Located approximately 45 minutes east of Malaga, Nerja stands out as the most renowned town in the Axarquía area, offering a distinct atmosphere compared to the bustling western Costa del Sol.
This area attracts visitors seeking a more serene way of life, particularly within the charming whitewashed towns and villages nestled further inland.
Nerja has been a popular tourist destination for many years, blending the allure of traditional Andalusian villages with the captivating ambience of a seaside town. Its narrow cobbled streets and bustling squares add to its unique charm.
The highlight of the historic centre is undoubtedly the famous Balcón de Europa, a spacious outdoor balcony that provides breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the dramatic cliffs cascading into the water.
A popular destination for watersports fans
Continuing along the coastal walkway towards the east, you arrive at the immensely popular Burriana Beach. This vibrant spot is favoured by visitors from northern Europe and offers a variety of bars and restaurants catering to their tastes.
More adventurous souls often flock to this part of the Malaga coastline because here, they can enjoy watersports such as kayaking and paddleboarding, allowing them to explore the picturesque surroundings of the Maro area too.
A significant nearby attraction is the Cuevas de Nerja, a network of caves accidentally discovered in 1959 by five boys exploring underground.
Stretching for nearly five kilometres, a considerable portion of these caves, which were formed approximately five million years ago, is now accessible via interconnected walkways.
These caves are one of Andalucía’s most captivating wonders, adorned with colossal stalactites and stalagmites which make for an amazing spectacle.
The caves also house Neanderthal cave paintings dating back 42,000 years, adding to their historical and archaeological significance.
Each year, the caves also provide a breathtaking backdrop for the renowned international music and dance festival.
Nerja’s development has been influenced by industry, as evident in the remains of a sugar cane factory, a paper mill, and the Águila aqueduct located between Nerja and Maro. These remnants provide a glimpse into the town’s industrial heritage.
Getting to Nerja from Malaga
Reaching Nerja by public transport is convenient, with regular bus services departing from the bus station in Malaga port throughout the day.
The journey typically takes between 45 minutes (direct route) and an hour and a half.
Alternatively, you can drive from Malaga to Nerja in around three-quarters of an hour.
Daryl is the co-founder of Malaga Guru. He is a copywriter, editor and translator who moved to Malaga a decade ago having first fallen in love with the city on his Erasmus year. After working for many years at local expat newspaper SUR in English, Daryl gained expert knowledge in life from the perspective of foreign residents and decided to co-found this site in 2016.