The Balcony of Europe

Nerja is a municipality to the east of Malaga and is a town that is steeped in history with many great attractions to visit while you are there. Once a small fishing village, it now has a population of over 22,000 inhabitants many of whom are British. Boasting 16km of beaches, and flanked by a stunning mountain range, the area is set in beautiful surroundings.

Originally three settlements made by the Romans, the town was taken over by Arabs in the late 8th century and soon became a hub for agricultural and silk products. While you are visiting the area there are five historical sites that may take your fancy including the Aquaduct, the Church of El Salvador, the Baroque hermitage of Las Angustias, the Balcón de Europa or viewpoint which gives stunning views across the sea and was supposedly given its name by King Alfonso XII in 1885 who declared it the balcony of Europe.

The final historical site that must be mentioned are the caves which are a series of caverns stretching 5km. Re-discovered by five friends by accident in 1959, the caves are now one of the biggest tourist attractions in Spain and there has been skeletal proof that humans resided in them in 25,000BC.

Aside from the sightseeing, the beach life in Nerja is much like any other along the coast and while many of the bigger beaches get busier in the summer months there are still some hidden coves that you can discover for yourselves.

The town itself is a wash of white houses that climb the hill and the streets are small giving the impression of a traditional way of life. There are a number of great bars and restaurants as well as a shopping area perfect for tourists.

For those wanting a little more adventure there are some great walking trails in nearby Sierra de Almijada and Sierra Tejeda while the Nerja area itself has become the centre for scuba diving on the Costa del Sol with the natural park of Maro-Cerro Gordo nearby.