Balc贸n de Europa
Explore the Balc贸n!

Discover The Balc贸n de Europa

The thing that Nerja is most well-known for, besides its insanely beautiful beaches, is the Balc贸n de Europa at its center. 鈥淏alc贸n de Europa鈥 translates to 鈥淏alcony of Europe鈥... and oh, what a balcony it is!

One of Nerja鈥檚 most iconic hotels, the Hotel Balc贸n de Europa, (and one we highly recommend) sits just at the end of the Balc贸n, most of its rooms enjoying stunning Mediterranean Sea views.

Balc贸n de Europa - Nerja Spain Balc贸n de Europa - Boquete de Calahonda
** Boquete de Calahonda - Balc贸n de Europa - Nerja

The History of the Balc贸n de Europa

Originally, where the Balc贸n de Europa now stands, there was a castle called "Castillo Bajo" or "Lower Castle" in English. It was built in the 16th century and renovated in the 18th century. Two canons were later added to the structure, which can still be seen today along the promenade.

Over time, conflicts and natural forces took their toll on the structure. During the Spanish War of Independence, much of the castle was destroyed by bombardment from an English ship.

Later, a catastrophic earthquake caused extensive damage to the castle, prompting a visit from King Alfonso XII of Spain. He came to see the damage caused by the earthquake and to assist in the rebuilding efforts. It is said that during this visit he stood on the ruins of the old castle and was so moved by Nerja's magnificent beauty and spectacular sea views that he declared... "He had found the Balcony of Europe"... and this is how our dear 'Balc贸n de Europa' received its name.

King Alfonso

The original gun battery was eventually replaced by a more modern and stylish structure, designed with a rounded balcony and promenade. The modern Balc贸n de Europa is a palm-lined walkway with an iconic 19th-century railing and a life-size bronze statue of King Alfonso XII, commemorating his visit.

The statue of King Alfonso stands proudly at the end of the Balc贸n... admiring the coastline he so adored.

Balc贸n de Europa - Fountain - Nerja Spain Balc贸n de Europa - King Alfonso - Nerja Spain
** Blue Fountain & King Alfonso - Balc贸n de Europa

The Balc贸n de Europa Today

The most dominant feature of the Balc贸n is the large semicircular viewing platform, reminiscent of a grand balcony, perched on a rocky promontory overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This platform is connected to a wide, palm-lined promenade designed for leisurely walks.

The area around the Balc贸n de Europa is a hub of activity, full of wonderful restaurants, bars, cafes and artists who line the streets to paint the magnificent views. Singers and dancers come to delight you with impromptu performances of authentic Spanish ballads, flamenco dancing, or an enchanting Spanish guitar melody.

The streets near the Balc贸n are completely pedestrianized, so you can walk around safely... Take Calle Puerta del Mar to the shopping district, past small boutiques, Moroccan shops, cafes and art galleries.

The Balc贸n de Europa Balcony - Nerja, Spain
** The Balc贸n de Europa Balcony with King Alfonso

The breathtaking views of the Balc贸n de Europa

The Balc贸n de Europa offers spectacular panoramic views. Standing on the Balcony, you are immediately greeted with an almost 360 degree view of the dazzling Mediterranean Sea... with the sound of its gentle waves lapping against the rocky shore.

Just below the balcony are two of Nerja's most popular beaches, Playa Calahonda and Playa la Caletilla... with the beautiful Playa el Salon visible in the distance.

Nerja Balc贸n de Europa Views - Andaluc铆a - Spain
** Beautiful Views from the Balc贸n de Europa - Nerja, Spain

Looking east you can admire the stunning coast line stretching into the distance, with views of Playa Burriana, the whitewashed village of Maro, the cliffs of the Maro Nature Reserve and another classic Andalucian fishing village, La Herradura.

To the west you can see all the way to the famous port city of Malaga...and on a clear day you can sometimes catch a glimpse of Africa...just across the sea.

As the day turns to night, the setting sun paints the sky in a palette of fiery reds, oranges and purples, creating an unforgettable scene. The twinkling lights of the city and the stars above cast a magical glow over the Balcon de Europa, making the stunning views... even more breathtaking.

Watch the video below to see the views from the promenade that runs along the coast below the Balcon de Europa.

