On the southern coast of Spain, in the Costa del Sol region, lies the charming town of Nerja. With its crystal clear beaches, rich history and picturesque atmosphere, Nerja has become a popular tourist destination offering a unique blend of relaxation and exploration. Here, Visitanddo.com tells you about 10 must-see places to visit in Nerja.
What to see in Nerja
Balcony of Europe
The Balcón de Europa, an emblematic place in Nerja, stands majestically on a rocky peninsula, giving breathtaking panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. With a history dating back to the 9th century and having been christened by Alfonso XII in the 19th century, this viewpoint has become a landmark offering a unique experience to locals and visitors alike.
The Balcon de Europa is not only a place of breathtaking natural beauty, but also a witness to the rich history of the region. The statues and sculptures that adorn the lookout point tell silent stories of bygone eras, adding a historical dimension to the experience of those who visit. It is a place where antiquity blends harmoniously with modernity, creating an enchanting atmosphere that invites you to explore.
The area around the Balcón de Europa is home to a lively cafe and restaurant scene that adds life and vibrancy to the area. Visitors can enjoy the delicious local cuisine while marvelling at the sea views. This vibrant setting contributes to making the Balcon de Europa a destination not only for those in search of scenic beauty, but also for those who wish to immerse themselves in the welcoming atmosphere of coastal life.
It is also a social meeting point, the Balcony of Europe is famous for offering some of the most romantic sunsets in the region.. The warm hues of the sun dipping below the horizon paint an unforgettable visual spectacle. Couples and visitors gather to enjoy this magical moment.making the Balcón de Europa the true heart of Nerja.
2. Nerja Cave
One of the region's most outstanding treasures, the Nerja Caves offer visitors a unique experience that combines natural wonder with ancient history. Discovered in 1959, these caves have revealed impressive geological formations dating back millions of years, presenting a unique experience that combines natural wonder with millennia of history. spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations in vast underground chambers. Located on the outskirts of Nerja, the caves have become an unmissable tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Upon entering the Nerja Caves, visitors are immersed in a breathtaking underground world. Stalactites and stalagmites create surreal landscapes that evoke the feeling of being in an underground fairytale. Strategic lighting highlights the beauty of these rock formations, creating a magical atmosphere as visitors explore the various rooms and galleries.
One of the highlights of the Nerja Caves is the "Sala del Ballet", where a series of stalactites and stalagmites resemble a graceful set of ballerinas. This space is a testament to the incredible diversity of forms that nature has created over the centuries. Guided tours offer detailed information about the geological formation of the caves, as well as their role in the history of the region.
In addition to the geological wonders, the Nerja Caves have revealed evidence of human occupation dating back to prehistoric times. Archaeologists have uncovered cave paintings and ancient artefacts, providing a fascinating insight into life in ancient times. This makes the caves a site of archaeological importance, shedding light on the evolution of the region over the centuries.
3. Burriana Beach
The beach of Burriana, Nerja's coastal jewel, is a is noted for its long stretch of fine sand and crystal-clear waters.It offers an idyllic setting for those seeking relaxation under the warm Mediterranean sun. This beach, awarded the Blue Flag in recognition of its cleanliness and quality services.has become a popular retreat for sun and sea lovers.
The Blue Flag awarded to Burriana beach not only underlines the purity of its waters, but also the meticulous attention paid to maintaining high environmental and safety standards. The facilities available on the beach, such as showers, umbrellas and sun loungers, contribute to the comfort of visitors, allowing them to fully enjoy their time by the sea.
What makes the beach of Burriana even more special is its wide range of water activities. From exciting water sports to relaxing kayaking, this beach offers opportunities to suit all tastes and levels of adventure. Visitors can explore the crystal clear waters in a fun and active way, adding a dynamic dimension to their beach experience.
The promenade The beach is dotted with beach bars and restaurants offering the best of the local gastronomy. Tasting fresh seafood, paella and other Mediterranean delicacies overlooking the sea is an unrivalled culinary experience. The lively atmosphere of these places adds a festive touch to the surroundings, creating a holiday feeling that perfectly complements the beach atmosphere.
In addition to its daytime charms, Burriana beach comes alive in the afternoon and evening. The bars and venues along the coast offer live entertainment, music and occasionally special events. Burriana thus becomes a place where fun and relaxation continue long after the sun has set.
4. The Old Bridge
A silent witness to local history, the Old Bridge of Nerja is a structure that has bravely stood the test of time. First built in 1860, this bridge has faced considerable challenges, being destroyed twice by floods before being rebuilt for the last time in 1979. Its longevity and ability to overcome adversity make it a fascinating element of Nerja's history.
Crossing the Chillar River By the Old Bridge, visitors are immersed in a journey through time. The weathered stones tell stories of times past and the scars of previous floods add a unique character to this structure. Views of the river and its surroundings offer a picturesque glimpse of the natural beauty that surrounds Nerja, creating an enchanting and nostalgic atmosphere.
