Resort guide to Nerja

Situated on the coast 54 kilometres from Malaga Airport Nerja was the first resort east of Malaga to offer Hotels and holiday deals that featured in the brochures of the major U.K. tour operators. With the motorway or Autovía now open right through to Nerja the journey from the airport takes just 40 minutes.

Once a small fishing village perched between the foot of the mountains and the sea the original village has now expanded into a coastal town with a resident population of over 10,000.

Along with fishing, sugar cane production was once the main cornerstone of the local economy. Tourism is now the main source of income but the town has not been turned into a jungle of concrete tower blocks synonymous with other Spanish resorts. It still manages to retain a village feel to it, particularly in the old town where its narrow winding streets have been tastefully redeveloped to include boutiques, shops and restaurants. Even in the more recently developed areas of town the blending of the old with the new has been achieved in a way that seems to retain the overall character of Nerja.

Balcon de Europa, Nerja

At the heart of the old quarter is the famous Balcon de Europa (Balcony of Europe). Situated on the site of a IX century battlement the Balcon promenade was constructed in 1487, the end of which rewards you with spectacular views of the surrounding coastline as well as the scenic backdrop of the Sierra Almijara mountains.

Iglesia El Salvador, Nerja
Adjoining the Balcon de Europa is Plaza del Carmen home to the 17th century church Iglesia El Salvador. Built and later reformed the church displays a mixture of moorish/mudéjar and baroque architectural styles. With a good selection of shady pavement cafes, bars and restaurants Plaza del Carmen is a popular spot to stop for a drink or an ice-cream and watch the world go by.

The town has grown both eastwards and westwards, the western side being flatter and more easily accessible to the old town. To the east is the hilly, almost separate area known as Burriana.

Above Burriana is located the popular Capistrano development. Set well back from the sea and still considered a part of Nerja, Capistrano is more like a quieter satellite village offering lots of Nerja holiday accommodation.


Walking around the streets of Nerja is an easy enough way to see the best of what the town has to offer.

Horse & Carriage at Balcon de Europa, Nerja

However during the summer months you could try taking a ride in one of the popular open top horse drawn carriages. Far and away the most famous of Nerja's sights are the Cuevas de Nerja (or caves of Nerja) located to the east of town near to the village of Maro.

For more information on sightseeing in the region please see our sightseeing page.


The local resident population of Nerja ensure that Fiestas play an important part in family life and the whole town celebrates the annual events such as February carnival, the Romeria de San Isidro held in May and in June the festival of San Juan. The largest fiesta of the year, the Feria , is held each October.

For more information on fiestas in the region please see our fiestas page.


Being a coastal resort the usual selection of water sports and beach activities such as pedaloes and beach volleyball are available. There is even a PADI dive centre located on Burriana Beach.

Sierra Tejeda mountains, Nerja Those looking for the chance to get back to nature are quite well catered for in Nerja. It's situation with a stunning mountain backdrop means that it is very easy to leave the bustle behind and head out one of the many scenic countryside walks available from Nerja.

There are a number of locally escorted treks for all levels of walker and in as little as just 10 minutes you will find yourself among the flora and the fauna of the lower slopes of the Tejeda hills.

Those who like to combine a trip to the countryside with a chance to partake in a little fishing should head for the Lake Viñuela area.

Another popular pastime for getting away from it all is golf and the nearest course, Baviera Golf, is a twenty minute drive away.

For more information on activities and sports in the region please see our activities and sports page.


Nerja offers a good variety of shops catering for both the needs of the tourist as well as the local resident population. You will find a number of large, well stocked supermarkets along with some interesting speciality boutiques.

Nerja hosts two markets, the weekly general market every Tuesday and the flea market every Sunday.

For more information on shopping in the region please see our shopping page.


With 16 kilometres of beaches Nerja offers a great choice to beachgoers and is more than able to cater to the demands of its growing popularity. From quiet sandy coves such as Playa Carabeo to the towns wide main beach Playa Burriana

For more information on beaches in the region please see our beaches page.

Eating and drinking

As you would expect from the most cosmopolitan resort in the area, Nerja has restaurants to suit a wide range of tastes and pockets. Wherever you happen to be in town you are unlikely to be far from at least one restaurant or bar but the areas offering the highest concentration of restaurants are as follows:

The area around c/Gloria running between c/Pintada and c/Christo in the old town is packed with restaurants of many different types.

Plaza de los Cangrejos, Nerja In the area around Plaza Fabrica de Los Cangrejos and c/Mediterráneo running along from the Hotel Monica and into c/Málaga there is a good selection of good value restaurants.

The Paseo Maritimo at Burriana beach has loads of options if you're looking for a beachfront location.

Nerja also offers a good selection of bars and nightlife, mainly centred around the lively Plaza Tutti Frutti, where the bars don't get going much before 12 o'clock but stay open until about 5am, particularly at weekends. If you prefer something a little less lively there are plenty of other bars scattered around the town from the authentic Spanish tapas bars to English and Irish pubs.

For more details on the local restaurants and bar culture including restaurant recommendations and a tapas guide look at our eating and drinking page.