Playa de Maro
Playa de Maro

Playa de Maro

Plus 9 Even Prettier Nearby Beaches!

Playa de Maro - Maro, Spain
** Playa de Maro, Maro Spain

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A Hidden Paradise with Hypnotic Views

If you are looking for a bit of solitude away from the touristy areas of the Costa del Sol, you should visit Playa de Maro and the Maro / Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve.

Southern Spain is famous for many things: oranges, avocados, flamenco dancers, and stunning architecture. But if you travel just beyond the famous white village of Nerja... you'll come across a place of utter serenity. Hidden in the hills of Andalucia along 16 kilometers of rugged coastline you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

This nature reserve boasts pristine sandy coves with stunning scenery, pine forests, ancient Roman towers, wild Iberian ibex, underwater coral reefs and hidden coves and bays. It's 10 beautiful beaches stretch from the town of Maro to Almuñecar and offer something different to every traveler.

From the larger and better known beaches like Playa de Maro, Playa Cañuelo, and Playa Cantarriján to the smaller hidden bays and coves like Cala Doncella, and Cala de Maro (which can only be reached by sea or inland paths)... Here are the 10 most beautiful beaches of Maro... Come and discover them with us!


Playa de Maro

Playa de Maro
** Closeup of Playa de Maro in Summer

Somewhere along the southern coast of Spain lies a paradise. It is a natural cove behind the mountains of the Sierra de Tejeda - between Málaga and Granada. It is one of the few places in the world that you cannot fully understand until you see it with your own eyes. It is called "Playa de Maro".

Just 8 km east of Nerja, and one of the most popular beaches in the reserve, "Playa de Maro" is a 500-meter long "wild" beach protected by steep cliffs and an imposing Arabic watchtower. Its crystalline waters make snorkeling and diving a dream, and people come from all over Spain to experience the beauty of its underwater coral reefs and immense sea life.

Cascada Grande de Maro, Playa de Maro Playa de Maro from a distance
Views from Torre de Maro, Playa de Maro
** Waterfalls, Hidden Coves & Staggering Views - Playa de Maro

Kayaking is the most popular activity here due to the various waterfalls and caves along the coast. A very popular route leaves daily between Playa de Maro and Playa Burriana in Nerja.

Note: Playa de Maro does get quite crowded during the summer months, due to its easier access, so we recommend that you arrive early to find parking.

😻 Why Visit Playa de Maro?

Visit Playa de Maro if you want to be close to nature and unwind from the stresses of everyday life, but you also want ease of access and enjoy water sports!

Where to Stay Near Playa de Maro?

If you want to experience the beauty of the Maro / Cerro Gordo coastline there are several areas where you can stay. All offering a little something different. Here is what we recommend.

  • Nerja (8 km) - A famous white village with tons of restaurants, shops, and nightlife. You will find a large assortment of hotels and villas here.

  • Frigiliana (9 km) - Chosen as one of the prettiest villages of Spain this mountain village is just a 12-minute drive from Nerja and the Playa de Maro. The Hotel Villa Frigiliana is the nicest hotel.

  • La Herradura (7 km) - A picturesque fishing village to the east of the nature reserve on the opposite side of Playa Cantarriján. It has a gorgeous bay with seaside chiringuitos and a marina. Here is nice selection of hotels and villas.

  • Almuñecar (14 km) - Another popular holiday destination just 30-minutes down the coast with a waterpark, aquarium, bird park, and a castle! Best hotels and villas in Almuñecar.

  • Maro (1.7 km) - This tiny village is the closest to Playa de Maro (you can walk) but has far less accommodation. If you would like to stay here try these options.

  • If you haven't found anything yet, you can also try VRBO.com, they have a ton of great villas and apartments near Playa de Maro, like this one!

Kayaking Tours from Playa de Maro?

The rocky limestone cliffs, which have also given rise to the famous Nerja Caves, have created an impressive natural landscape that make any kayaking trip through Maro an unforgettable experience...

