Guide to Nerja

This post may contain affiliate links. See About Us for more information.

A charming beach town on the coast of Andalucia, Nerja is popular with expats and tourists and has a quaint feel.

The Balcón de Europa and the seafront promenade have fantastic views over the sparkling sea. If you’d like to take a dip, head down the staircases to small sandy beaches and coves.

Visitors guide to Nerja: sea views, beaches, caves and tapas

Nerja is also known for its caves and paleolithic paintings. You can visit the caves by car or bus.

The Costa del Sol is a lovely place to relax and get away from the bustle of every day life. But it is not just beach resorts and sunburned tourists. The towns are also full of local charm. I happened to visit Nerja during their spring festival of San Isidro. This holiday is when farmers give thanks and ask for blessings in the coming season.

Visitors guide to Nerja: festival of San Ignacio

There are riders on horseback, carriages pulled by horses, and many trailers pulled by tractors filled with  partying people dressed in beautiful outfits. Revelers and farmers come from all around to parade through town culminating in an all night party up at the caves. It is a sight to see and made me wonder, what was this festival like 50 years ago?

Visitors guide to Nerja: festival of San Ignacio

Visitors guide to Nerja: festival of San Ignacio

Andalucia is the capital of festivals, so this was only one of many that takes place throughout the year.

Nerja Bars & Restaurants

Nerja has many cafes and restaurants that serve tourists and locals alike. Due to the large numbers of tourists from countries like England and Germany you’ll find spots serving fish and chips, Indian curry and flammkuchen. Here are a few spots you might like to check out:

  • Bar Dolores El Chispa for seafood and grilled fish
  • La Piqueta is a popular tapas bar
  • Taberna de Pepe serves hearty food in large portions
  • La Marina Marisqueria is the place to go for seafood tapas
  • Mo Gastrotapas has tapas with a creative twist
  • Bar El Pulguilla is popular for paella and seafood
  • Puerta del Mar serves fresh seafood with a view


Visitors guide to Nerja: beach

Where to stay in Nerja? There are plenty of options! You’ll find a huge range of hotels and self-catering apartments in this popular tourist town. Typically prices get a bit lower as you head inland away from the beach.

Probably the most famous places to stay in Nerja are the Hotel Balcon de Europa on a clifftop overlooking the sea and the Parador de Nerja located at Burriana Beach. If you’d like to stay in an apartment or Airbnb in Nerja, check out some of our favorites here.


Search here for hotel rooms and apartments in Nerja. I like to compare prices using HotelsCombined.

Visitors guide to Nerja: sea views, beaches, caves and tapas

Getting to Nerja & Getting Around

Nerja is easily reached from nearby cities in Andalucia including Malaga, Cordoba and Granada. If you are coming from overseas you can fly into Malaga and catch the ALSA bus to Nerja. You can also catch ALSA buses from Cordoba or Granada.

Nerja is a small town but does have a rather uphill climb away from the beach. You can catch the local city buses if you prefer not to walk in the summer sun. These buses also will take you to the caves. You can find local Nerja bus timetables here.

If you tire of sunbathing on the beach, Nerja is perfectly situated to explore the Costa del Sol and Andalusia. You can get around using ALSA bus or get to even more gems if you have your own rental car. Explore the coast towards Malaga or in the other direction toward Almeria. Head inland to Jaen or Granada.

Check here to find the best prices for rental cars around Spain:

Search for rental cars in southern Spain

Enjoy your visit to lovely Nerja!


Visitors guide to Nerja: sea views, beaches, caves and tapas