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Nerja Holidays

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The jewel of the Costa del Sol comes up trumps with a choice of beaches and some incredible sights.

The balcony of Europe

Nerja is most famous for the Balcón de Europa, a clifftop promenade with views across the Med. It’s lined with cafés and restaurants, and also plays host to festivals and shows. From up here, you can see along the town’s handful of sandy coves and out to the towering Sierra Almijara mountains nearby.

Beach days, old town nights

Sandy beaches run along the town. There’s the main El Playazo beach where you’re sure to find a spot, and a trio of small ones to the east that are great for snorkelling. A short walk from the water is the quaint old town, where traditional Andalucian life is on show, complete with narrow streets and whitewashed houses.

Exploring Andalucia

You’re in a great spot to see some of Andalucia’s most famous cities and sights. It’s around about an hour’s drive to the beautiful city of Malaga, as well as to the historic town of Granada, known for its Moorish architecture. Further afield – 2 hours’ drive – is Ronda, a striking town that spans across the El Tajo canyon.

Insider Tip

Seeing the town’s 19th-century aqueduct is easy. There’s a small layby off the N-340 where you can park your car and get a terrific view.

Best beaches

Head to the longest beach in town, El Playazo, which stretches for nearly 2 kilometres and is lined with beach bars. La Caletilla is nearest the town centre, with sunloungers and pedalos to rent. Head to the trio of Calahonda, Chorillo and Carabeo – the 3 Cs – for some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving in the area.

Top sights

Take in the Mediterranean and Sierra Almijara mountains from the Balcón de Europa – it’s a clifftop promenade with a large round balcony at the cliff’s edge. See paintings from 20,000 years ago at the Nerja caves, 10 minutes’ drive away. Or glimpse the town’s famous 19th-century aqueduct a short drive out of town.

Out and about

Explore the green Sierra Almijara mountains nearby. Hike along signed trails, or hire a mountain bike instead. Take a 4x4 jeep tour to get deeper into the mountains. Go diving at a trio of tucked-away beaches to the east of town. Or stay in the old town and take a horse-drawn carriage through the most romantic spots.

Eating and drinking

Enjoy dinner and a sea view at the restaurants along the Balcón de Europa. The restaurant underneath the balcony itself is the pick of the bunch. Head to the old town for Mexican at Cielito Lindo, or seafood at La Capilla del Mar. For a romantic night out, treat yourselves to fine dining at the Oliva restaurant.


Head to the Tuesday market in the north of town for clothes, accessories and other little keepsakes. On Sunday, the market is open again – it’s more of a car boot sale and a good chance to pick up a bargain. Get clothes, jewellery and books at town centre shops, and stock up on the essentials at the supermarkets.


Enjoy a great night out at the Plaza Tutti Frutti, home to over 25 bars and clubs. The square is car-free, so parties are free to spill outside. Try out Theba’s bar, where classic pop is the order of the day. Enjoy a concert on the Balcón de Europa, or time your visit to be at one of the big annual fiestas held on this clifftop promenade.

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Where is it?

Nerja is a town in the Costa del Sol, the sun-soaked region in southern Spain. Malaga Airport is an hour’s drive along the coast, with views out the window of the Mediterranean sea. The city of Malaga itself is a little closer – about 45 minutes in the car.

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