Things to do in Nerja, Malaga

September 3, 2018
frigiliana pueblo bonito blanco malaga spain white village
September is a great month to visit Nerja. The weather in this coastal town in the region of Malaga is still warm enough to go to the beach but not as hot as in summer. On today's post I'm going to tell you which are the best beaches in Nerja, places to eat and stay and we are going to take a tour around one of the most beautiful villages in Spain: Frigiliana.

Nerja is one of the most important tourist spots on the Costa del Sol. It's 50 km from Malaga and has a charming old town with whitewashed houses and narrow streets that makes this place one of the most beautiful in the region. The name “Nerja” comes from the Arabic word “narixa” which means “bountiful spring” referring to the importance -and great amount of- water in the area.

Here are some of our favorite things to do in and around Nerja:

One of the most famous places in Nerja are the Nerja Caves, these prehistoric stalactite and stalagmite caves -where you can also find Paleolithic paintings- were discovered in 1959 by a group of local boys.

The caves open daily from 10am to 1pm and 4 to 6:30pm (until 7:30pm in July and August). Admission is 9€.
nerja malaga parador hotel view andalusia spain
Balcony of Europe vantage point offers a magnificent panoramic view of the entire coastline and is a favorite spot to watch the sun set.balcon europa nerja malaga views spain
nerja malaga spain
Verano Azul is the name of the most popular TV show in the history of Spanish television. It was first broadcast in 1981 and there have been reruns for years. The show tells the adventures of a group of youngsters while on summer vacation in Nerja. La Dorada is the name Chanquete, the most beloved character in the show, gave his boat. The ship no longer exists but there is a replica in the Verano Azul Park where you can find more references to the show.
chanquete nerja malaga

  • Playa de Burriana - Burriana Beach
Burriana is the most famous and biggest beach in Nerja. This beach has the quality flag awarded by the Spanish authorities. It offers a variety of services including watersports, shops, restaurants and bars.
  • Playa El Salón - El Salon Beach
Much smaller than the previous one, it's frequented by the locals.
  • Playa de Calahonda - Calahonda Beach 
It's right next to Balcon de Europa and surrounded by restaurants that look over it from a cliff. Many people go there to take pictures of the peculiar "hippie house" you can see below.
  • Playa de Maro - Maro Beach and the little sister La Caleta de Maro - Maro Cove
Hidden waterfalls, underwater caves and turquoise waters just a few kilometers away in the village of Maro.

nerja beach malaga spain
beach calahonda nerja malaga hippy house spain
One of the most famous places in Nerja is the Eagle Aqueduct. Located just outside the town, this structure was built in the nineteenth century and continues to be used today. In the early days the bridge was used to transport water into a sugar cane factory, today the aqueduct is used for local irrigation.
eagle aqueduct acueducto aguila nerja malaga spain
Our favorite place to hang out and have dinner was the old town. It's full of all sorts of restaurants, bars and traditional ice-cream parlors. Fried fish (pescaito frito) is popular all around Andalusia which is something you absolutely have to try. Other popular dishes we found -and loved- in Nerja were seafood cocktail -with shrimp and avocado- and battered eggplant with honey.
old town nerja malaga spain sunset
sevillano restaurant old town nerja spain malaga
sevillano restaurant old town nerja spain malaga
We stayed at El Parador de Nerja. If you follow the blog you know we are big fans of this state-run hotel chain that often adapts former castles, monasteries and other historical buildings. Read about other Paradores we've been to here.

This 4-star hotel sits on a cliff above the sea on the coast of Malaga which endows it with magnificent views. The pool is surrounded by beautiful gardens with a variety of trees that make up a little botanic garden that ends in a long balcony where you can spend hours looking at the sea. The best part? there's an elevator that takes you from El Parador to Burriana beach. As in any Parador the service is remarkable and the food spectacular.nerja malaga parador hotel andalusia spain
nerja malaga parador hotel andalusia spain
nerja malaga parador hotel view andalusia spain
nerja malaga parador hotel view andalusia spain playa beach burriana
nerja malaga parador hotel menu andalusia spain
I had never heard about Frigiliana until a few weeks ago when I was preparing this trip. Now it's everywhere, even on the news. This little village situated 7 km north of Nerja has quickly become a favorite among tourists in the area. It's one of those Pueblos Mas Bonitos de España (most beautiful villages in Spain) and it's the only one in the region of Malaga in that list. Frigiliana's charm lies in its beautiful streets where you can find white houses with colorful doors and bougainvillaea, closeness to the beach and its location at the foot of a mountain range. The people who live here take good care of the village, walls seem to be recently painted, streets are immaculate, there are beautiful flower pots everywhere and restaurants look like they've been decorated by professionals.

