Nerja boasts the most spectacular coastal landscape in the region of Axarquía. On the westernmost tip of this municipality, the slopes of the Sierra de Almijara plunge into the sea, creating the Maro-Cerro Gordo cliffs. This natural area has a series of heavenly unspoilt beaches. The coastline is characterised by dark sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. La Caletilla beach and Calahonda beach lie just below the Balcony of Europe, a viewpoint affording breath-taking vistas of the Mediterranean. The Church of El Salvador, the Shrine of Las Angustias and the Águila Aqueduct are three gems in the rich historical heritage of this travel destination. The main tourist attraction, however, is the Cave of Nerja.
Cave of Nerja
At the foot of the Sierra de Almijara lies the Cave of Nerja. Discovered in 1959 and designated as a National Historical and Artistic Monument, this cave is known as the Prehistoric Cathedral for the archaeological remains found inside. It covers 4,823m, a third of which are galleries open to the public.
The tour of the cave goes through a series of galleries, affording views of the speleothems that characterise the interior landscape of this amazing karst formation. They include the thickest cave column on Earth, formed by a combination of stalagmites and stalactites. Guided spelunking tours are available. Also, the Cave of Nerja is the venue of a widely acclaimed international festival.
Balcony of Europe
The Balcony of Europe lies at the far end of a palm-lined avenue. It is a viewpoint around a circular square that seems to be floating above the sea. It occupies the site where the Low Castle of Nerja used to be; the castle was destroyed during the Spanish War of Independence. A series of cannons stand as a reminder of the site’s military past.
Church of El Salvador
This church was built in the sixteenth century and renovated later. It has a nave and two aisles, and a Mudejar truss. The façade has a square belfry tower. The treasures inside include eighteenth-century frescoes by the School of Granada and a mural of the Annunciation by Francisco Hernández.
This aqueduct was raised in the nineteenth century over the river Maro to supply a sugar mill with water. It has four brick arch tiers and a niche bearing the inscription ‘Pure and clean conception’.
Shrine of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias
The Baroque Shrine of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias houses an image of Nerja’s Patroness. It has a single nave, crowned by a barrel vault. The dome shows eighteenth-century paintings from the School of Granada.
Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas
In the village of Maro there is the Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas. Finished in the seventeenth century, it has a single nave and a wooden truss. The main exterior feature is the tower, crowned by a pyramidal capital and a belfry.
Nerja has a 16km coastline divided into 14 beaches. Burriana, Playazo, Calahonda and Torrecilla are the most popular. They offer all kinds of services and facilities. There are many stunningly beautiful unspoilt coves in the area.
Verano Azul Park
This theme park is based on the popular TV show Verano Azul, shot in Nerja in the 1980s. Tourists filled with nostalgia can take a picture of La Dorada, the ship where the beloved Chanquete used to live.