7 things you need to know about the Caves of Nerja, Spain

16 Jun
Last update: 25 February, 2020

The stunning Caves of Nerja are a must-see in town. Find out the most useful tips and have your questions answered.

The Cueva de Nerja (Spanish for Caves of Nerja) is a four-km-long, 35 km-wide, two-area cave complex north of Nerja, which you can visit during your getaway to the town. Its history is fascinating, and you will discover an underworld heaven as soon as you reach this magical spot.

The most striking feature of these limestone caves is undoubtedly the world’s longest and largest stalactite, whose 33 metres height and 42×22 feet base are located in the Cataclysm Hall.

World's largest stalactite in the caves of Nerja

Below, you will find the answers to all the questions you might have regarding the Caves of Nerja. In case you want to know more, leave a comment, and we will solve your doubts in a matter of minutes.

1. Who discovered the Caves of Nerja

The Caves of Nerja were casually discovered on January 12th, 1959, by a group of five locals that were on bat hunt and stepped onto the La Mina hole, which gives access to the caves’ chambers. After a panel of experts had determined the value of the discovery, this area got to be shown to the whole world.

However, the Caves of Nerja also comprise the upper and new galleries, which were discovered in 1960 and 1969 respectively and are still closed to the public.

Stone Age hunters’ paintings were also found here, helping the Spanish Government to declare the Caves Patrimonio Histórico Español and Bien de Interés Cultural (Heritage of Cultural Interest) in 1985.

public in the caves of nerja

2. Caves of Nerja tickets and opening hours

It is recommended to book the tickets for the caves of Nerja in advance via the Fundación Cueva de Nerja website and to show up 10 minutes before the scheduled entry. Entries are allowed every 30 minutes.

It is possible to visit the caves of Nerja all year round, except for January 1st and May 15th, which corresponds to Nerja’s Patron Saint day.

  • From September 9th to June 22nd: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
  • Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday, and from June 23rd to September 8th: 9.30 am – 7 pm

3. Caves of Nerja tours

When buying your ticket, you can choose which kind of trip you’d like to take part in. Among these, you will find:

Nerja Cave

Audio-guided tour around the caves (adults €12.75, children aged 6-12 €10.75)

Guided visit

Following a professional guide through the caves. Adults pay €13.75, while children aged 6-12, €11.75

Nerja Museum

The visit to the Museum of Nerja costs €3 for adults and €2 for children aged 6-12. Prices normally vary depending on the season.

Special visits

  • Night: religious silence will accompany your visit when the night falls.
    • Spanish tour: at 7.30 pm (July and August at 9.30 pm)
    • English tour: at 6 pm (July and August at 8 pm)
  • Underground Science: around those areas that are closed to the general public, such as La Torca and La Mina. Fridays at 5.30 pm (July and August at 7.30 pm)
  • Cave Secrets: after the close, a small group of people can discover the secrets of the caves that aren’t shown in the other tours.
    • Spanish tour: from Tuesday to Sunday at 9.30 pm
    • English tour: from Tuesday to Sunday at 8 pm
Museum of Nerja
Museum of Nerja. Photo courtesy of Fundación de Nerja

Remember to wear comfortable shoes, preferably sturdy shoes since the ground is slippery at some points, and bring a jacket, for the temperature are usually lower in the caves.

Keep in mind that the prices displayed are according to online booking.

4. Caves of Nerja concerts

During the summer Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de las Cuevas de Nerja (Spanish for Nerja Caves Music and Dance Festival), concerts and ballets are performed in the caves, especially in an amphitheatre-like chamber.

As of the 2020 edition, no more shows will be held inside the Caves of Nerja, to preserve its state and its surroundings. Festival celebrations will be held in the outdoor auditorium.

The 2020 Festival takes place from June 29th to August 3rd. You can buy tickets online. [to be confirmed]

5. Caves of Nerja APP

In occasion of the 55th anniversary of the discovery of the caves, the Foundation of Caves of Nerja released a free APP for Android and iOS devices where you will find all the information regarding the Caves and direct links to the ticket purchase web page. The APP is available in Spanish, English, French and German.

Caves of Nerja App
Caves of Nerja App 2

6. Where are the Caves of Nerja

The Caves of Nerja are located 3 km north of town, on the outskirts of the precious white village Maro. The exact address is Carretera de Maro, s/n, 29787 Nerja.

They are 5 km far from the worldwide famous Balcón de Europa, a marvellous viewpoint in the historic centre of Nerja.

7. How to get to the Caves of Nerja

You can get to the Caves of Nerja by car, by bus or by taking advantage of the hop-on-hop-off Cueva Tren.

If you choose to go by car, you can take the A7/E15 Autovía del Mediterráneo coastal highway from Malaga to Almeria. The caves lay close to the 295 exit (Cueva de Nerja).

The bus company ALSA also provides frequent daily trips from Malaga to the Caves of Nerja, which cost € 4 to 5, depending on the time you leave.

If you’re already in Nerja, consider getting to the caves by jumping on the picturesque Cueva Tren. This service consists of a hop-on-hop-off small train with Spanish and English audio guides that stops in four emblematic areas of Nerja: the caves, the Chanquete boat (where the famous TV series Verano Azul was filmed), Nerja Museum and Maro square.

The ticket (€12 for adults, €8 for children aged 6 to 12 years, gratis for children younger than six years old) is valid all day long, allowing you to jump on and off the train as many times as you want. As if it weren’t enough, the ticket also includes the visit to the Caves of Nerja (which you will have to book in advance) and the museum.

Places to stay in Nerja

Nerja has so much to see in addition to the Caves that you will need more than one day to discover its surroundings and relish the spectacular crystal-clear water beaches with which it is provided. Therefore, don’t miss out on the opportunity to spend relaxing holidays at one of the best villas in Nerja, where your dreams will come true.

By the time you’ve finished reading this post, the caves of Nerja will have fascinated you. Haven’t they?

Have you ever visited the caves of Nerja? Which is the feature that has grabbed your attention the most? Tell us in the comments below!

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    1. Hi Brian! The Nerja Cave has a left-luggage room where you can leave everything you want to make the visit comfortably (backpacks, suitcases, baby strollers, etc.). Thank you for your comment.