Located at the entrance to the town for those arriving from the N-340 coastal road, the Puente Viejo becomes the welcoming gateway to Nerja. Its presence adds a touch of authenticity to the arrival into town, reminding visitors of the rich history that lies in every stone along the way.
In spite of the adversities suffered, the Puente Viejo has been meticulously restored, preserving its original design and historical significance. Each arch and stone tells a story of resilience and perseverance, making it a symbol of the strength of the community of Nerja.
This bridge is not just a functional crossing over the river Chillar; it is a tangible connection to Nerja's past. Those who cross it can appreciate the architectural skill of the era in which it was built and reflect on the vicissitudes it has faced over the years.
- You may be interested in how to get to the river Chillar to do one of the most famous water routes in Malaga.
5. Old Town of Nerja and its cobbled streets
Delve into the authentic essence of the Old Town of Nerja, where you will find narrow cobbled streets immerse you in historic charm. This picturesque corner of the town invites you to explore a labyrinth of alleyways that reveal the authenticity and unique character of Nerja. The cobbled streets, worn by time, guide you through an authentic experience, where you will find yourself in a every step tells a story rich in culture and tradition.
The Hermitage SquareThe square, a focal point in the Old Town, becomes a charming setting where you can enjoy authentic Spanish life in the open air. The cafés and bars surrounding the square offer the opportunity to savour a coffee or a refreshing drink while watching the daily life unfold around you. This square becomes a lively space where locals and visitors mingle, creating a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere.
Exploring the Old Town of Nerja is like immersing yourself in a journey back in time, discovering boutique shops, traditional bodegas and local restaurants offering the best of authentic Spanish gastronomy. Local shops display unique handicrafts and regional products, offering visitors the opportunity to take away an authentic souvenir of their Nerja experience.
Every corner of the Old Town tells a story, from the ancient facades to the charming squares. The well-preserved buildings and architectural structures add a touch of nostalgia to the experience, transporting you back in time as you stroll through the cobbled streets.
In this palpable heart of Nerja's culture, the Old Town becomes a place where history and everyday life converge. Local festivities, cultural events and the hospitality of the local residents contribute to making this corner of Nerja a unique and unforgettable destination for those seeking to explore the authenticity and cultural richness of the town.
6. El Salvador Church
Delve into the rich cultural heritage of Nerja by exploring the magnificent El Salvador Church, a architectural jewel dating back to the 17th century. Its impressive façade, characteristic of the Andalusian Baroque style, welcomes you with ornamental details that bear witness to the artistic splendour of the period.
Once inside the Iglesia El Salvador, visitors are greeted by a serene ambience and an atmosphere of devotion. The interior architecture reflects the grandeur of the baroque period, with intricate detailing in every corner. Ornate arches, carved columns and coffered vaults create an impressive setting that transports visitors back in time.
The interior of the church houses a treasure trove of sacred artworks that narrate the rich religious history of the region. Meticulously preserved frescoes, masterfully carved sculptures and carefully placed decorative elements provide a unique visual and spiritual experience. Each piece tells its own story, contributing to an understanding of the faith and devotion that has endured over the centuries.
The frescoes that adorn the walls of El Salvador Church are true masterpieces depicting biblical and religious scenes. The careful execution of these wall paintings transports visitors to a time when art and religion were deeply and meaningfully intertwined.
The sculptures in the church, whether altarpieces or devotional images, reflect the skill of the artists of the time. Every detail, from the facial expressions to the texture of the clothing, contributes to the expression of spirituality and devotion.
7. Ermita Square
The Plaza de la Ermita stands as the vibrant epicentre of social life in Nerja, offering a lively experience that encapsulates the spirit of the town. Surrounded by charming open-air bars and restaurants, this square becomes a meeting point where the local community and visitors congregate to enjoy Nerja's rich urban life.
The atmosphere in the Plaza de la Ermita is effervescent and welcoming. The surrounding bars and restaurants offer a variety of local dining options, from traditional tapas to more elaborate dishes. It is the perfect place to sample authentic Nerjeño cuisine, where enticing aromas and intense flavours merge to create an unforgettable dining experience.
This square becomes an active scene both during the day and at night. During the day, visitors can enjoy the hustle and bustle of local life while sipping a refreshing drink or sampling delicious tapas on the outdoor terraces. At night, the Plaza de la Ermita is illuminated by the soft light of the street lamps, creating a romantic and festive atmosphere.
The Plaza de la Ermita is not only a place to enjoy the local gastronomy, with the Cafeteria Restaurant La Ermitabut also a starting point to explore the cultural and social life of Nerja. Local events, live music and festivities can be found in this lively space, giving visitors the opportunity to further immerse themselves in the town's rich cultural scene.
This square is also an excellent place to socialise and immerse yourself in the hospitality of Nerja. Locals and visitors alike engage in lively conversation, creating a sense of community that characterises life in this charming seaside town.
