Nerja Caves

Nerja Caves

The Caves of Nerja are a fascinating natural attraction discovered in 1959 by five young people while exploring a small cave. After this discovery, the caves gained notoriety and began their restoration work until, in 1960, they were opened to the public, transforming Nerja from an agricultural and fishing village into a popular tourist destination.

Known for their impressive stalactites and stalagmites, the caves have had multiple uses throughout history, from shelter for the area’s first inhabitants, to storage for the Moors, or as a hideout during the Civil War.

Furthermore, they have revealed several archaeological findings, including some of the oldest cave paintings in the world, making them a site of great historical and cultural importance.

If you’re looking for a complete experience in Nerja and plan to explore the region, consider renting convertible cars at Malaga Airport. Travelling in a convertible will give you the freedom to enjoy the beautiful Mediterranean landscape at your own pace, making your trip to the Caves of Nerja even more memorable.

History of the Caves of Nerja

The Nerja Caves, inhabited for approximately 35,000 years, have played a crucial role in Prehistory.

Archaeological research shows that these caves were more than simple shelters: they served as homes, resting places, and spaces for daily activities. Additionally, cave art and tombs were discovered in the deeper areas, indicating that these parts of the caves held ceremonial or funerary significance.

Impressive stalactites of the Nerja Caves, millions of years old
Impressive stalactites of the Nerja Caves, millions of years old | costasunshine.com

The varied findings inside the caves, such as bone and stone tools, personal ornaments, and food remains, offer a clear insight into the daily life of their ancient inhabitants. These discoveries evidence the rich and diverse history of the Caves of Nerja over millennia.

Guide to Visiting the Caves of Nerja

Visiting the Caves of Nerja is a unique experience, and to make the most of it, here is a practical guide.

Useful Information

  • Opening Hours:
    • General period: from 9:30 to 16:30 (Last entry at 15:30).
    • Christmas and public holidays: from 9:30 to 17:30 (Last entry at 16:30).
    • Summer and Easter: from 9:30 to 19:00 (Last entry at 18:00)
  • Price: from 15.50 euros
  • Location: Ctra. de Maro, s/n Maro, Nerja.
  • Website:https://cuevadenerja.es/en/

Cataclysm Hall

This hall is one of the most impressive areas of the Caves and is famous for its spectacular central column, one of the largest in the world, formed by the union of a stalactite and a stalagmite.

The largest stalagmites in the world, in the Nerja Caves
The largest stalagmites in the world, in the Nerja Caves | areacostadelsol.com

This hall gets its name due to an ancient collapse that contributed to its formation, showcasing the dynamics and power of geological processes over time.

Its acoustics are exceptional, making it the perfect place for cultural events and concerts.

Cave Paintings

The cave paintings in the Caves of Nerja are an archaeological treasure of great importance, representing one of the earliest forms of artistic expression and graphic communication of humanity.

These prehistoric works, dating back more than 42,000 years, include over 50 figurative representations of animals and graphic signs, mainly made with red and black pigments.

Cave paintings of the Nerja Caves with more than 42000 years old
Cave paintings of the Nerja Caves with more than 42000 years old | juancharro.blogspot.com

These drawings offer a unique perspective on ancient cultures and their rituals, especially funerary ones.

Although not accessible to the public during cave visits due to their fragility, they can be learned about through recreations in the Virtual Reality Room.

Nerja Museum

The Nerja Caves Museum is an educational and cultural center ideal for learning more about this famous site. It offers a wide range of exhibitions on the history and various archaeological discoveries of the caves, to help visitors understand how they have been used throughout different historical periods.

Interior of the Nerja museum with dim lighting and red pedestals displaying artefacts
Interior of the Nerja museum with dim lighting and red pedestals | malaga.es

It uses interactive and multimedia technology to present information in an attractive way and features reproductions and detailed explanations of the cave paintings found in the caves, which, as we have mentioned in the previous section, are inaccessible during the visit.

Interesting Facts

  • Hours: July and August from Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00. Rest of the year from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00.
  • Price: from 15.50 euros
  • Location: Plaza de España, 4, Nerja.

Virtual Reality Space

The Virtual Reality Room at the Nerja Caves offers a novel and educational way to experience parts of the caves not available on the regular tour.

By using virtual reality, this room allows visitors to get a close look at the cave art, thus providing a detailed view of important elements of the caves. This immersive experience helps to better understand the history and archaeology of the caves, without compromising their preservation.

What to Keep in Mind Before Visiting the Nerja Caves?

Before visiting the Nerja Caves, there are several important aspects to keep in mind:

  • Choose appropriate clothing. The temperature inside the caves is cooler and more humid than outside, so it is advisable to wear light but warm clothing. In addition, wearing non-slip shoes is essential, as the floors of the Cave can be wet and slippery.
  • If you are traveling with people with limited mobility, it is important to check accessibility options in advance, as some areas may not be accessible to everyone.
  • Purchase your tickets for the Nerja Caves in advance, especially during peak season, to avoid long waits. Tickets are available online at the official Nerja Caves website.
  • If you are looking for a restaurant to eat at the Nerja Caves, there are multiple options available for traditional Spanish cuisine.

Nerja Cave Music Festival

With its unique acoustics and stunning setting, the Nerja Caves have been a spectacular venue for concerts and musical events of various genres, offering an eclectic mix of performances in a magical and natural auditorium.

Orchestra playing at the illuminated Nerja Caves Music Festival, surrounded by stalactites
Orchestra playing at the illuminated Nerja Caves Music Festival, surrounded by stalactites | lainformacion.com

For more information about the program and concerts in 2024 at the Nerja Caves, you can visit the official festival website.

How to Get to the Nerja Caves

How to Get There by Public Transport

From the Malaga Bus Station, you can take a bus to the Nerja Caves and, in 1 hour and 45 minutes, you will arrive at your destination. The price usually ranges between 5 and 7 euros per trip.

How to Get There by Car

To go by car to the Nerja Caves from Malaga, simply take the A-7/E-15 highway towards Almería and exit at 295 towards Nerja/Frigiliana. Follow the signs to the caves. Upon arrival, you can park your car for 2 euros in the compound’s parking lot and leave it there all day while it is open.

Map of the Nerja Caves

In the following map, you will find the exact location of the Nerja Caves to organize your visit.

If you are planning your visit to the Nerja Caves, we recommend considering other sites of great tourist interest such as Frigiliana just 6 kilometers away or some hiking trails from Frigiliana, near the Nerja area.

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