The Caves of Nerja are one of the most valuable elements of the natural heritage of Spain, recognized as a Historic Artistic Monument of natural origin and subsequently of Cultural Interest Asset.
The Caves of Nerja are located in Maro, a district of the municipality of Nerja, are 158 meters above sea level and are some of the caves of greater topographic development of Andalusia. They have an area of more than 35,000 m2, which are available to visit less than a third part, that is, around 9,400 m2. It has three entrances, two subcircular sinks and, next to them, an entrance for the access of the visitors. You can make a guided caving visit of speleology by a specialized team and only for small groups.
As in an adventure story, the Caves of Nerja were discovered on January 12, 1959 by a group of five young people from Maro and Nerja, when they were looking for bats, they found a hole that made them wake up their exploratory sense. Given the impossibility of following the air by two stalactites that stopped the path, they decided to return the next day with tools to break them.
Once the stalactite problem was solved, one of the five managed to go in the narrow hole until he found one ramp from which he could jump to the ground and warn the others. These, after crawling through a small passage, reached a large gallery.
In their investigation of this gallery, they realized that they were not the first to step on what would be the Caves of Nerja, since they found skeletons next to ceramic bowls and, very scared, they returned to the town to tell everything to family and friends.
With this information, a doctor and a photographer made a second visit and they took photographs that were published about a hundred days later in the newspaper Sur, a local newspaper from Málaga. Then the Caves of Nerja became known internationally.
After several explorations, the authorities realized the monumental and scientific importance of the Caves of Nerja, so they began to investigate the location of the primitive entrance or a secure and adapted access.
First a thick root of a sabina was found that four meters below had an entrance. Later, in other excavations a large rock was drilled that cleared the entrance that had forbidden access to the Caves of Nerja for thousands of years.
During all this time archaeological excavations and conditioning works were carried out, and the caves were open to the public for their visit throughout 1960.
The Caves of Nerja have the well-known large caves that, due to their size, are one of the most impressive cavities of the Iberian Peninsula. From the caves you can highlight the spectacular nature of their stalactites, stalagmites, columns, rimstone and macaroni that surround the cavity from the ceiling to the floor or the walls.
In the Caves of Nerja there is a division by galleries and, at the same time, these galleries are composed of different rooms.
They are composed by spacious rooms with high ceilings. This is the classic visiting area. Within them you can find:
These galleries have been opened to tourism later and have a more peculiar morphology, with too impressive forms. In this part of the Caves of Nerja you will see:
These galleries were not found until 1969 and 1970. They can only be accessed from the 90s from through a narrow and high passage located in the Hall of the Cataclysm. They are:
Apart from the galleries, the Caves of Nerja have more than 500 cave paintings from the Upper Palaeolithic and recent prehistory. There are some seal paintings that could be the first artwork of humanity, with more than 42,000 years. However, this has not been scientifically demonstrated, since some more recent studies say that their age is between 18,000 and 20,000 years.
Also, there were found numerous archaeological remains of great value. The history of the cave and the town, are shown in the Nerja Museum, what is highly recommended to visit after the Caves of Nerja.
These items increase the cultural value of the Caves of Nerja, far beyond its known monumental and tourist value.
When you visit the Caves of Nerja you will enjoy a 45-minute walk through a grotto that is in turn a Spanish Historical Heritage. Ticket prices may vary depending on whether you go with a guided tour or not. To buy tickets online click here.
Inside the caves are celebrated every year, during the weekends of the months of July and August, the Caves of Nerja Music and Dance International Festival. This event was born with the opening of the cave to visiting in 1960 and it has both national and international artists of music and dance with a wide variety of styles, to delight 800 spectators involved in the capacity of the Hall of the Ballet.