Its 9 Gorgeous Beaches and the Nature Reserve!
** The Maro Village, Maro Spain
A Small Hamlet just Minutes from Nerja🥑 Just a short drive down the coast from the bustling resort town of Nerja you will find the sleepy rural enclave of Maro. It's well-known in the area due to the beauty of its beaches, its crystal clear waters, sweeping Mediterranean sea views, cliffside nature reserve, and natural agro-lifestyle.
Maro, and the area in general, is also recognized for its fresh Andalucian cuisine derived from locally grown ingredients such as avocados, mangoes, tropical fruits, olive oil, and sugar cane. There are numerous farms in Maro that produce these products and many Nerja restaurants incorporate them into their dishes.
** Streets and Pretty Corners in Maro, Spain
But the one thing that Maro has become world famous for in recent years are the staggeringly beautiful Nerja Caves. This geological marvel, discovered in 1959 by a group of local boys, is made up of a series of limestone caves that are more than 5 million years old. Inside you will find five enormous caverns with delicate stalactite and stalagmite formations as well as cave paintings dating to prehistoric times. Over the last 10 years, the caves have become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Costa del Sol.
The Village of Maro ➜ Where is it?You will find the village of Maro 3.2 km east of Nerja going towards the Nerja Caves and just after another interesting site, the Eagle Aqueduct.
|Nerja||➜||Maro||5 min (3.2 km)|
|La Herradura||➜||Maro||16 min (15.5 km)|
|Málaga||➜||Maro||49 min (60.8 km)|
|Granada||➜||Maro||1 hr (93 km)|
** The Village of Maro by the Sea
The Village of Maro...The architecture in Maro is a mix of traditional Andalusian, Mediterranean and Moorish styles, which gives the town its unique and charming atmosphere.
The old town is characterized by small, white-washed houses with terracotta roofs and many of the homes feature traditional Spanish courtyards, patios, and ornate wrought iron balconies with brightly colored tiles. You will also find decorative clay pots overflowing with unusual cactus and succulents lining the small streets and alleys in Maro... adding to the enchantment of this seaside Mediterranean village.
** Newly Renovated, White-washed Houses in Maro, Spain
At its center, Maro boasts a small chapel dating to the 17th and 18th centuries (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas) honoring a mix of architectural styles... including Baroque and Renaissance.
The church is open to the public and is a popular spot among visitors who want to learn more about Maro's history and culture. It is also a place of worship for the locals with mass still being held regularly.
In the area around Maro, you will also find an ancient, fortified watchtower that sits just above Playa de Maro. It was built during the 16th and 17th centuries to defend against pirate attacks but now is a lookout point that offers spectacular views of the town and sea. We highly recommend a visit to this special place if time permits...
** Decorative Clay Pots and Old Town in Maro, Spain
Maro ➜ Where to Stay...Maro is a tiny town, but even so there are several options available for visitors looking for accommodation. Consider the following:
- Hotels: Maro has a few small hotels, which offer a range of amenities such as swimming pools, restaurants, and bars. Some also have sea views and all are located near the beach. ➜ Hotel Playamaro
- Vacation Rentals: There are also a number of vacation rental options available in Maro, such as apartments, villas, and holiday homes.
These rentals can offer more space and privacy than hotels, and some rentals have private pools, gardens, and sea views. ➜
** Vacation Rentals and Hotels in Maro, Spain
- Campsites: There are three campsites within a 10-minute drive of Maro, in the towns of La Herradura and Nerja. These offer visitors the opportunity to camp in the great outdoors but with added comforts like toilets, showers, and electricity. ➜ Costa Tropical Granada Campgrounds
- Rural tourism: There are also rural accommodation options, such as country houses, cottages, or farmhouses, which offer
visitors the opportunity to experience the traditional Andalusian way of life.
** Pots Overflowing with Cactus and Succulents, Maro Spain
Maro ➜ The Top 8 Sites!Check out these top sites while visiting the small coastal village of Maro...
- Playa de Maro: A beautiful Maro beach (one of 9 in the area) located just outside of town that is known for its clear waters and fine sand.
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas (mid-seventeenth century church): A small church located in the center of town, known for its beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and the Mediterranean Sea.
** Maro - Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas
- The Joaquin Sugar Mill: Beginning in 1585, the old sugar mill began cultivation of local sugar cane grown along the coast of Maro. The nearby Eagle Aqueduct helped to move water between the village of Nerja and the Maro Sugar Mill.
- The Eagle Aqueduct: The Eagle Aqueduct, built in the Mudejar style by architect Francisco Cantarero Martín (a local man who was born in Nerja), consists of four stories of brick columns and arches. It was used to provide water to the Maro sugar mill and is still in use today.
** Maro - The Joaquin Sugar Mill & Eagle Aqueduct
- The Balcón de Maro: Enjoy a light lunch in this pretty plaza just in front of the church with views of the countryside, local farmland, and the sea.