Kayaking is the most popular sport within the Maro Reserve and excursions leave daily from many of the nearby beaches, like Playa la Herradura and Playa Burriana (Nerja).

Kayak Maro
** Kayaking near Playa de Maro

You can book one of these fantastic excursion with Educare Aventura or Active8You. These tours will guide you past the high cliffs of the Maro nature reserve, into hidden caves and coves... and to see the beautiful Maro waterfalls (the Doncella waterfall and the Grande de Maro waterfall).

Kayak Playa de Maro, Maro Spain
** Rent Kayaks on the Playa de Maro

The tours last approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, cost €25.00, and are given in both English and Spanish. You can read more about these excursions here. (Kayaking in Nerja)

Kayaks can also be rented directly on Playa de Maro for about 8.00€ per hour by Salamandra Multiaventura.


Kayaking - Playa de Maro
Kayak Cliff Tour of Nerja and Maro - Maro Waterfall - This guided kayak tour of the Nerja and Maro cliffs is in high demand. You must reserve in time to guarantee your place. There are several scheduled departures: 10:00, 13:00, 16:00

Leaves from Playa Burriana (Nerja) - tour stars 484 Reviews

Other Activities Near Playa de Maro? Diving & Sailing...

During the summer months the cliffs and coastal areas around Playa de Maro are buzzing with activity. Not only will you spot a multitude of kayakers enjoying the scenery, but you will also see paddle boards, scuba divers, snorkelers, small motor boats, and larger sailboats and yachts.

Two other highly recommended activities near Playa de Maro are scuba diving and snorkeling. The Maro / Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve is known as being the most sought after diving spot in all of mainland Spain and there are numerous certifications and excursions you can take advantage of while you're here.

Most of the diving companies are located in La Herradura with a few also in Nerja.

Underwater Sea Life in the Maro Nature Reserve

Cascada Grande de Maro, Playa de Maro Playa de Maro from a distance
** Underwater Paradise, Clownfish & Octopus - Playa de Maro

The marine life around Playa de Maro and within the Maro-Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve is nothing short of breathtaking, making it a paradise for scuba divers. The waters here are part of a protected marine reserve, which has allowed a wide variety of species to thrive. You can expect to see vibrant schools of fish such as sardines, mackerel and anchovies, as well as octopus, starfish, sea urchins and even the occasional moray eel.

The seabed formations are equally spectacular, with jagged rocks, caves and underwater cliffs that are home to corals, sponges and sea anemones. The clarity of the water is exceptional, thanks to careful conservation efforts and the currents of the Mediterranean, which enhance visibility and make the colorful underwater world even more impressive. For these reasons, Playa de Maro and the Maro-Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve are considered one of the most spectacular dive sites in southern Spain.


Baptism in Almuñécar with Experienced Divers - Don't have much time and not sure about needing a certification? Try a dive in Almuñécar and discover the amazing marine life that hides beneath the waters along the Costa Tropical. 1.5-hour immersion. Ages 14 and up.


Cruise along the Coast and enjoy Spectacular Views

Another option to consider on your next visit to the 'Playa del Maro' area is to take a boat ride along the coast. Boating along the picturesque coastline of the Maro-Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve offers a unique perspective of its extraordinary beauty. As you navigate the azure Mediterranean waters, you'll see impressive cliff formations, secluded coves, and waterfalls cascading directly into the sea.

Boat rentals are available in Nerja, where you don't need a license, or at the Marina del Este in La Herradura. For an unforgettable experience, private boat trips are also available, making for a truly special day out as you explore the coastline with a guide, complete with opportunities to swim, snorkel or simply bask in the Andalucian sun.

Parking Near Playa de Maro?

The parking around Playa de Maro is limited. There is a small parking area just above the beach but most people park along the road leading to the village. During the summer, this beach gets very busy so we recommend that you arrive early to beat the crowds.

How do I get to Maro beach from Nerja?

