6 Wise Tips – Cuevas de Nerja (Nerja Caves)

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You should carve out a couple of hours to visit Cuevas de Nerja (Nerja Caves) as well as the exterior grounds/park.  Just on the Eastern edge of Costa del Sol, bordering Costa Tropical, you will find the town of Nerja, Spain.  If you need a break from the sun, why not bond with mother nature underground style.    Nerja Caves Stalactites - so cool!

This is the perfect day trip from any location on Costa del Sol or just a 15 minute drive west, from our town of Almuñécar.  As you enter the caves you are in a small chamber area full of Stalagmites rising up from the ground and Stalactites, tapering accordion like structures, hanging like icicles from the roof of a cave.

Side Note:  While in the cave, we couldn’t remember if Stalagmites were up or down. So here is the trick we used to remember moving forward, because as you know this is life saving information you should always remember.  🙂   Stalactites – this has a “T” in the name and “T” stands for Top!  These come down from the Top.   Stalagmites have an “M” in the name and “M” stands for Mound.   Mounds are found on the ground going up.  Phew, aren’t you glad we told you this trick?

Now that we have all of that cleared up, how about some tips and then some cool photos?  It is very difficult to capture the full experience into words.  Without a doubt photos help, but there is nothing like being there to trigger all of your senses and to get your mind thinking.  The cave was very spacious and you can’t help but wonder what lives/lived in this place.  How long has it been here?  Isn’t nature the coolest thing ever?!

We really enjoyed our time in the caves.  It was a perfect afternoon activity for the kids and they are now becoming cave experts.  In 2011 we toured the Rio Camuy Caves Park, in Puerto Rico and recently enjoyed all of the caves and tunnels in Gibraltar.  They do hold concerts in the Nerja caves during the summer months, so we want to be sure to return and enjoy that experience as well.

 6 Wise Tips for Cuevas de Nerja (Nerja Caves)

  1. Wear good soled shoes! (no flip flops)
    The interior of the cave can be slightly wet in areas, so it is wise to have no slip shoes.  The path you follow through the cave has lighting, but it can be dark in some areas.  If you are wearing the proper shoes, you should be less likely to trip.  Remember it is a cave, so don’t expect daylight. 
  2. Don’t arrive at opening time!
    Perhaps it is best to arrive 30 min after opening or 90 min before closing.  We arrived right at 4 pm and there was quite the line (queue) to purchase the entry tickets.  There was just one person manning the ticket window, so this did take a bit of time.  When we exited the cave, about 5:30 pm, there was no one waiting to purchase tickets at all.  Not only does this save you time in the line, but it should be less crowded inside.  Just think all of those people in line with you, also enter and follow the same path as you.  Take it Spanish style and don’t be so prompt.  I think you will enjoy the caves that way.
  3. Layer your clothing!
    Did I mention this was a cave?  As you first enter it can be a bit on the chilly and damp side, depending on the weather outside.  As you descend further into the cave, you will find that there are pockets of warmth and humidity.  Not to mention you have been walking up/down stairs and effectively small hills.  This can get your blood circulating and make you a bit warm.  Just layer yourself so you can have that light jacket or sweater to put on and take off as needed.
  4. Turn off your flash!
    No flash photography inside the cave.  We all want pictures to capture our experiences.  In a cave you are tempted to put on that flash, but as you can imagine that would really mess with the eyes.  You can take some great photos with no flash, just follow the rules and you will have happy fellow travelers.  Not to mention, you will avoid a scolding from security.  (Just a wild hunch)
  5. Take your time!
    We have been asked by others how much time to allow for the caves.  That is a difficult question to answer, because it is a self guided walk through the caves.  You can probably walk through the entire thing in 20 minutes, if you were on a mission.  If you do that, why bother going?  I mean really, this is a sight to see and you should take it slow.  Take your time and really soak it all in.  Marvel at mother nature and the vastness of the cave.  The shapes, sounds, smells and textures are incredible and you should really experience all that you can.  Don’t let it be just a checked activity on your list of things to do.
  6. Visit on a Sunday
    This isn’t a must, but visiting the Nerja Caves is perfect for a Sunday activity.  There aren’t many things open on a Sunday in Spain, so why not take the family to the Cuevas de Nerja!  The Cueva de Nerja is open every day of the year except January 1 and May 15.  The hours vary for winter/summer.
    Winter 10:00 to 14:00 16:00 to 18:30
    Summer 10:00 to 19:30

Getting There

The caves are located across the N340 from the sea.  It is about 20 minutes west of Almuñécar and 30 minutes east of Malaga.  There is parking onsite for about € 1-2.

Cuevas de Nerja  (The Nerja Caves)
Ctra de Maro
Tel: 95 252 95 20

Ticket Prices
Standard ages 12 & up  € 9.00
Children ages 6-12        € 5.00
Children Under 6            Free
Combined adult ticket + Museum Nerja Cave € 11.00

Please visit the official Cuevas de Nerja website for up to date information and directions. Here is another Nerja Cave site with additional information.

The story behind their Discovery.

Organized Tours

There are also many organized tours for you to enjoy from being active on walking or biking tour, to enjoying a food or wine tour.  There is so much to do and Viator has so many great offers for you.  Click here to see their latest Malaga Deals!

Where to Stay in Costa del Sol

We have the best Spain holiday rentals here:

Property Owners: you may list your holiday property or room rental for free!

14 thoughts on “6 Wise Tips – Cuevas de Nerja (Nerja Caves)

  1. Ah-we have a different rule, stalactites have a “c” in for hanging from the “ceiling”, and stalagmites have a “g” in for coming from the “ground”. Visited those caves in the early 90’s, and guess what?…….I had a hangover so didn’t fully appreciate them. Would love to listen to a concert in them!

    • You are too funny Melanie! Come on down and enjoy them again. I would think the cool air would be nice for a hang over, but the walking not so much. LOL Yet another great way to remember the difference for stalactites and stalagmites.

  2. i remembered it by mighty-tighty (swinging fist up on the mighty and swinging it down on the tighty). you know, sorta like lefty-loosey, righty tighty.

    great article, heidi, and what a great adventure! thank you!

  3. I visited Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, New Mexico with my grandfather in ’75. As I recall, the mneumonic I used was that stalactites had to “hold on tight” and thus came down from the roof of the caves. I also visited Linville Caverns here in North Carolina in the early ’90s. In both, I enjoyed the beauty that nature hides, just below the surface.

    • Ah, there you go Stephen. I like the “hold on tight”. You know we were near the Linville Ceverns several times over the years and never made it in. I guess we will save that for another time. Hope you guys are doing well and just love hearing from you. 🙂

  4. Hi there. If you are really into caves there is another nice one here right next to Malaga, la Cueva del Tesoro. It isn’t big and spectacular like Nerja, but it’s fun and not very touristy (hardly anyone knows about them). I wrote about them on my blog. If you come to see them, send me a note and maybe we can meet up!
    Serena recently posted…Poetry by Hermenegildo: Bienvenida Sea La PrimaveraMy Profile

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    • Oh thanks Lisa! Love it. No, we get the British humor. We lived in London for almost 3 years back in the late 90’s. We actually enjoy the humor, but it took a while.

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