The enormous prehistoric Nerja Caves (Cuevas de Nerja) boast extensive grottoes, archaeological remains, and the world’s largest column, rising 105 feet (32 meters) up. The cave formations look like organ pipes, and the area’s evidence of human habitation stretches back 25,000 years to the Paleolithic Period. Galleries display artifacts, paintings, and skeletons unearthed since the caves were discovered in 1959.
As one of the most popular historical sites in Spain, a trip to Andalucia wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Nerja Caves. Most travelers explore the caves on a day trip from Malaga or Granada, often combined with a visit to the seaside villages and sandy beaches of the Costa Tropical (Tropical Coast). General admission to the caves includes an audiovisual introduction and a 45-minute audio tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The caves are a must-visit for history buffs and nature lovers.
- Remember to bring a light jacket, as it can be significantly cooler inside the caves.
- Flip-flops are not permitted inside the caves.
- The Nerja Caves are not wheelchair- or stroller-accessible.
How to Get There
The Nerja Caves are just under two miles (three kilometers) east of the Andalucian town of Nerja, which in turn is 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Malaga. Buses run regularly to the caves from Nerja every day except Sunday. If you’re driving, the caves are just off the N-340 coastal road. The hop-on hop-off Cave Train (Cueva Tren) connects the caves with the Nerja Museum, Maro Square, and Parque Verano Azul.
When to Get There
The Nerja Caves are open daily, with the exception of New Year’s Day and Romeria de San Isidro on May 15. Sunday mornings can get busy, as entrance is free for Nerja residents. The natural amphitheater is a memorable venue for the concerts and classical music performances held here over the year. If visiting in July, you might be lucky enough to catch the annual flamenco festival.
Visiting the Nearby Nerja Museum
The Nerja Museum, opened in 2011, recounts the history of Nerja from its earliest cave dwelling Paleolithic residents through the tourist boom of the 1960s. Divided into four themed areas, the museum houses several objects discovered in the Nerja Caves alongside informational panels describing their significance.