8. Museum of Nerja
Nerja's rich history and culture by exploring the fascinating Museo de Nerja, an essential stop for those wishing to learn more about the evolution of this charming town. This museum offers a window into the past through archaeological artefacts, informative displays and captivating replicas of paintings from the famous Nerja Cave.
One of the highlights of the Nerja Museum are the reproductions of the paintings of the Nerja Cave, a world-renowned archaeological treasure. These replicas allow visitors to appreciate the incredible wealth of artistic and prehistoric depictions found in the original cave. It is a virtual journey through history that offers a unique insight into the life and culture of the prehistoric inhabitants of the region.
In addition to replicas of the Nerja Cave, the museum exhibits a variety of artefacts that illustrate the evolution of the region over time. From decorative ceramics to tools and everyday objects, each piece tells a story about life in Nerja at different times. These artefacts offer a detailed insight into how the town has evolved and how its inhabitants have left their mark over the centuries.
The Nerja Museum also highlights pieces from the Iberian and Phoenician cultures, providing a comprehensive insight into local history. These archaeological exhibits offer a direct connection to the ancient civilisations that left an indelible mark on the region, adding layers of meaning to Nerja's history.
Informative exhibits complement the experience, providing detailed contexts and narratives that guide visitors along their journey through the museum. From prehistory to ancient cultures, these exhibitions provide an in-depth understanding of the historical and cultural evolution of Nerja.
9. The Verano Azul park next to the Barco del Chanquete (Chanquete Boat).
Verano Azul Park and Chanquete's Boat are two nostalgic gems in Nerja that transport visitors back to the golden age of Spanish television, recalling the unforgettable "Verano Azul" series that captivated audiences in the 1980s. Located on the beach of La Torrecilla, the Verano Azul Park is more than just a recreational space: it is a tribute to the series and the endearing character of Chanquete, the sailor who left an indelible mark on the memory of viewers.
This park is not only a green space for recreation, but a living tribute to pop culture and the legacy of "Blue Summer". Visitors can enjoy a unique experience as they stroll through the park, discovering decorative elements that evoke the essence of the series. From thematic details to visual references, Verano Azul Park celebrates the special connection between Nerja and this iconic TV production.
The Chanquete Boat, a faithful replica of the boat that appeared in the series, becomes the focal point of the park. This iconic boat is more than a visual attraction; it is a tangible symbol of the lasting influence of "Verano Azul" on Nerja's culture and identity. Visitors have the opportunity to explore the boat, reliving iconic moments from the series and immersing themselves in the nostalgia of a unique television era.
The presence of Chanquete's Boat in Verano Azul Park creates a magical atmosphere that appeals to both fans of the series and those looking to experience the local culture of Nerja. This corner is a testament to how television fiction can leave an indelible mark on a community, becoming an integral part of its identity and heritage.
10. Cliffs of Maro
The Cliffs of Maro, located just 4 km from Nerja, are an ideal place to enjoy the natural wonder that astounds with its imposing presence and rugged beauty. These limestone cliffs, listed as a Nature Reserve, rise majestically from the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean, creating a spectacular landscape that captivates all who are fortunate enough to behold it.
The declaration of Nature Reserve highlights the importance and the need to conserve this unique natural treasure. The cliffs of Maro offer a unique experience both for those who enjoy the view from the sea and for those who choose to explore the nearby trails on foot. Access to this geological wonder allows visitors to immerse themselves in an environment that has stood the test of time, with rock formations that tell the geological story of the region.
What adds even more intrigue to the unspoilt coastline of the Maro Cliffs are the unique sea caves and rock formations found along the coastline. These enclaves offer a fascinating glimpse into marine geology, revealing how the action of water has sculpted and shaped these structures over the centuries. The possibility of exploring these caves, either from the sea or via dedicated trails, adds an adventurous dimension to the visit.
In addition to their geological value, the Maro Cliffs also play a crucial role as a refuge for various species of sea birds. Visitors can delight in observing these birds, which find in these cliffs a favourable environment for nesting and feeding. This ecological aspect highlights the importance of the conservation of these natural spaces and underlines the vital connection between flora, fauna and the marine environment.
Excursions to Nerja from Malaga
If you want to discover the underground wonders in the Nerja Caves, admire the views from the Balcon de Europa and enjoy Nerja for a day. Don't miss the Nerja and Frigiliana day trip from Malaga:
If you are thinking of exploring the province of Malaga, with Visitanddo.com you can do different things to get to know it. bus excursions to explore a variety of fascinating destinations. Enjoy the luxury of Marbella's beaches. Explore the rich history of Ronda with its New Bridge. Take one of Malaga's most famous nature trails: the Camino del Rey. Discover all the options below:
Nerja is a destination that harmoniously combines history, culture and natural beauty. Whether exploring its fascinating caves, relaxing on its beaches or strolling through its charming streets, every corner of Nerja offers a unique experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.