A Guide To The Nerja Caves in 2024

One of the most surprising activities in Nerja are the incredible cave system known as the Cueva de Nerja, or Nerja Caves. The caves in Nerja date back to Neanderthal times (some 42,000 years ago), and stretch a whopping 5 kilometers in length! 

However due to the instability of some of the caverns of the Nerja Caves, only one of the larger caverns is accessible to tourists. Visiting the Caves of Nerja are an absolute must when visiting the beautiful Andalucian town, and it can be found 5 kilometers from the Balcon de Europe and Nerja town. 

If you’ve been looking for something to do as a break from sunning yourself on the beautiful beaches of Nerja, or have visited the nearby stunning village of Frigliana, then an excursion to the Nerja caves makes a fantastic afternoon out.

Top Pick: Nerja Caves Tickets

Don’t have time to read the post? Make sure your pick up your Nerja Cave tickets in advance and don’t miss out on this unbelievable experience.

Brief History of the Caves of Nerja

A group of amateur naturalists were searching for bats one evening in 1959 and chanced upon a cave that had been known in the area as a sinkhole. Upon exploring the caves, they unearthed one of the greatest cave systems in mainland Europe and the largest Stalactite in the world. 

The caves of Nerja offer an incredible insight into the creation of minerals, rock formations, and Neolithic life. There are thought to be over 500 cave drawings in parts of the cavern that date back over 40,000 years. 

What to expect when visiting the Caves of Nerja

The Nerja caves are a consistent 19 degrees throughout the year, which during the height of the summer months can offer a lot of respite from the sun.

There are a number of stairs throughout the cavern complex and those with mobility issues may find it difficult at times to progress around the dimly lit surroundings. 

One of the most impressive aspects of visiting the caves in Nerja is the height of the cavern and the scale of the stalactites and stalagmites. Photos of the Nerja caves do not do justice when trying to explain just how deep and spacious they are

It’s easy to see why during the summer months a range of concerts take place within the Nerja Caves thanks to their incredible acoustics.

Top Tip: My geography teacher in school instilled in our lessons on rock formations in underground caverns such as caves in Nerja that the difference between stalagmites and stalactites are that stalagmites has the letter ‘g’ in it, which helps you remember that they grow from the ground. A helpful little tip to remember when visiting the Nerja Caves. 

The Nerja Cave Complex

You’ll find a beautiful restaurant inside the main complex of the Nerja Caves that has an incredible vista over Maro and the surrounding area. The outdoor terrace is worth having a refreshing drink on after exploring the caves.

The resturant terrace located in the grounds of the Nerja Caves has stunning views over the town of Maro and sea.

Outside the cave area, you’ll find covered bench areas to enjoy a packed lunch and a playground for children. Outside the main gates of the Caves of Nerja you’ll find a local restaurant that appeared popular. 

There is a medium-sized car parking area outside the main entrance that has a limited shaded area, so remember to bring your sun guard for the windscreen. 

How long should I spend in the Nerja Caves?

A visit to the Nerja Caves can take as long as you need it to. The cave system can be explored in under 30 minutes if you just want to wander around and look at the rock formations. 

Interior of the Nerja Caves

With the audioguide that is included in your ticket price, you can take your time and aim for around 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on your interest in geology. 

Nerja Caves Opening Times

Open throughout the year, the caves in Nerja are open from 9.30 am until 16.30 (last entrance into the cave is at 15.30) during the ‘off-peak season’. 

During the summer months, the opening hours are extended with closing hours finishing at 19.00 (entrance to caves concludes at 18.00).

Interior of the Nerja Caves

You can visit the Nerja cave complex without needing to descend underground and explore the caves. During my visit, a large family was enjoying a first communion in the beautiful restaurant that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the scenic setting of the suburbs of Nerja in the background. 

Where to buy tickets for the Nerja Caves

Tickets for the caves in Nerja can be purchased directly from Tiqets and include an audioguide in 15 different languages. If you are a confident Spanish speaker, you should consider the evening tour that includes live commentary and an explanation of the cave systems. 

  • Entry tickets for the caves of Nerja are €15. 

Nerja Caves Train

If you want to visit the Nerja caves and don’t want to worry about taking your own car or catching the local bus, you can hop on the small red train bus ‘Cueva tren’ that will take you from Parque Plaza de los Cangrejos.

Nerja Cave Train

The scenic drive takes you along the coast road from Nerja town 5 kilometers away to the caves of Nerja. The price for the train, entry ticket to the caves and the museum of Nerja is €21. Tickets can be purchased from the vendor at the Parque Plaza de los Cangrejos or on the Nerja Caves website


A trip to the Nerja Caves is really worthwhile and I was really stunned at how cavernous and deep the caves go beneath the ground. Especially on a hot summer’s day, the temperature in the Caves of Nerja is a wonderful respite, and it’s kind of hard not to be impressed by Mother Nature and the formation of these caves that have been hidden for thousands of years.

Leave a comment below and let me know if you visited the caves and what you thought of them!

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