Lying just 4km east of the resort, the Caves of Nerja are the town’s main tourist attraction which attract hundreds of thousands of annual visitors. The caves were only discovered in 1959 when a group of boys from the neighbouring village of Maro climbed through a small hole where they were playing. What a shock it must have been to suddenly find themselves staring at one of Europe’s finest cave structures. Although not on public view, cave paintings have been discovered which are believed to be 20,000 years old. In July one of the chambers acts as an auditorium for classical music concerts.
In total the Nerja Caves stretch some 4823 metres in length with a volume of more than 800,000 cubic metres. Only 25% of the total area of the caves is open to the public yet this is more than enough to appreciate the stunning beauty of this geological wonder. As you enter the caves next to the ticket office just walk down the steps to the Sala de Vestibulo then follow the clearly marked and well illuminated route to the Sala de Belen, Sala de la Cascada (where the music festival is held), the Sala de los Fantasmas (look out for weird and wonderful shapes) and finally to the incredible Sala del Cataclismo. This final chamber is is over 100 metres long and 50 metres wide with stalactites coming down from heights of around 30 metres above you. Indeed the longest stalactite ever discovered at 32 metres in length is in this chamber.
Getting To Nerja Caves
If you’re driving just follow the main coast road (Avda Pescia) east out of town until you come to the roundabout just after the sugar mill that you’ll see on your left. The caves are well sign posted from her and there’s plenty parking once you get there. There are plenty buses running along Avenida Pesca to the caves (check latest timetable locally).
Many visitors who have the fitness enjoy the 4km walk to the caves, returning by bus. Just follow Avenida Pesca beyond the entrance to Capistrano Village along the old coast road. Beyond the plastic greenhouses you’ll come to the abandoned San Joaquin sugar mill which dates back to 1884 when it was built to process sugar cane. Beyond the roundabout you’ll also see the Eagle Aqueduct which was built to provide water to the sugar mill. Today local farmers still use it for irrigation but maybe not for long as there are plans to construct a golf course on this terrain.
Please note that the Nerja Caves close at lunchtime all year round from 2pm to 4pm. Unfortunately, I’ve been caught out by this one when visiting with clients!
If you are there between 2pm and 4pm there’s a very nicely located bar/restaurant serving a buffet lunch with an excellent terrace offering stunning views out to sea and towards Nerja.
Morning: 10am to 2pm
Afternoon: 4pm to 6.30pm
In July and August they remain open in the evening until 8pm.
You can find more information at the official Nerja Caves website