3 Beaches accessed from the Balc贸n de Europa

There are three beaches in Nerja that can be accessed directly from the Balc贸n...

  • Playa Calahonda - This is the beach seen most often in beautiful photos of Nerja on the eastern side of the Balc贸n de Europa. It is small but very popular with a lively atmosphere.

  • Playa la Caletilla - Just in front of the Hotel Balc贸n de Europa, this lovely little cove is perfect for families with small children.

  • Playa el Sal贸n - Once an old fishermen's beach, Playa el Sal贸n is one of Nerja's most popular beaches and is accessible directly from the Balc贸n de Europa. It's charming fishing huts, now used as summer homes, can still be seen today built into the surrounding cliffs.

Playa Calahonda - west of Balc贸n de Europa Playa la Caletilla - East of Balc贸n de Europa
** Playa Calahonda & Playa la Caletilla

When to Visit the Balcon de Europa

The area around the Balcon de Europa has been blessed with a Mediterranean climate characterized by mild winters and hot, dry summers. It is often referred to as having a "micro-climate" that creates near perfect weather throughout the year... which really means that any time is a great time to visit... But let's break it down.

During the summer (June through August), temperatures typically range from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius (77 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit). The days are long and sunny, making it an excellent time for beach activities, swimming and enjoying the panoramic views from the Balcon de Europa.

A bright sunny day on the Balc贸n de Europa
** The Boquete de Calahonda on a Bright Sunny Day

From September to November, Nerja sees a slight drop in temperatures, ranging from 20 to 27 degrees Celsius (68 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit). It's a great time to visit, as the village is less crowded and the surrounding Sierra de Almijara mountains take on the beautiful colors of autumn. The area is perfect for hiking!

In winter, from December to February, temperatures drop to around 10 to 18 degrees Celsius (50 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit). However, it remains relatively mild compared to much of Europe, and sunny days are not uncommon. It's a great time to enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Balcon without the summer heat.

People eating at the Balcon de Europa in Autumn The Balcon de Europa in Autumn, palm trees and shops
** The Balcon de Europa on a Quiet Day in Autumn

In spring, from March to May, temperatures range from 15 to 23 degrees Celsius (59 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit). The days are warm and breezy, and the village is awash with vibrant colors as flowers bloom everywhere, making it one of the best times to visit.

This near-perfect year-round weather, combined with the allure of the Balcon de Europa and Nerja's other attractions, ensures a steady stream of tourists throughout the year.

The Top Sites on the Balc贸n

See if you can find these interesting sites while exploring the area around the Balc贸n de Europa.

  • The Castle Canons - Left over from times past these two canons sit at the far end of the Balc贸n and were once part of the strategic castle that occupied the place. They date to the 18th century.

  • Boquete de Calahonda - The large white rectangular structure adorned with colorful pots of Geraniums is a focal point of the Balc贸n. If you walk around the corner and down the stairs you will find yourself on Playa Calahonda.

  • The Calahonda Pathway - There is a lovely path that extends past Playa Calahonda in both directions. It's a wonderful place for walking in the evening. Going east the path was recently extended and goes all the way to Playa el Salon.

    During the summer months, you will usually find artists selling jewelry and other interesting crafts.

Balc贸n de Europa - Nerja Spain Balc贸n de Europa Cannon - Nerja Spain
** Balcony & Canon - Balc贸n de Europa - Nerja

  • The Blue Fountain - Built in 1995, this pretty fountain is built into the Boquete de Calahonda. It's a nice place to stop and cool yourself off on a hot day.

  • El Salvador Church - The church sits on the westernmost end of the Balc贸n de Europa Plaza. It's a popular spot for destinations weddings and is usually brimming with activity... especially during the spring and summer. Brides and Grooms can often be seen leaving the church in an explosion of rice and confetti.

    The original church was built in 1505, but the church you see today was rebuilt in 1697.

  • Monument to the 'Nerja Caves Discoverers' - At the end of the Balc贸n you will find a small monument dedicated to the 5 boys that discovered the Nerja Caves in 1959 and put this little village on the map.

  • Monument to King Alfonso - A statue of King Alfonso, the man that declared Nerja the 'Balcony of Europe'.

