16 Best things to do in Nerja Spain

16 Best things to do in Nerja Spain

Nerja is a coastal town on the Costa del Sol and the perfect base for exploring Andalusia! These are the best things to do in Nerja Spain.

About Nerja

Nerja is one of the most charming and picturesque coastal towns on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. Located between the Sierra de Almijara and the Mediterranean Sea, Nerja offers stunning views of the azure sea and impressive mountain scenery. This lively coastal town is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and historical sites, including the famous caves of Nerja (Cueva de Nerja).

The town has maintained its traditional Andalusian character, with whitewashed houses, narrow streets, and beautiful squares. It is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, yet has maintained its authenticity and charm. The locals are friendly and welcoming and the atmosphere is relaxed and casual.

There are plenty of fun things to do in Nerja, from hiking in the mountains to sunbathing on the beach, from exploring the historical sites to enjoying delicious Andalusian cuisine in the local restaurants. Whether you are looking for a relaxing vacation or adventure and culture, Nerja has something for everyone.

Nerja sights

What to do in Nerja? These are the best things to do and the most beautiful sights.

Balcón de Europa

First on this list is the Balcon de Europa or the Balcony of Europe. It looks like a round balcony and it is a beautiful boardwalk perched atop a cliff on the Mediterranean Sea. The view from here is breathtaking, and it is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll or enjoy a cup of coffee while enjoying the view. There are also plenty of great restaurants and stores nearby if you fancy some shopping or a bite to eat.

The Balcony of Europe in Nerja

Iglesia de El Salvador

Near the Balcony of Europe, you will find the church of El Salvador, the most important church in Nerja. This magnificent church dates from the seventeenth century and has beautiful architecture and works of art. El Salvador church is a great place to soak up some local culture and history, and it’s also a quiet place to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown.

Museo de Nerja

Want to learn more about Nerja’s history and culture? This small, but fun museum, has interesting exhibits ranging from prehistoric times to modern times. Visiting Museo de Nerja is a great way to learn more about this fun coastal town.

Buy tickets for Museo de Nerja here.

Playa de Burriana

One of the most popular beaches in Nerja is Burriana beach, with crystal clear waters and soft sand. It is a great place to sunbathe, swim, have a drink in one of the beach bars or just relax with a good book. This is also one of the best beaches to take your kids to, as there are several playgrounds on the beach.

Playa Burriana in Nerja - Photo via Depositphotos

Playa de Maro

Would you prefer a more quiet beach? Then head to the remote Playa de Maro or Maro Beach. It’s a brisk walk down to the beach, but it’s worth it for the beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere. The beach is surrounded by cliffs, adding to the secluded feel, and the water is perfect for swimming or snorkeling.

Enjoy Spanish cuisine

Nerja is bursting with nice restaurants and most serve typical Spanish dishes. I personally love paella and during my visit to Nerja, I really wanted to taste this delicious Spanish specialty. We ended up on the cozy terrace of Restaurant Bamboo, where we could enjoy a delicious paella overlooking the beach. Highly recommended!

Eating paella on the beach in Nerja

Tip! In the mood for a tasty dessert? Then head to Heladeria La Ibense for some delicious ice cream.

Go kayaking along the cliffs

Do you fancy a sporting activity? If you’re into water sports, you’ll love Nerja! Along the rocky coast of Nerja and Maro are many extraordinary cliffs. The best way to view them is from the water which makes a fun kayaking tour one of the best things to do in Nerja. During this tour, you will also pass by the extraordinary Cascada de Maro, a waterfall that ends in the sea. Very cool to paddle past that!

Book your kayak tour here.

El Acueducto del Águila

One of the most notable structures in the city is El Acueducto del Águila (also known as the eagle aqueduct). This historic aqueduct was built in the nineteenth century and played an important role in the irrigation of Nerja and the surrounding areas. It has four floors and a total of 37 arches. A very impressive sight!

El Acueducto del Águila - via Canva

Wander the narrow streets

Although Nerja can be quite busy and touristy, it also has a really cute old town. Just hit one of those narrow streets and see where you end up. Sometimes you’ll end up finding some really cute stores or extraordinary restaurants when you just wander around.

Take a walk along the Rio Chillar

The Rio Chillar is a small river on the west side of Nerja, and a great place for a nice walk. There are several hiking trails along the river, making it the perfect place to cool off and unwind during hot days. In summer, you can even walk through the river.

