 metres above sea level, where you can find beautiful white villages of Arabic origin.

Frigiliana, a white village just a few kilometres from the coast

This is the setting of the Nerja Caves, situated in the foothills of the high mountains of the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama, with a very high natural value.

The Maro Cliffs – Cerro Gordo

Half belonging to the province of Granada, just 10 km from Nerja is situated the protected natural area of Cerro Gordo, a beautiful spot of rock formations by the sea for walking. The whole area is also noted for its crystal-clear waters full of fauna and flora, ideal for snorkelling or diving. It also has a beautiful nudist beach.

Cerro Gordo

Nerja Cave Activities in 2021

2021 is the International Year of Caves with both online and face-to-face activities. The activities are free of charge and prior registration is required.
Exploration, history and Museum of the Nerja Caves

1. Cave exploration and conservation
– Type: face-to-face if feasible due to the evolution of the pandemic. Online alternative.
– Aimed at: general public interested in the knowledge of the subterranean environment.
– Groups of: 30 people.
– Date: 23 September and 16 October 2021.
– Duration: 2 hours.
– Registration:
– Awareness-raising workshops for the conservation of the values of the subterranean environment. The activity includes a theoretical and didactic syllabus and a specialised visit to the Nerja Cave.

2. The Cave of Nerja in its museum
– Type: face-to-face if feasible due to the evolution of the pandemic. Online alternative.
– Aimed at: general public interested in the knowledge of the subterranean environment.
– Groups of: 30 people.
– Date: 5 and 12 June 2021. Timetable: 12 am to 2 pm.
– Duration: 2 hours.
– Registration:
– The scientific research carried out inside the Nerja Cave and the findings in the cave are on display in room -1 of the Nerja Museum, dedicated to Prehistory.
The Nerja Museum is the museum of the Nerja Cave and, therefore, one of its most important missions is to disseminate the extensive knowledge that exists about the cave, which it does through various museographic resources.

Nerja Caves Music and Dance Festival

For the last couple of years, for conservation reasons, the performances have been held only exceptionally inside the cave. Most of them take place in the outside area or in the famous Plaza Balcón de Europa in Nerja.