Visiting Nerja – A Jewel of the Costa del Sol

Nerja is one of the most important tourist centres on the Costa del Sol. Situated in the most easterly part of the province, this municipality has a very special charm that distinguishes it from tourism on the western Costa del Sol.

Situated in the foothills of the high mountains of Sierra Tejeda in the Axarquia, the whole area has a unique scenic beauty, with some of the most enchanting coves, the Maro Cliffs Natural Park or the famous Nerja Caves.

Discover all there is to do during your visit to one of the most beautiful coastal towns on the Costa del Sol.

Nerja Beaches

Playas Nerja
Photo @nerjaturismo

As we mentioned before, its geographical location gives the beaches of Nerja a very special charm that the wide beaches of the western Costa del Sol lack: they are mostly coves surrounded by rocky formations.

Whilst the beaches closest to the town centre are easily accessible, there are also a number of unspoilt coves that are difficult to access, where you can enjoy a quiet day without crowds.

Playa del Salón Beach

This picturesque alley leads to the Playa del Salón beach. It is located next to the Balcón de Europa.

Playa del Salón
Photo @nerjaturismo

Carabeo Beach

Playa de Carabeo is a small cove, accessible on foot by a stairs, between large rock formations.

Playa Carabeo
Photo @nerjaturismo

Burriana Beach

This is probably the most popular and frequented beach in Nerja. It has a large number of services, restaurants, beach bars and water leisure activities.

Carabeillo Beach

This small cove in the westernmost part of the Burriana beach is almost an unspoilt paradise, with no infrastructure, surrounded by cliffs and lush vegetation.

Playazo Beach

It is a long and wide beach in the westernmost part of Nerja and less frequented.

Las Alberquillas Beach

This beach is difficult to access, surrounded by vegetation and located in the natural setting of the cliffs of Maro. It is usually frequented by nudists.

Cala Las Alberquillas Photo Antonio Moreno Roman

El Cañuelo Beach

This cove is also difficult to access, located in Maro. Due to its length, together with the existence of two beach bars, this beach is quite popular in summer.

Cala del Cañuelo Photo I.O.

Cala del Pino Beach

An unspoilt cove, difficult to access, located in the natural area of Maro Cerro Gordo.

Cala Torre del Pino Photo Jose Perez

La Caleta Beach

This small secluded cove is also located in Maro. It does not have any kind of services, so you have to take everything you need to spend a great day on the beach or snorkelling in its crystal clear waters.

Playa de la Caleta Photo Ruth Garcia

Playa de Maro Beach

Another wild beach with vegetation in Maro. It is a very popular beach with all services, surrounded by wooded hills. Kayak rental is available.

Playa de Maro Photo J.A Bustos

Molino de Papel Beach

It is an isolated rocky beach with difficult access. It is a mixed beach, as it is also frequented by nudists.

Cala Molino de Papel Photo Miguel Ríos

Natural Park Maro Cliffs-Cerro Gordo

Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo
Photo @welcometonerja

This area of cliffs has a singular beauty. It is a protected natural area.

There are several walking routes to enjoy these beautiful views, and it is not uncommon to occasionally meet mountain goats along the trails.

cabras montesas nerja
Photo Leonardo Cervilla

But the natural site is probably best known among diving and snorkelling enthusiasts for its impressive rock formations that give its turquoise waters an exceptional transparency.

Sierras Tejeda, Almijara & Alhama Mountains

From a good part of the province you can see the highest peaks of the province, with the Maroma with over 2,000 metres.

In the months of January and February, they can leave us with images as beautiful as this one, with their snow-capped peaks.
sierra tejeda nevada, nerja
This whole area is known as the Axarquia, an area of outstanding natural value and home to many beautiful white villages of Moorish origin.

Things to do in Nerja

Route along the River Chillar

Rio Chillar
Photo @nerjaexperiences

The Chillar River Route is very popular during the hot summer months, as during the whole route you in direct contact with the refreshing water.

In fact, this route is so popular, that the Nerja town hall in summer has started to regulate access to protect the fauna and flora.

To do this route, an intermediate level of fitness is required. All you need to know to do this beautiful route, here.

Yoga in Nerja

Yoga in Nerja

Here are the links to attend individual outdoor Yoga classes given by Yogadventure and NerjaYoga. Classes are given in Spanish and English. On their pages you can also find offers for Yoga Retreats in Malaga.

Water activities in Nerja

In Nerja you can enjoy a wide range of water activities for all ages and conditions. Along the promenade of Burriana Beach there are a large number of companies offering their services, such as parasailing, boat trips, snorkelling, paddle surfing, pedal boating, kayaking or diving.

Kayak in Nerja – Maro

atracciones para niños Costa del Sol, kayak en nerja
The author enjoying a canoe trip along the cliffs of Maro with the company Educare.

Personally, we can recommend kayaking in Nerja, a total success.