From Granada - Drive south along A-44 and E-15/A-7. Take exit 295 (Nerja) from E-15/A-7.

➜ Continue to the roundabout and take the N-340 towards Almeria to Maro. At the Nerja Caves roundabout take the first exit into the town of Maro, then cross through the village and take the small rural road to the right between the farms leading to the coast. Follow the signs to Playa de Maro.

From Malaga - Follow A-7 going east. Take exit 295 (Nerja) from A-7. Then follow directions above.

From Nerja - Drive along Carretera de Almería/N-340 going east towards Almeria. Then follow directions above.

Playa de Maro Facilities:

Toilets / Showers Yes
Disabled Access Yes
Lifeguard Station Yes (Summer Only)
Sun Loungers Yes
Restaurant Small Kiosk
Parking Yes (Minimal)
Kayak Rentals Yes

9 More Amazing Maro Beaches! - Going from West ➜ East

Playa de Maro is an impressive beach but if you think it's too crowded or you are a lover of unspoiled nature and tranquility, we invite you to visit any of these other stunning Maro coves and beaches. Their beauty will astound you!


Cala Barranco de Maro

Playa de Maro - Cala Barranco de Maro
** Cala Barranco de Maro - Playa de Maro, Maro Spain

The most hidden Maro beach is the Cala Barranco de Maro, yet it’s known and visited often by the locals.

This small cove of just 20 meters, hidden between the sugar cane plantations, will leave you breathless. Most people pass by without even knowing it's there.

The beach itself is small and rocky, yet it has more privacy thanks to the thick vegetation that makes this place so special: deserted, pristine, and beautiful... and far from the tourist masses... is how we would describe Cala Barranco de Maro.

While enjoying the warmth of the summer sun the only sounds you are likely to hear on this Maro beach are the crashing waves and seagulls calling.

For More Information and Photos of this Maro Beach Read: Cala Barranco de Maro

😻 Why Visit this Maro Beach?

If you are looking for a getaway from the crowds and enjoy nature, this is a great spot. Few tourists arrive at this stretch of beach. It is surrounded by sugarcane and is accessible only through a sandy trail along the barranco.


Playa la Caleta de Maro

Playa de Maro - Playa de la Caleta
** Playa de la Caleta - Playa de Maro, Maro Spain

Discover the beach that once inspired the backdrop of one of Spain's most famous television series, 'Verano Azul'. Playa de la Caleta de Maro is situated just 1km outside the village of Maro, in the municipality of Nerja, and is surrounded by sugar cane fields and rocky cliffs.

This beautiful 400-meter stretch of virgin Mediterranean coastline is the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon sunbathing. The area is naturally shielded from strong winds and breaking waves due to the coastal cliffs and large rock formations that have formed a natural breakwater, which also provides this Maro beach with more privacy for nude sunbathers.

For More Information and Photos of this Maro Beach Read: Playa de la Caleta

😻 Why Visit this Maro Beach?

If you are curious to see where the young group of "Verano Azul" actors spent their days and want to spend YOUR day relaxing and enjoying one of the lesser crowded beaches of Maro, try 'Playa de la Caleta de Maro'.


Playa de la Torre de Maro

The 'Playa de la Torre de Maro' is a one-of-a-kind beach that can only be accessed by an inland trail or by sea. It is secluded, quiet, and a wonderful spot for taking in the Mediterranean Sea and its unbeatable views.

Setting out on this trail had us wondering, is it worth it? Will this path lead us to something magical or will we just be disappointed? The answer was revealed upon our descent.

Playa de Maro - Playa de la Torre de Maro
** Playa de la Torre de Maro - Playa de Maro, Maro Spain

We first followed the narrow, cliffside, trail for about 35-minutes past old Moorish ruins and terraced farmland. The salty sea air and warmth from the sun guided our way as we found ourselves surrounded by 100-year-old olive trees, grazing Iberian Ibex, rocky cliffs as high as 200 meters, and the most amazing views imaginable.

