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Nerja Cave; Going underground in the south of Spain

Just to make it clear… no, we are not London gangsters trying to retire to the costa-del-sol, but instead visited the Nerja Caves, whilst on holiday recently, staying about an hour inland, near the town of Alhama de Granada.


Nerja is one of the costal resorts around an hour’s travel East of Malaga, and around an hour south of Granada. It has the usual range of beaches, hotels, bars and so on, but what drew us there was the limestone caves. The Caves of Nerja are a large cave system, stretching approximately 5 km and located right on the coast. The cave system was inhabited as long ago as 25000 BC and was discovered in 1959, and a part of the cave system was opened to the public in 1960.

You are taken round the caves in guided groups, and are given devices for audio description, but we found that if you linger near the back of your group, you can take as much time as you like, and even drop off the end of the group without it causing any issues. This way you can take as long as you like exploring the publically accessible parts of the caves.


The caves have many stalactites and stalagmites, and include the largest limestone column in a cave in the world. There are many other fantastic formations to look at including large flowstone areas, arches and side caves. It is really a fantastical world and we thoroughly enjoyed around an hour wandering around underground.

The caves are typically significantly cooler than outside, with an average temperature of around 20 0C, but you don’t need jumpers unless you really feel cold easily. If you have older children it is possible to join a guided caving tour, where you get to explore more of the cave system than is normally available. They also hold concerts in the caves from time to time, which would be a fascinating experience.

We highly recommend the Nerja caves for a half day visit if you are in the area. There are a few restaurants and places to get your ice-creams from, as well as a little park under the shade of a few trees around the back as well, which was great fun for our son too.

Our other top tips for things to do in the surrounding area include visiting the Sierra Nevada mountains, exploring Alhama de Granada, walking a gorge and visiting Largo Bemejales.

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