One-day trip: what to see in Nerja, Malaga

19 May
2016
Last update: 27 March, 2019

Are you wondering what to see in Nerja in one day?

Keep reading, and find it out!

It is no wonder that Nerja has been recently declared the most charming coastal town of Spain. Despite being relatively small, its 22000 inhabitants can brag about crystal-clear waters, 16km-worth of sandy beaches, and many other activities that make Nerja a must-see if you are on the East side of the province of Malaga.

You can discover what to see in Nerja in just one day. Take a look at some of the information you may be interested in if you are planning a one-day trip to Nerja.

Balcón de Europa

Balcony of Europe in Nerja

First of all, you must stop by the most famous site in Nerja, the spectacular Balcón de Europa (the Spanish for Balcony of Europe). The name refers to an episode whose protagonist was king Alfonso XII. After an earthquake destroyed the town in 1884, the king reached Nerja in order to see the disasters provoked.

As soon as he watched out of the rocky promontory where a 9th-century Moorish fort was situated, he exclaimed: “This is the Balcony of Europe”. In fact, from this point, you can enjoy some of the most spectacular views over the surrounding area of Nerja. You can either spot the mountains of the Sierra Almijara behind you, or some of the best beaches in Malaga, where tourists from all over the world sunbathe in the Andalusian sun rays.

The promenade and the area that surround the Balcón de Europa are completely pedestrian and are provided with plenty of bars and restaurants that become especially lively at night.

What you can’t miss visiting while here, are the statue of Alfonso XII, the 1505 church of El Salvador, which used to be the Guards Tower, some picturesque fire pieces and a sculpture to commemorate the discovery of the Caves of Nerja. They say that if you stand here and wish for something that isn’t about money, your dream will come true.

Caves of Nerja

Caves of Nerja

During your one-day trip to Nerja, you must find time to visit the Prehistoric Cathedral, as the majestic caves of Nerja are also known. Situated 3 km north of town, this 5-million-year-old cave was home to Stone Age hunters, and nowadays presents the tallest stalactites and stalagmites formations in the world.

The most impressive one is undoubtedly the 32-meter-high central column in the “Cataclysm Hall”, which has been holding the Guinness World Record since 1989. Discovered in 1959, it has been declared Historic and Archaeological Monument, also thanks to the plenty of cave paintings, which date back to the Prehistory.

In July, the Festival Cueva de Nerja takes place in the Waterfall Hall. Here, Spanish and international ballet and music stars perform in a magic surrounding, giving birth to one of the most spectacular events in the world.

If you fancy visiting it, remember to take a jumper or a jacket with you, since the temperature is usually lower than on the outside. Also, it is not advisable to visit the Caves of Nerja if you suffer from claustrophobia, and children must be accompanied by adults, for the route is composed of steps, slopes, and bridges. Adults pay 10€, children between 6 and 12 pay 6€, and children younger than 6 are given free entries.

Nerja Museum

If you are a history lover, this is the right place to be! Discover the history and culture of Nerja from the Paleolithic times to the 60s, in just one hour. The visit to the museum may also be combined with the visit to the Caves of Nerja (11€ the two of them). This way, you can hit two targets with one shot!

The Museum is open:

  • September to June, 10 am – 2 pm and 4 pm – 6.30 pm (closed January 1st and May 15th)
  • July, August and Holy Week, 10 am – 2 pm and 4 pm – 8 pm

Free access is available for all the visitors on

  • February 28th, Day of Andalucia
  • May 18th, International Day of Museums
  • September 27th, International Day of Tourism

When should I go for a one-day trip to Nerja?

Promenade along the Balcony of Europe

The town of Nerja is particularly crowded from July to September, especially due to the festivities that take place during those months. If you want to enjoy the town at its finest, go on June 23rd, when the Noche de San Juan is celebrated. People gather on the beaches of Nerja, barbequing and partying until dawn.

You can also visit Nerja on July 16th, during the Virgen del Carmen celebration. During the fishers’ feast day, the image of the Virgin is carried in fishing boats on the sea. Moreover, the Fair of Nerja takes place during the second week of  October, from Thursday to Monday.

How can I go for a one-day trip to Nerja?

You can easily reach the town of Nerja by bus. The bus company ALSA provides daily runs at low fares from the cities of Malaga (less than 2 hours), Marbella, Antequera, Almeria and Granada. If you prefer to go by car, you can park in the underground car park in Plaza de España.

Tourist office in Nerja

The tourist office of Nerja is situated in calle Carmen 1, on the ground floor of the town hall, right next to the Paseo Balcón de Europa.

Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday, 10 am – 2 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 10 am – 1.45 pm

You can ask there if you have any doubt since Spanish, English, French, and German are spoken.

Places to stay in Nerja

Choose among some of the best holiday homes in the town of Nerja, so that you won’t have to worry about accommodation during your one-day trip to Nerja.

Miss nothing more thanks to this guide about what to see in Nerja in one day!

If you like this article, don’t forget to check what to see in Ronda in one day, for there are more information to come! Do you think something else needs to be added? Leave us a comment!

One-day trip: what to see in Nerja, Malaga is an article that talks about City Guide in Malaga
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  • Great post on places to visit in Nerja. Of course, if you are a beach lover you must visit the beautiful Burriana Beach! There’s a great restaurant called Ayo’s that sells freshly cooked paella for around 6 euros. The town of Nerja is quaint with its whitewashed streets and shops. We love Nerja and think everyone should visit at least once!

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