Nerja (Málaga, Andalucía)
What is it?
Nerja is one of the most well-known and loved white villages along Spain’s Costa del Sol coast here in Andalucía. What that means, of course, is that it is a popular tourist attraction and you will often find more foreigners than Spaniards here. Still, it has plenty of Spanish vibes and unique attractions to offer and is totally worth a day—if not longer—visit! Get ready to get lost roaming the lively, winding roads of this town, take in the waves at any of its many beaches, and capture the beautiful view from the famous lookout point El Balcón de Europa.
How to prepare ahead of time: If you are planning to visit the caves—which are approximately 5 million years old so, pretty cool—be sure to check the timetable ahead of time and potentially buy your tickets in advance (especially recommended if you are visiting in high season and/or are hoping to hit other parts of the town that day as the famous cave, or cuevas de Nerja, are located outside of the main part of Nerja). Other than that, there is very little you will need to prepare ahead of time.
How to get there: Car or bus
As with many smaller towns along the coast, arriving by car will give you much more flexibility and less stress as it can be trying to coordinate bus schedules, especially if you are hoping to hit both the caves and town center in one day. Large parking lots are available near the caves and town center so that is not a problem if you’re willing to pay. Street parking exists but is harder to come by on weekends and sunny summer days. If you plan to try your luck in the town center, arrive early!
Pro-Tip: If you do want to make your visit longer than a day but can’t afford the expensive lodging that is typically available in Nerja consider spending the night outside the town center. There are local buses that run regularly up and down the coast or plenty of inland options (better if you have a car).
Recommended time of year to visit: As a beach town, you can imagine how wonderful but also crowded Nerja gets in the summer. In order to enjoy it in its glory without getting too overwhelmed by the throngs of tourists, consider visiting at the very beginning or end of the summer, such as in May and October.