As you find yourself descending onto this Maro beach, you will realize that this truly is a paradise which should not be missed... even if it means exerting a little effort to get there.

😻 Why Visit this Maro Beach?

Visit this Maro beach if you are up for a little adventure and love trekking. Your reward at the end will be well worth the pain.

How to Arrive:

To access this Maro beach make your way down the N-340 away from Maro going towards the village of La Herradura. On the right-hand side, you will see a turn off that takes you to the Torre de Maro (an ancient Moorish watchtower). There is a small parking area at the top or you can make your way further down the road until it ends. From there keep walking towards the sea and you will find a narrow walking path on your left. Follow this path for about 35-minutes until you reach the beach.


Playa del Molino de Papel

This idyllic Maro beach is perfect for those running from civilization. What? There's civilization in Maro? Well, yes and no. Like many of the other Maro beaches 'Playa del Molino de Papel' is nestled between sheer cliffs and surrounded by raw nature. Located just 5-minutes from Maro pueblo this beach is one of the most beautiful in the area and lies just at the end of the Río de la Miel (River of Honey) and the stream of Colmenarejos.

Playa de Maro - Playa del Molino de Papel
** Playa del Molino de Papel - Playa de Maro, Maro Spain

The cove itself is about 400-meters long and is divided into two parts by the 'Arroyo de los Colmenarejos' (three large boulders that jut out of the sea) and the remains of an ancient watchtower. The beach consists of medium grain stones and dark sand and it's one of the few places where the water is so transparent you can see your feet as you wade in to swim.

There are also natural pools in the rock where you can enjoy swimming and cooling off on those hot summer days while also exploring the incredible biodiversity of the underwater flora and fauna.

During the summer months this Maro beach is packed with sunbathers and snorkelers.

For More Information and Photos of this Maro Beach Read: Playa del Molino de Papel

😻 Why Visit this Maro Beach?

Visit this Maro beach if you like raw natural beauty and stunning views but you also like to be near the action.


Playa de las Alberquillas

Moving down the coast we arrive at our next destination, 'Playa de las Alberquillas'. This Maro beach is a continuation of the previous one, 'Playa del Molina de Papel'. It's easily accessed by passing by the remains of the ancient watchtower, 'torre de la miel', that sits at the waters edge.

This section of beach is stunningly gorgeous and often less crowded than the others, even in summer, due to the extra effort to get there.

Playa de Maro - Playa de las Alberquillas
** Playa de las Alberquillas - Playa de Maro, Maro Spain

You can also access this beach from the top by narrow paths that descend between the cliffs covered by wild rosemary and thyme. These rocky cliffs create an impressive sea entrance and make this place an almost impregnable fortress... perfect for nude sunbathers.

With a length of 400 meters, this sand and pebble beach enjoys crystalline waters and is yet another inviting place to practice snorkeling as the marine life is protected due to its status as a nature reserve.

For More Information and Photos of this Maro Beach Read: Playa de las Alberquillas

😻 Why Visit this Maro Beach?

Visit this Maro beach if you want to be immersed in nature, avoid the crowds, and don't mind putting in a little extra effort to get there.


Calas del Pino

The next beach in the Maro Reserve consists of two separate coves that are connected by a scattering of small boulders and interesting rock formations. These coves are known as the 'Calas del Pino' or 'Pine Coves'.

Why pine coves you ask? This precious untouched patch of paradise is wrapped in a Pine forest and hidden deep in the hills of Andalucia. Accessing it is a bit of an adventure as the path down is steep and covered in wild, sweet-smelling herbs and flowers.

Calas del Pino - Playa de Maro
** Calas del Pino - Playa de Maro

An impressive Roman tower, the 'torre del pino', stands proudly and protectively amongst the pines overlooking the Calas del Pino and gives this beach a romantic sense of history and time.

Located about 10-minutes east of Nerja this cove opens to a long sandy beach that has few visitors, even in summer. The high hills and rocky cliffs protect it from strong waves and wind making it a relaxing place to spend the day.

