Nerja (pronounced 'Ner-ha'), which gives the impression of being a small 'comfortable' resort, is on the coast about 50 kilometres east from Málaga. This town marks the eastern end of Málaga's Costa del Sol. Once this was a sleepy fishing village, but now the town has a population of over 22,000.
Nerja boasts 16 kilometres of beaches with beautiful fine sand next to sparkling clear water. All major water sports are available here, including water skiing, scuba diving and sailing.
Flanked in the background by a dramatic mountain range, Sierra Almijara, to the east, the town has, avoided being developed into yet another high-rise hotel resort. The old quarter of the town is still basically unchanged with narrow, winding streets, whitewashed houses with wrought iron terraces overflowing with geraniums.
In the heart of Nerja is its spectacular 'Balcón de Europa' (Balcony of Europe), a magnificent promenade along the edge of a towering cliff, once the site of the great Moorish castle, with sweeping panoramic views of the Mediterranean with small coves and beaches below.
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes here to choose from, and the visitor can hire a horse-drawn carriage to explore the most romantic corners of the town, and you can stroll through the beautiful Gardens of Capistrano Playa, which lead down to Burriana Beach.
Not to go unmentioned is Nerja's most spectacular attraction, its fascinating caves, located just three kilometres from the centre of town. They include archaeological treasures such as paintings over 20,000 years old and other pre-historic remains - currently examinations are trying to prove they are over 45,000 years old and the oldest known in the world. One of the enormous natural caverns has been transformed into a concert hall, where many performances are staged during the summer, and another is said to be big enough to hold a small cathedral. The cave is open to the puplic, and although enormous, is said to be only one third of the entire cave system. A visit to these caves is a must. The Eagle Aquaduct at Nerja which was built to supply water to the sugar plantations is also well worth a visit.
Nerja is just 50 km from Málaga and via the new motorway, takes less than one hour to drive.