This time we present the Cueva de Nerja, a huge cave also known as the “Natural Cathedral of the Costa del Sol”, 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 takes place every year during July and August.
Visit to the Nerja Cave
It is not essential to buy tickets in advance to visit the cave; it is advisable however for saving time, especially in high season. You can purchase the tickets online from their website at https://entradas.cuevadenerja.es/en/
Early in the morning (from 10 am to 11:30 am) use to be less people visiting the Cave. Please note 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: from 10 am to 7 pm (last visit at 6 pm) from 23 June to 8 September. During Holy Week: from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday 10 am to 5 pm (last visit at 4 pm).
* The Cave of 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 guides in 15 languages
Cueva-train, road train between Nerja and Cueva de Nerja
Nerja Museum free with the entrance to Nerja Cave
Guarded car park
Nature trail to the mountains
Restaurant with terrace area
Areas and zones for families and family games
- Unfortunately, the caves are not accessible for people with reduced mobility: The cave has more than 458 steps and several ascents and descents, so it is not recommended for people with reduced mobility or health problems such as coronary deficiencies.
- The good news is that now a virtual reality room has beeen created to show the Nerja Cave to those for whom access to the cave is difficult or impossible.
- Also, people suffering from claustrophobia may be affected when entering the cave.
- Wear closed shoes with non-slip soles; flip-flops are not allowed.
- 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.
- 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.
- You can’t eat or drink inside the cave.
- Do not leave rubbish.
- You can take photos without flash.
- 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).
A tourist train service is available between Nerja and the Nerja Cave.
There is the option of purchasing a combined train, cave and museum ticket, so that you can visit both in comfort without having to worry about parking, especially in high season.
The “CuevaTren” leaves Nerja every hour on the hour in winter and every half hour in summer. The journey time is half an hour.
The CuevaTren, where you can also purchase the tickets, departs from Plaza de Los Cangrejos.
The Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
Virtual reality room
The Nerja cave since April 2023 also has a large virtual reality room.
This technology allows an immersive experience to be experienced in parts of the cavity that cannot be visited and to see the cave paintings.
This complementary service is especially interesting for people with reduced mobility who cannot visit the caves.
Included in the ticket
Access to the virtual reality room is included with the visit to the Nerja cave. Once the tour of the cave is over, we can go to the Virtual Reality area, where we will be given glasses and headphones.
The duration of the 360º immersive video is 12 minutes in total.
What is shown in the Virtual Reality of the cave of Nerja?
We can see how man lived 35,000 years ago, simulating the experience in the first person.
In addition, cave paintings are shown from a perspective in which we almost believe we can touch them and we can enter rock art areas not open to the public for conservation reasons. And not lastly, we will also discover interesting geological, biological and archaeological curiosities.
Nerja Caves Music and Dance Festival
For the last couple of years, for conservation reasons, they limit the live performances inside the cave.
Most of them take place in the outside area or in the famous Plaza Balcón de Europa in Nerja.
How to get there: https://g.page/CuevaDeNerja?share
More information on the official website www.cuevadenerja.es
Surroundings, Axarquia, White Villages
The atmosphere in this region is quite different from the always bustling western Costa del Sol, overcrowded due to its high tourist offer. On the eastern coast you can still sense how the Costa del Sol was in the past. There you will find open spaces without construction, great scenic landscapes and simple beach bars among many other features.
So, if you still not sure about your holiday destination, 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 beautiful white villages of Arabic origin.
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.
From the Nerja Caves you can walk to Maro. There is a footbridge which takes about 10 minutes to reach the village of Maro and is a very pleasant walk above the Botanical Gardens.
Maro Cliffs – Cerro Gordo
Half belonging to the province of Granada, only 10 km from Nerja is the protected natural area of Cerro Gordo, a beautiful spot of rock formations next to the sea and great for hiking.
The whole area is also popular for its crystal-clear waters full of fauna and flora. It is ideal for snorkelling or diving, having also a beautiful nudist beach.
We can personally recommend a guided kayak tour of the cliffs of Maro, an activity for the whole family lasting about 2 hours with the company Educare.
The excursion departs from Burriana beach in Nerja and goes to the waterfall of Maro. The photos during the tour are available after for free from their website.
How to get there:
One of the most beautiful and best-known villages on the eastern Costa del Sol is Frigiliana, only 7 km from Nerja.
Also known as Balcony of the Axarquía, it offers beautiful views over the entire coastal strip.
Due to its proximity to the coast, it receives a large number of visitors all year round.
The village is beautiful and invites you to stroll through its winding streets, discover its old quarter, enjoy the local gastronomy or even stay in a small charming hotel and enjoy excursions to the coast and inland.
How to get there:
White villages of the Axarquia
The Axarquia is the easternmost and highest mountain range in the province of Malaga. Driving along narrow winding roads we can discover spectacular landscapes and beautiful white villages of Arabic origin that have maintained their charm over the centuries.
We have an article dedicated to the most beautiful villages of the Axarquia that are definitely worth discovering.
As you will discover, each one stands out for some special feature, such as the best cherries, excellent sultanas and olive oils, wines with designation of origin, unique festivals and a great offer for lovers of active and adventure tourism in Malaga, such as El Saltillo, the unknown Caminito del Rey.