Rock-formed pools found at the far end of the beach are perfect for curious children, with each rock and pebble comes a new discovery. From rare flowers to interesting sea life and colorful fish, if you spend enough time on the 'Calas del Pino' expect to discover something new with every visit.

For More Information and Photos of this Maro Beach Read: Calas del Pino

😻 Why Visit this Maro Beach?

Visit this Maro beach if you want to spend a day in a remote cove with spectacular views and beauty... and you are physically fit enough to make the trek down to the beach.


Playa el Cañuelo

Here we are at the last official beach of the 'Costa del Sol'. This Maro beach sits right at the border of the provinces of Malaga and Granada and is one of the most popular in the nature reserve.

Playa Cañuelo, like the other beaches in Maro, is a long, secluded beach (a mix of sand and stone), surrounded by soaring cliffs, rugged vegetation, wonderful hiking trails, and the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean. But... unlike other beaches, Cañuelo has many amenities that make spending the day here a little easier.

Playa de Maro - Playa el Cañuelo
** Playa el Cañuelo - Playa de Maro, Spain

The cove of Cañuelo is quite large and dramatically beautiful with large rocks jutting out of the sea at both ends. These areas are a dream for snorkelers who will enjoy seeing the many species of brightly colored fish and coral, some of which are listed as being close to extinction.

Parking is available, as well as a shuttle, two restaurants, toilets, showers, and sometimes lifeguards.

For More Information and Photos of this Maro Beach Read: Playa el Cañuelo

😻 Why Visit this Maro Beach?

Visit this Maro beach if you love the beach and nature but prefer to enjoy lunch in a good restaurant, and like access to toilets, showers, a shuttle, and more...


Cala Doncella

Cala Doncella is the last small cove in the Province of Malaga and one only accessed by a footpath from Playa Cañuelo or Cantarriján... or arriving by sea. This makes Doncella a wonderful retreat from the summer crowds and a quiet, peaceful place to spend the day.

Playa de Maro - Cala Doncella
** Cala Doncella - Playa de Maro, Spain

From the beach of Cantarriján follow the small trail that ascends from the riverbed for about 20-minutes. You will pass the Torre de Caleta on the way, although you will have to leave the trail to reach it. The views up and down the coast from the tower are worth the detour, on clear days you can contemplate the coast of Africa and enjoy the breathtaking views it offers.

😻 Why Visit this Maro Beach?

Visit this Maro beach if you enjoy hiking and nature… but this beach is off the beaten track so expect some effort to get there.


Playa Cantarriján

Playa Cantarriján, Playa de Maro
Playa Cantarriján, Playa de Maro Playa Cantarriján, Playa de Maro
** Views of Playa Cantarriján - Playa de Maro, Spain

We have now arrived at the last Maro beach and we are in the Province of Granada... just 5-minutes outside the village of La Herradura. Playa Cantarriján is the only official Playa Nudista in the Maro Nature Reserve and is extremely popular during most of the year.

The two small coves that make up Playa Cantarriján are loved and frequented by families who also like to enjoy a delicious meal in one of its two beach bars, La Barraca and Bola Marina.

This beach offers not only rest and relaxation but also kayak rentals, hiking trails, beachside massages, and even handmade souvenirs sold by local hippies. What more could you ask for?

For More Information and Photos of this Maro Beach Read: Playa Cantarriján

😻 Why Visit this Maro Beach?

Visit this Maro beach if you are looking for something rustic and simple and don't mind a little nudity. Those staying closer to La Herradura or Almuñecar will find this beach to be the most convenient.

photo of Darsey and Izzy

Who are we? An American expat with over 20 years of experience living and traveling in Spain, specifically in Malaga and Granada. Darsey is a seasoned explorer of Andalucia. Drawing from decades of immersive experience, she offers deep insights into this enchanting region of Spain, including off-the-beaten path destinations, the best places to stay, and the top bucket list activities to try! More...

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