The magnificent Nerja Caves – Cuevas de Nerja – are a series of huge caverns stretching for almost five kilometres and home to the world’s largest stalagmite, a 32 metre high column measuring 13 metres by 7 metres at its base.
There are three Galleries – Show Gallery, Upper Gallery and New Gallery – with each gallery containing a number of Halls.
The Upper Gallery and New Gallery contain many of the prehistoric cave paintings, but tourist access to these areas is limited to special groups.
On January 12th 1959, five local lads from the village of Maro decided to go hunting for bats and headed for a pothole known locally as ‘La Mina’ where they spent the night watching a great number of these creatures exiting through the hole in the rocks.
The boys decided to return the next day, taking with them some tools to dislodge a couple of stalagtites in the entrance. Once inside, they found themselves able to descend to a huge cavern where they discovered a number of skeletons next to some ceramic pottery.
Excited by their find, they went back to tell their family, friends and teachers but it wasn’t until the cave was visited by a medical expert and a photographer that the true extent of their discovery became apparent.
The Nerja Caves were officially inaugurated on June 12th 1960 and opened to the public.
Situated 3 kms from Nerja town centre and well signposted.
- Undergound caverns with stalagmites, stalagtites & columns
- The world's widest column
- Grand centre column in the Sala del Cataclismo (Cataclysm Hall) reaches a height of 32 metres
- Karstic cavities formed by erosion of marble by water
- Palaeolithic wall paintings
These are breathtaking beautiful caves, some of the best in Europe, that should not be missed if the opportunity arises.
Each July a festival of music and dance is held inside the caves.
Officially recognised as an historical and artistic monument, Nerja Caves are one of the most important Prehistoric archaeological sites on the western Mediterranean. Dating back some five million years, they are notable for the large chambers filled with stalactites and stalagmites, and the immense length, over 4,000 metres.
It is possible to explore some of the chambers and caverns not yet open to the public by joining a speleological group, consisting of a maximum 10 people over the age of 14. No special physical skills are necessary. For enquiries the number to ring is the same as below.
Scientists investigating cave fauna have recently discovered species that were thought to be extinct in the caves. Amongst these, in areas not open to the public, are scarab beetles and blind scorpions. Alberto Atinavt, department head at the University of Granada, is carrying
out studies on the interior and exterior micro fauna of the cave.
The Nerja Caves is offering a new experience for visitors, with groups of up to fifty people able to enjoy a guided tour of the caverns in the company of actor Miguel Joven, famous for his role as ‘Tito’ in the popular TV series Verano Azul.
These special visits will be daily at 14:00 and 18:30 and will start on May 16th and continue until late June. As well as learning all about the caves and its early inhabitants, visitors will be treated to a series of anecdotes from Miguel Joven relating to the filming of one of the episodes of Verano Azul which took place inside the caves.
There is also the possibility of combining a visit to the caves with a lunch or dinner at the Nerja Caves Restaurant. These special guided visits can be booked online via the Nerja Caves website: www.cuevadenerja.es
Cueva de Nerja, Maro, Nerja 29787
Tel: 952 529 520
- July-August: Every day from 10.00h to 14.00h, and from 16.00h to 20.00h.
- September-June: Every day from 10.00h to 14.00h, and from 16.00h to 18.30h.