Visitors to Ronda find the city to be a wonderful location from which to explore the rest of Andalucia, and the Axarquia coast is within easy distance to spend a day on the beach, visit Nerja Caves, or explore the little towns of the coast.
Nerja is one of the gems of the south coast of Spain, about 40 minutes drive from Malaga, not much more from Malaga airport, and from Ronda only an hour and 15 minutes more. In fact a drive to Nerja to see the sights is easily done in one day, and for those without a car, Nerja is an easy destination by train and then bus.
From Malaga the road to Nerja is a pleasurable drive, the Mediterranean on one side and the Sierra de Almijara mountains on the other, and it is for this reason Nerja is known as the pearl of the Costa Axarquia, though the Costa Tropical with all year round perfect weather is so close to Nerja that it’s easy to understand why Nerja is so popular.
The caves at Nerja are an obvious drawcard, with the world’s largest stalactite, but also cave paintings that are now known to be have been drawn by some of the last surviving Neanderthal folk.
But the town shouldn’t be missed just because the Nerja caves are nearby. Nerja’s town centre is an attractive place to wander around in the old quarter looking at the shops, courtyards of people’s homes, or enjoying the smells of restaurants and bakeries.
The ‘Balcon de Europa’ is here too, the place where in the 19th century royalty from all over Europe would visit, and where now the promenade is filled with cafés, buskers, and stalls. There is a statue of King Alfonso XII in bronze, the town church, and a covered walkway overlooking the cove beach below.
The Balcon de Europa is also where you’ll find the tourism office, though the ton hall is just next to the church, and the entire plaza is only 100 metres long so you shouldn’t have any trouble :)
Outside Nerja on the way to the caves, be sure to stop and admire the El Aguila aqueduct built by Francisco Cantarero Senio to supply water to his sugar factory “Las Mercedes” at the end of the 19th century.
The aqueduct was built in mudejar style, is four stories high with a total of 37 half point arches, and made from brick kilned locally. The aqueduct is still used to this day, though only for irrigation, and has recently been restored to last another 100 years.