Intersting facts about Frigiliana:
  • One third of its 3000 inhabitants are not Spanish and come from up to 20 different countries.
  • Some of the local products include honey, artisan chocolate, craft beer, mango and avocado.
  • The village is divided in two parts. The  lower section which is newer and the older Mudejar neighborhood, the upper section which is the one you have to visit. 

Best time to visit this picturesque village is between 6-8 pm. If you go earlier you'll probably melt in the heat, if you go later you will have to share the place with many more people. Those visitors go to Frigiliana for the sunset and to have dinner at one of the many lovely restaurants with a view in the village. Many of the restaurants and bars have rooftop terraces overlooking the village and the valley below. Best way to explore the city? Wander the maze of cobblestone streets and find the hidden gems. If you get tired, stop and try one of their craft beers.

How to get there:
You can either drive there or take a bus from Nerja, it's just a 15-minute drive. There are lots of sign so if you are driving, you can't miss it. You have to take road MA-5105 that climbs the mountain and ends up in Frigiliana.frigiliana pueblo bonito blanco malaga spain white village
frigiliana pueblo bonito blanco malaga spain white village
frigiliana pueblo bonito blanco malaga spain white village
frigiliana pueblo bonito blanco malaga spain white village beer cruzcampo
frigiliana pueblo bonito blanco malaga spain white village
frigiliana pueblo bonito blanco malaga spain white village
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  1. Beautiful place and beautiful pictures! Happy Monday xx

  2. Maria | Passion fruit, Paws anSeptember 3, 2018 at 8:10 PM

    You are fabulous at writing these travel guides my dear. I always get inspired and feel excited when I see you have a new post written. Have a great week xx

  3. Lovely place for holiday. Thank your for this tour, I like your photos and text.
    (visit trom Wordless Wednesday)

  4. Thanks so much for sharing these lovely photos at

  5. Seriously gorgeous! Spain is on my bucket list of places to go.

  6. This looks like the perfect place for a couples vacay! I would spend way too much time on the beach.

  7. I have never even heard of this place!!! Goes to show you really do learn something new every day!! It looks absolutely stunning! I can certainly see myself visiting there!!

  8. What a beautiful place Cristina! These are beautiful photos and in essence, captures the personality of this spectacular place! I would love to be there and enjoy these amazing things. Btw, I am just obsessed with OTS top - it's really pretty.

    Maureen |

  9. This place looks beautiful & so charming!! I’ll definitely have to add it to my list of places to go. Love your photos, too :)

  10. I never heard of this place! But it’s the cutest!!! I love that dress too!

  11. wow Nerja looks amazing. Thanks for sharing such beautiful photos with us on your trip! x

  12. All of your posts give me such crazy wanderlust! What a beautiful area of Spain to explore. I appreciate your guidance on the best beaches as this can be hard to choose between when travelling.

  13. So many fun things to do! This place looks beautiful!

  14. What an incredible post about places I've never heard of!! It makes me want to jump on a plane ASAP!!

  15. Well this sounds like the perfect place to visit! I’ve never even heard of it but, wow what a gem!

  16. What an incredible travel destination! I didn't know anything about this city, but now I'm dying to visit!

  17. Living on Cloud NineSeptember 6, 2018 at 3:31 AM

    What fun and what beauty! And so in love with your first outfit! Off the shoulder suits you so well!

  18. This sounds like an amazing place. Especially those caves! I so want to travel over there because you describe them so well!

  19. Que bonita es Nerja. Tengo amigos que la han visitado y han regresado encantados con el lugar y ahora viendo tus fotos, ya lo entiendo.
    Una publicación maravillosa Cristina.

  20. Nerja looks so beautiful! I'd love to go one day


  21. What a charming place, and you have the loveliest photos dear.

    Jessica |

  22. Muchas gracias, Elena! Merece la pena ir, es preciosa :)


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