Discover Parque Natural de Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama

Do you feel like hiking and discovering the beautiful nature in Andalusia? Parque Natural de Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama is a large natural park north of Nerja. Here you will find many hiking trails, viewpoints, and even some waterfalls.

In this park, you will also find El Cielo, which is one of the highest mountain peaks in the area. The summit is at an altitude of over 1,500 meters and from there – of course – you have a beautiful view of Nerja and the Costa del Sol.

Caves of Nerja

Cuevas de Nerja is the biggest tourist attraction in Nerja and this incredible cave system was only discovered in 1959. These natural caves are a true wonder of nature, with stalactites and stalagmites formed over thousands of years. The caves also contain prehistoric paintings and artifacts, adding to their historical significance.

Visiting the caves of Nerja is really a must if you are in the area. The cave system is (much) bigger than you think and it is an incredible place to walk around.

Buy tickets to the Nerja Caves here.

The Caves of Nerja

Fun day trips from Nerja

Nerja is a perfect base for a fun vacation in Andalusia. You can visit these places very easily on a day trip from Nerja.


Because of its international airport, Malaga is the starting point for many people when they visit Andalusia. The city itself is also a great place to explore. It has a special blend of historic and modern architecture as well as several beautiful beaches.

Visit the 11th-century Moorish fortress of Alcazaba for the best views. Also, wander through Malaga’s impressive cathedral, it’s absolutely gorgeous! If you’re an art lover, make sure to visit the Picasso Museum. This museum, of course, is dedicated to Pablo Picasso, the famous Spanish painter who was born in Malaga.

Malaga is about a 50-minute drive from Nerja, making it a perfect destination for a fun day trip.

Read more: 23 Best things to do in Málaga

Parque de Málaga


The town of Frigiliana is just a 15-minute drive from Nerja and is considered one of the most beautiful places in Spain. The small town is on a hill and all the houses and buildings are white. It’s like being in Greece! It is bursting with historic buildings, cute little squares, and beautiful viewpoints. Frigiliana should really be visited during a vacation in Nerja, it is so beautiful!


World-famous Granada is just over an hour’s drive from Nerja. This is a city you absolutely have to visit once in your life. The city is famous for the Alhambra, a magnificent Moorish palace and fortress that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is also fun to wander around for a few hours in the Albaicin district, an old neighborhood with narrow streets and whitewashed houses. And did you know that in Granada you always get free tapas with your drink?

Read more: What to do in Granada? 16 tips!

View of the Alhambra from Mirador de San Nicolás

Caminito del Rey

Are you adventurous? You can book a fun guided day trip to Caminito del Rey from Nerja. This is one of the scariest hiking trails in the world. You get a harness on and hike along narrow plank paths along the rocks. Exciting, but also an incredibly fun experience!

Book your day trip to Caminito del Rey here.

Book your trip to Andalusia

Would you like to book a trip to Andalusia? That’s a great idea! These are some helpful websites for booking your trip:

🚆 Travel to Spain by train

Spain is very well accessible by train from other European countries. Check Rail Europe for train times and tickets.

🚍 Public Transportation in Spain

Within Spain, it’s very easy to travel by public transport. Check out the Omio website for all the options.

✈️ Plane tickets

Many Spanish cities have international airports. The largest international airports in Andalusia are Malaga Airport and Seville Airport. Check WayAway to find the best deals and get cashback on plane tickets.

🚘 Rental Car

Andalusia is a fantastic region for a fun road trip. Check Rental Cars and Discover Cars to find the best deals on rental cars in Spain.

💊 Travel insurance

Having good travel insurance will give you peace of mind. Check Insubuy (general) or Safetywing (for nomads) to find the best travel insurance that fits your needs.

🎡 Tours and activities

There are a lot of fun tours and activities in the south of Spain. Check Viator and Get Your Guide to find the best guided tours and activities.

Read more about Andalusia & Spain

Are you interested in traveling to southern Spain and would like to read more about it? Get one of these travel guides for more tips and information:

Lonely Planet Andalucia

DK Eyewitness Seville and Andalucia

In addition, you can read much more about traveling to Spain on this website. You might like to read these articles as well:

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The best things to do in Nerja Spain

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As a girl from a small town in the Netherlands, I always dreamed of traveling. I thought it would always be a dream, but nowadays, I travel 6 to 8 months a year and I hike thousands of miles on the most beautiful hiking trails. On this website you can read all about my favorite destinations.

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