Nerja is situated on the coast 50 kilometres east of Malaga, in the southeast of Axarquia, on the scenic Route of Sun and Wine, and has a population of 22,000 which increases with tourism during the summer months. It is a very attractive white town that has maintained a great charm despite growing numbers of foreign residents and tourists. The local authority adheres strictly to building regulations and new developments are built to resemble Andalucian villages. The old part of the town, full of interesting shops and tapas bars, dates from the 14th century and has a labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets in typical Moorish style.
The mountains of the Sierra Almijara, which lie to the north of the town, finish abruptly at the Mediterranean in Nerja. The magnificent cliffs form natural coves and bays which stretch for miles along this part of the coast. There are 9 kilometres of well maintained and differing sandy beaches, shared by fishermen and sunbathers.
Size of Municipality: 85 km2
Altitude: 21 m
Distance to Malaga: 50 km
Distance to coast: 0 km
Average sunshine per day: 8.16 hrs
Calahonda Beach, Nerja One of the most popoular spots within the town is the Balcón de Europa, built on the previous site of a 10th century castle, hanging over cliffs and beaches to gain better advantage of spectactular views. High arches and trees shade horses and carts that are transport around the town. Ancient cannons, which once spurned forth pirates and invaders, stand guard and add a touch of history. The parish church of El Salvador, in the same area, is 17th century Baroque-Mudejar which has recently been restored.
East of the Balcon is the little Playa de el Salon, still flanked by fishermen’s cottages, followed by a two kilometre stretch of Torrecillo and Playazo. In the other direction there are the beaches of Chorrillo, Carabeo, Carabeillo and Burriana. On Burriana Beach there are internationally famous fish restaurants that, due to the mild climate, are able to remain open all year. The beautiful Jardines de Capistrano Playa descend to this beach. Throughout the town there are numerous other restaurants that offer a wide variety of international cuisine.
Salon Beach and the Balcon de Europa, Nerja Three kilometres from the town centre are the Nerja caves where skeletal remains and artefacts, dating from 30,000BC to the Bronze Age, were discovered in 1959. Wall paintings inside the caves date from the Palaeolithic and post-Palaeolithic periods. The visitor is able to enter various different chambers including one which houses the world’s widest column as well as very large independant stalactites and stalagmites. Every July a festival of flamenco music and dance is held inside the caves.
Nerja was a Roman settlement known as Detunda. Ruins of Detunda have been found close to Maro just 3 kilometres to the east. The Castulo-Malaca Roman road, which linked the provinces of Jaen and Almeria passed through Nerja and the remains can be seen on the outskirts of the town along with an old Roman bridge. Later, during Moorish occupation, the town was called Narixa, and flourished from agriculture and the silk trade. Nerja also has a history of sugar cane cultivation and the remains of refineries and the amazing intact five-storey Las Aguilas aqueduct built in the 1800s, which carried water to the local Maro sugar factory, can be seen.
Aquaduct The town of Maro is part of the municipality of Nerja, lying 3 kilometres to the east on the coast with a population of 800. The parish church of Señora de las Maravillas and the Sugar Factory are both 18th century. Maro has a small but beautiful beach set in a cove, accessed via a road winding down the cliffs. For anyone interested in snorkelling, the waters off this beach offer one of the better areas in the region with a diversity of sealife.
As well as the town of Maro, hamlets within the municipality of Nerja are: Rio de la Miel, Cantarrijan and Los Cortijillos.
Nerja Popular Fiestas:
Mid January – Fiesta of San Anton
February – Carnival
Early May – Fiesta de la Cruz
Mid May – Romeria
June 23rd – Night of San Juan
Early July – Festival de la Cueva de Nerja
July 16th – Fiesta de Virgen de Carmen
Early September – Feria de Maro
Mid October – Feria de Nerja
October 31st – Chestnut Fair (Maro)
Nerja Useful Numbers:
Ambulance: 952 520 935
Emergency Doctor: 061
Guardia Civil: 952 520 091
Local Police: 952 521 545
Emergency Police: 091
Taxis: 952 520 537
Bus Station: 952 521 504
Tourist Office: 952 521 531
Town Council: 952 520 090 / 952 548 459
Water Supply: 952 520 400
Council website: www.nerja.es
Dutch website: www.nerjanieuws.nl