It is a guided tour of about 2 hours in turquoise waters along the spectacular cliffs of Maro. We can personally recommend the company Educare.

During the tour they take photos with the gopro which are then uploaded free of charge to their website for downloading.

Diving in Nerja – Maro

atracciones para niños Costa del Sol, buceo nerja
Buceonatura Photo Rafa Camacho

Whether you are already an expert or just want to try diving for the first time to discover the wonderful underwater world: Diving in Nerja.

The best place on the Costa del Sol are the waters of the natural area Maro Cerro Gordo.

Although it already belongs to the province of Granada, nevertheless, we include it if you do not want to miss this experience.

buceonatura la herradura
Photo Rafa Camacho, Buceonatura in La Herradura

We personally recommend Buceonatura en La Herradura, with Rafa Camacho at the helm, an expert diver and passionate underwater photographer.

Things to see & do in Nerja

Nerja Cave

Probably Nerja’s most outstanding attraction is its impressive cave, located just over 3 km from the town centre.

Also called the Cathedral of the Costa del Sol, due to its impressive formations of stalagtites and stalagmites in huge underground rooms.

cueva de nerja
It is a must visit when you are in Nerja. We have dedicated a full article to the Nerja Cave with everything you need to know to visit it.

Nerja Cave Music Festival

Every summer this popular festival takes place in the gardens of the cave, with performances by national and international artists. Here you have this year’s programme .

 Nerja Cave Music and Dance Festival

Aguila Aqueduct

This impressive aqueduct was built in the 19th century to transport water to the mills of the old sugar factory.

Acueducto del Aguila
Photo @welcometonerja

It is situated 3 km from Nerja and parking is easy by the side of the road. Walking from Burriana Beach it is about 2 km and takes about 30 minutes.

Nerja Museum

The Museum of Nerja, located in the old town, offers visitors a journey through the history of Nerja from prehistoric times to the present day, in an audio-visual and interactive tour.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm and from 4 pm to 6 pm. July, August and Easter from 10 am to 2 pm and from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Free admission: 28 February (Andalusia Day), 18 May (International Museum Day), 27 September (International Tourism Day). For citizens of the European Union: Sundays from 4 pm to closing time. Combined visit (Museum + Cave): 11 €.

Balcón de Europa

Balcón de Europa
This beautiful balcony overlooking the Mediterranean Sea is probably one of the most photographed places in Malaga.

Located in the old town of Nerja and flanked by its most popular coves, it is inevitable to get there and enjoy the beautiful views.

The square hosts many events throughout the year and is a highly attractive place at any time of the day.

And if you get hungry or thirsty, don’t worry, there are numerous bars, cafes and restaurants close by to choose from.

Frigiliana, balcony to the Sea

pueblos bonitos de la Axarquía, Frigiliana
Photo Frigiliana por 2bp.blogspot

Frigiliana is probably the most visited and well-known village in the Axarquia if we don’t count the coastal villages.

Because it is situated only 7 km from Nerja, it receives a lot of tourist visits, very similar to Mijas Pueblo and Fuengirola.

Frigiliana old town
Frigiliana Photo Los pueblos mas bonitos de Españ

Frigiliana stands out for having the best preserved historic quarter of Moorish origin in the whole of Spain. How to get there.

Street Markets in Nerja

Street Markets in Nerja
There are two street markets in Nerja.

On Tuesdays there is a market with fruit, vegetables, clothes etc. from 8 am to 2 pm.
On Sundays there is a flea market with second hand goods, from 8 am to 2 pm.

Both markets are located on the esplanade next to Mirto street.

Nerja all year round

Nerja is together with Torrox one of the warmest municipalities in Europe during the winter months as it is protected by the high mountain range from the icy winds.

If you want to know more, here are the best reasons to spend the winter on the Costa del Sol!

Nerja navidad
Nerja during Christmas Photo @nerjaturismo

Interactive Map of Nerja

On our interactive map you can find all the places of interest mentioned in this article.

How to get to Nerja

Public Transport

Despite being a popular tourist destination, public transport from Malaga airport and Málaga Maria Zambrano train station is limited to an hourly bus service. The journey time is between 1:30 and 2 hours, depending on the connection.

The Nerja Bus Station is located opposite the roundabout in Plaza Cantarero, a ten minute walk from the centre of Nerja.

Car rental and transfer

Alquilar Mini cabrio Malaga
Towards Nerja. Photo courtesy of our client

Therefore, if you don’t want to add several hours to your journey to reach your destination, we recommend our car hire at Malaga airport or our transfer to and from Malaga airport.

Unbeatable rates for car hire

  • Large fleet of brand new cars.
  • Pay on arrival.
  • What you see is what you pay.
  • No hard sell at desk.
  • VIP delivery service for free.
  • No fuel rip-off, we do not charge refueling service fee.

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