- The Maro Tower: An ancient tower located on a hilltop overlooking the town, offering magnificent views of the Maro coastline and its pretty beaches and coves.
** Maro - The Balcón de Maro and Ancient Watchtower
- Mirador de la Ermita: A viewpoint located near the Nerja Caves, offering panoramic views of Maro.
- The Nerja Caves: Located in Maro, the Nerja Caves are a series of limestone caves that are around 5 million years old containing huge caverns with unique rock formations and cave paintings (more below).
Maro ➜ The Top 8 Things to Do!
Relax on a Maro beach:
Maro has 10 beautiful beaches, like the popular Playa de Maro, where visitors can enjoy the Mediterranean Sea, sunbathe and take a swim.
Maro's other beaches are well-known too and very busy during the summer months, like Playa Cañuelo, and Playa Cantarriján. But a few of them, that are more "off the beaten track", are peaceful and quiet. Two of Maro's beaches are so remote that they are only accessible by boat or hiking trails through the nature reserve.
Read more about the 10 most beautiful beaches of Maro here!
** Nudist Beach (Playa Cantarriján) in the Maro Reserve
|Playa de Maro||High||Road||5 min (1.7 km)|
|Cala de Maro||Remote||Trail *||3 min (1.3 km)|
|Caleta de Maro||Low||Trail *||5 min (1.4 km)|
|Playa Torre de Maro||Remote||Trail *||7 min (2.3 km)|
|Molino de Papel||High||Road **||7 min (3.4 km)|
|Las Alberquillas||High||Road / Trail **||8 min (4.0 km)|
|Calas del Pino||High||Road / Trail **||10 min (4.7 km)|
|Playa el Cañuelo||High||Road / Shuttle||12 min (6.1 km)|
|Cala Doncella||Remote||Trail *||15 min (16.8 km)|
|Playa Cantarriján||High||Road / Shuttle||15 min (16.8 km)|
* These beaches have limited parking and you must walk at least 30 minutes to reach them. To access Cala Doncella, park on Playa Cantarriján and follow the trail along the coast going west.
** These beaches are found along the N-340 highway in the Maro Nature Reserve, park along the highway and follow the trails down to the beach.
Playa el Cañuelo and Playa Cantarriján (also on the N-340 highway) have parking areas and offer a shuttle service to the beach.
** Playa Torre de Maro & Padel Boarding from Playa la Caleta
- Other Nearby Beaches:
- The Almuñécar Beaches
- The La Herradura Beaches
- The Salobreña Beaches
- The Motril Beaches
- The Top 10 Costa Tropical Beaches
Take a Kayaking Tour:
Kayaking is another popular activity in Maro and there are several tour operators that offer kayaking tours along the coast.
Tours include an experienced guide who will provide information on the local flora and fauna, talk about the history and culture of the area, as well as allowing visitors to explore the beautiful caves, cliffs, and beaches that can only be accessed by sea.
** Kayaking in Maro - Tours Leaving from Playa Burriana
The Kayaking tours leave from both Playa La Herradura (La Herradura) or Playa Burriana ( Nerja), just minutes away.
Additionally, there are tour operators that offer rental services (Playa de Maro), where visitors can rent kayaks and explore the coast on their own.
Take a hike:
Maro is surrounded by hills and mountains, offering several hiking trails with beautiful views of the town and sea. The 'El Cielo' and 'Rio Chillar' hikes are the most popular in the area. The two hikes below can be accessed directly from the village of Maro.
- The San Isidro Hermitage Trail:
A nice walk starting at the small plaza in front of the church in Maro. Walk north towards the top of town where you will find a footbridge that crosses the highway. Cross the bridge and follow the path through the forest and botanical gardens near the Nerja Caves. (35 - 40-minutes one way)
** Maro Footbridge to the Botanical Gardens
- The Maro / Nerja-Almijara Cave Trail:
This route starts behind the Nerja Caves and leads to the natural park. Follow the signs through the garden and you will find a gravel path that goes to 'El Cielo' (The sky walk (9km, 5-6 hours). After about 1-hour you will come across a small recreational area with picnic tables surrounded by the fresh air of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama. It's the perfect place to enjoy a meal with family and friends.
Enjoy the local cuisine:
The cuisine in Maro / Nerja is heavily influenced by traditional Andalusian and Mediterranean cooking. It features a variety of seafood dishes, due to the town's coastal location, and locally grown tropical fruits and vegetables. Two popular dishes you will find around Maro are:
- Paella: a traditional Spanish dish made with rice, seafood, and vegetables.
- Fried fish: A variety of fresh fish such as sardines, anchovies and squid, which are fried and served with lemon.
Maro has two bars (Restaurante Balcón de Maro, El Rincón de la Tapa) that serve a variety of tapas, which are small dishes typically served with drinks, like olives, fried fish, potato salad, meatballs, and cured cheeses.
