Nerja beaches : 12 wonderful beaches and coves in Nerja

Preserved coves and beaches

Nerja offers some of the best beaches and coves in Malaga and Andalucia


nerja playa cala pino
Nerja – Cala del Pino

In this article you will find all information about the best beaches in Nerja :

  • A few words about the Andalusian coastline
  • Nerja, Axarquia and the Alboran Sea
  • Here are 12 beaches and coves in Nerja
  • Book a water activity in Nerja
  • Rent a boat, with or without a licence
  • Book accommodation in Nerja
  • Some useful links for a trip to Andalucia
  • Experiences to discover in the province of Málaga

Nerja plage playa Cala del pino

A few words about the Andalusian coastline


The Andalusian coastline is 850 km long. There are 500 km of coastline in the Mediterranean and around 350 km on the Atlantic coast.


The beaches of Nerja are among the most famous in southern Spain. A famous magazine has compiled a list of the 18 most beautiful beaches in Andalucia. Among these, 3 are in Nerja, in Axarquia – Costa del Sol.


To read the article (in Spanish) about the 18 most beautiful beaches in Andalusia, click on the following link: National Geographic.


Nerja, Axarquia and the Alboran Sea


nerja playa molino de papel atardecer

A bit of geography and history to situate the area:

Nerja is located in the Axarquia Costa del Sol and its name comes from the Al-Andalus period. At that time it was called Narixa.


Axarquia, comes from the Arabic word Ash-sharquía (الشرقية) and means “to the East” , “towards the East”. It refers to the 45km of coastline to the east of Malaga, as far as Nerja.


LThe Alboran Sea is the sea that borders this coastline (it is the western part of the Mediterranean Sea).


This sea takes its name from a small island of 0.07km²…, 50km from the Moroccan coast and 80km from Almeria, it is called Alboran. It has been a Spanish island since 1540, taking its name from the Arabic (al-burān, البران), which means the “navel of the sea”.


A geological fact: it is the only emerged part of a 150km long underwater mountain range. It is the point of collision between the African and Eurasian plates. It is an important seismic zone, and in 1899, magma rose to the surface of the water. An igneous rock appeared right next to the island of Alboran. A name was given to it…Alboranite.


Finally, a geopolitical anecdote, 21 Spanish soldiers have been living permanently on this island since 1960 when Soviet fishermen tried to set up a base there!


12 beaches and coves in Nerja


Here are 12 beautiful beaches in Nerja. They represent 9km of beaches.

They are presented through short videos or photos.


Canuelo beach – La Playa del Canuelo


Playa del Canuelo

A beach of incredible beauty with crystal clear waters. It is located between cliffs in the Natural Park of Maro – Cerro Gordo.


The Pino cove – La Cala del Pino


Nerja Cala del Pino

Cala del Pino is located next to Playa del Canuelo. This beach (its size seems to be more a beach than a cove) is wild. Remember to take food and drink if you want to stay for a while.


nerja playa La Cala del Pino 5
La Cala del Pino, Maro

This is an ideal beach with turquoise waters to observe the sea bed. You can see fish from the water’s edge!



Las Alberquillas beach in Nerja – La playa de las Alberquillas


plage de las Alberquillas à Nerja

Another beautiful and wild beach.


plage de las Alberquillas à Nerja

Bring food and drink if you want to stay a while.


Plage Nerja : Las Alberquillas

This beach, like the previous ones, is ideal for relaxing and swimming.


Molino de papel beach – La playa del Molino de Papel


plage del molino de papel à Nerja

The name of this beach comes from an old mill that used to make paper. You will surely pass by it on your way to this beach.


Plage Nerja : playa molino de papel

Another feature that makes this beach a rare wonder is that it has a natural freshwater pool that overflows directly into the sea!


nerja plage del molino papel
Natural freshwater pool next to the Molino de Papel

The photo above was taken at the end of the day, with the sun setting.


Maro beach – La playa de Maro


plage de Maro à Nerja

Maro beach is a beautiful beach. In summer, you have to walk down to it, but the walk is beautiful. Behind this beach, towards the west, is the famous Maro waterfall (only accessible by sea). See the video below:



To the right of the beach, there is a small cove nearby. It is called Cala Chica or Caletilla.


Burriana Beach in Nerja



This is probably the most famous beach with the famous paella restaurant, Ayo.


Nerja Ayo plage de Burriana
Ayo restaurant Burriana beach in Nerja

It was made famous by the Spanish TV series “Verano Azul”.


nerja plage de burriana

El Carabeo Beach


This beach is located, like the next one, in the centre of Nerja. It is a small and picturesque beach.



There’s the one in Carabeillo Chico next door, even smaller!


Los Chorillos Beaches


These are actually 3 very small coves hidden between the rocks, right next to Calahonda beach.


Nerja les plages los chorillos

They are accessible on foot from Calahonda beach in the centre of Nerja.


Calahonda Beach, small but one of the best beaches in Nerja


nerja Playa de Calahonda 5
Calahonda beach – Nerja

This beach is located in the centre of Nerja. The view from this beautiful beach is spectacular. In summer you have to get up early to get a seat!

It is located just to the left of the Balcony of Europe, see below:



La Caletilla Beach


This is the small beach just to the right of the Balcony of Europe.


plage de nerja la caletilla

El Salon Beach


This beach has a long history.
In the past, fishermen lived here all year round in houses carved out of the rock.


There is also a legend that the name of the beach comes from the Hebrew word “shalom”. From this beach all the Jews in the area, who refused to convert to Catholicism a few years after the Reconquest, are said to have left and been expelled.


Nerja plage del Salon

This word shalom (which means “goodbye” in this case) was pronounced by the Jews as they boarded a boat to take them across the Mediterranean. This is the beach in the second shot of the picture.


La Torecilla Beach


One of the largest beaches in Nerja between El Playazo beach and El Salón beach.


El Playazo Beach


This is the largest beach in Nerja, at 1.7km in length. It is located to the west of the town, up to Torrox.


plage Nerja Playa el playazo

Book an aquatic activity in Nerja


Many activities can start from one of Nerja best beaches.

To see the Maro waterfall by Sea kayaking


To discover in Nerja and Torrox spots of snorkeling


Discover the best spots for diving. The centre also offers beginners the chance to try scuba diving.


Paddle to the Maro waterfall, see the Paddle Route


Rent a boat in Nerja and La Herradura.


Below you will find a selection of boats for rent in Nerja and nearby La Herradura:

– boat rental without a licence,

– sailing boat with skipper,

– boat rental with compulsory licence (the last link below):

NB: if you are a family or a small group, some of the boats for rent can accommodate up to 10 people.



Book accommodation in Nerja


Booking.com

Some useful links


Here is a very useful link for your travels: book a rental car from your place of stay.


If you are in Andalucia as part of a tour with several major cities to visit, here are some links that may be of interest:




  • All you need to know about Granada, the Alhambra, the Albaicin neighbourhood before visiting Granada

  • If you are passing through the geographical centre of Andalusia, then you can visit Antequera, with the incredible natural site of El Torcal right next door

Experiences to discover in the province of Málaga


If you spend a few days on holiday in the area, here is a selection of great activities:



Find more ideas for visits to authentic Andalusia: see the blog pages on Andalucia.


Here is the link to receive our newsletter from the andaluciamia.com blog

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