You might also be interested in: The 20 TOP Restaurants in Nerja
Explore the Nerja Caves:
The caves are open to the public 363 days a year and guided tours are available.
The tours take approximately one hour and will take visitors through the most important parts of the caves. You will get to explore the 'Hall of the Cataclysm', the largest cavern where the world's largest stalactite is found, and the 'Hall of Phantoms', where prehistoric cave paintings were discovered.
The caves in Maro also host a variety of cultural events every year, such as the International Festival of Music and Dance, due to its unique acoustics.
Explore the Coast of Maro by Boat:
It is possible to explore the coast of Maro by boat and it's something we highly recommend. There are several companies that offer sightseeing cruises of the area (along the Costa del Sol and Costa Tropical), which include stops to popular beaches and coastal landmarks.
Additionally, it is also possible to rent a boat or take a private charter to explore the coast on your own.
Attend a festival:
Maro hosts several festivals throughout the year such as the Romería de San Isidro, Fiesta de San Antón, Feria de las Maravillas, Maroween, and the International Music Festival of Maro:
- Fiesta de San Antón (Maro) (Jan 16th/17th): This celebration honors the patron saint of Maro and protector of animals, San Antón. On these days bonfires are lit along the streets of Maro to 'burn away' negative energy from previous years... and begin the year anew. Fireworks, music, dancing, and good food are also customary.
- Romería de San Isidro (May 14th): A religious festival that takes place in May with a procession of the town's residents from the Balcon de Europa Plaza in Nerja to the Hermitage of San Isidro in Maro, giving thanks for a good harvest. The festivities continue with music and dancing on the grounds of the Nerja Caves until the early hours of the night.
- The International Music Festival of Maro (August): Not to be missed is the weeklong music festival that takes place in August in and around the Nerja Caves... featuring local and international music performers.
- Feria de las Maravillas (September): A celebration of Maro's patron saint, the Virgen de las Maravillas, as well as its annual fair and yet another opportunity to give thanks for the abundant crops for the year.
- Fiesta de la Castaña y el Boniato (October 31st): Dating to 1878, this celebration includes roasting chestnuts on an open fire and drinking warmed aniseed liqueur.
- Maroween (Week of October 31st): Also in October, this spooky holiday has put Maro on the map locally. Both children and adults come from all over the area to partake in the Maroween festivities that begin on the 31st of October with music, trick-or-treating, scary costumes, roasted sweet potatoes and chestnuts, and the children's fair (with rides and cotton candy). As the sun goes down the 'haunted house' will invite those with a more adventurous spirit... and beckons, those who dare, inside...
Explore the Maro / Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve:
The Maro / Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve boasts pristine sandy coves with stunning scenery, pine forests, ancient roman towers, wild Iberian ibex, underwater coral reefs, and hidden caves and bays. It’s 10 lovely beaches stretch from the town of Maro until La Herradura and offer a little something different to each traveler.
The reserve is known for its high limestone cliffs, which reach heights of up to 100 meters, and is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species. It's also a popular hiking destination with several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the cliffs and the Mediterranean Sea. The reserve is open year-round to visitors and guided tours are available within the reserve, either by land or by sea.
** Maro Nature Reserve - Views & Flora
Maro ➜ How to Arrive - Directions
|To Maro ➜ by Car
|To Maro ➜ by Bus
Buses leave hourly from Nerja to Maro. Tickets can be purchased directly from the ticket booth at the Nerja Bus Station (Avenida Pescia) map here
|To Maro ➜ by Taxi
There are three taxi stations in Nerja or you can call Radio Taxi, the official taxi service (952 520 537). The price by taxi to Maro is about €8.00.
|To Maro ➜ by Train
A fun way to get from Nerja to Maro is by taking the Nerja Tourist Train. It makes two stops, Maro and the Nerja Caves. You can get off the train in Maro, look around, and then walk up the hill (about 8-minutes) to visit the Nerja Caves.
|To Maro ➜ by Foot
People love to make the walk from Nerja to Maro (where they can visit both the Eagle Aqueduct and the Nerja Caves). It will take you at least 45-minutes each way (3.5 km). It's a completely flat walk with a sidewalk the entire way.
Maro ➜ ParkingParking is limited in Maro, but there are several options available.
- Street parking: Some street parking is available in the town center and along the beach. However, it can be difficult to find a parking spot during peak tourist season (June - September).
- Public Parking: There are two public parking areas located near the town center, one is below the church plaza and the other is on the edge of town going east. Both are open year-round. There is another small parking area on the western side of the village just after the roundabout and in front of the playground.
** Maro - Old Town Streets
Maro ➜ Map
- Maro ➜ Home
- The Maro Nature Reserve
- Kayaking in the Nature Reserve
- Scuba Diving in the Reserve
- Tours in the Reserve
- Villages Near the Reserve:
- La Herradura