  • Monument to Chanquete - Along the Calahonda pathway and below the Balc贸n, you will find a statue dedicated to the loveable character, 'Chanquete', in the famous Spanish series (filmed in Nerja) "Verano Azul".

Balc贸n de Europa - Nerja Caves Monument Balc贸n de Europa - Monument to Chanquete
** Monuments to the Caves & Chanquete - Balc贸n de Europa

Home to Green Monks

Something your kids will enjoy while visiting the Balc贸n de Europa is counting how many green parrots they can spot. These busy green birds can be seen just at the top of the palm trees lining the Balc贸n... busily building their nests and squawking loudly. If you don't spot one right away, stay very quiet and you will certainly hear their raucous squeals from above!

Parrots - Balc贸n de Europa - Nerja Spain Parrots - Balc贸n de Europa - Nerja Spain
** Parrots in the trees along the Balc贸n de Europa - Nerja, Spain

These little green guys are called Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus), also known as Quaker Parrots. They are originally from South America (specifically Argentina) but arrived in Spain in 1975... as domestic pets...

A few sly parrots escaped from their cages and began colonizing the larger cities and towns (like Malaga and Nerja). Today, you will find them all over the Costa del Sol!

The Best Hotels

Located in the heart of the old town there are many great options for accommodation near the Balc贸n. Our top recommendations are:

The Hotel Balc贸n de Europa Built into the famous Balc贸n de Europa, this hotel sits right on Caletilla Beach. It offers an outdoor pool, Free Wi-Fi, a restaurant, and balconies with stunning sea views. Located in the center of Nerja, it's also close to all the shops, bars and restaurants.
BEST LOCATION! tour stars

Three Other Good Hotel Choices
Hotel Plaza Cavana - tour stars
Hotel Carabeo - tour stars - Great Location, Very Nice!
Hotel Puerta del Mar - tour stars

The Nightlife & Where to Eat

The Balc贸n area is ALWAYS bustling with activity! During the day you will see tourist milling about admiring the views, enjoying a tapa in one of the cafes, watching the local artists paint, or just relaxing and enjoying the festive atmosphere.

But if you think the plaza is alive during the day... try it at night! As the sun dips below the horizon, the promenade is illuminated and soft lights accentuate the dramatic coastline, making the views of the Mediterranean Sea particularly enchanting under the starlit sky.

The surrounding area comes alive with a different kind of energy as local restaurants, bars, and ice cream parlors buzz with activity. The sound of live music often fills the air, ranging from traditional flamenco guitar to more contemporary tunes... adding to the electric atmosphere..

The Balc贸n de Europa at night is the perfect place to enjoy a romantic meal 馃挊... Here is our list of the 20 BEST Restaurants in Nerja. OH! And when you're done... stop by Albi for an ice cream (in a chocolate cone). It's the best in Nerja!

Christmas and Fiestas at the Balcon de Europa

The Balcon de Europa is also host to a variety of parties and other holiday celebrations throughout the year, with Christmas being one of the most memorable.

During the Christmas season the Balcon de Europa is transformed into a festive wonderland. The area is beautifully decorated with lights, ornaments and a large, centrally placed Christmas tree. These decorations, combined with the beauty of the surrounding sea and landscape, create a truly magical Christmas experience.

One of the highlights of the Christmas season is the Three Kings Parade on the eve of Epiphany (January 5th). This parade features the Three Kings (The Magi) throwing candy to the crowds lining the streets. It ends with singing and dancing on the Balcon de Europa.

Playa Calahonda - west of Balc贸n de Europa Playa la Caletilla - East of Balc贸n de Europa
** Playa Calahonda & Playa la Caletilla

In addition to the Christmas festivities, many other celebrations take place around the Balcon de Europa throughout the year. One of these is the 'Carnaval de Nerja', a colorful fiesta held before Lent with parades, costumes, music and dancing. The highlight of the carnival is the 'Burial of the Sardine' procession, which ends with a spectacular fireworks display on the Balcon de Europa.

Another cultural event is San Isidro, a traditional Andalusian festival held in May. It begins with a procession of beautifully decorated oxcarts and people in traditional costume from the church of San Isidro to the Nerja Caves, passing by the Balcon de Europa.

Three Kings Parade to the Balc贸n de Europa
** Three Kings Parade at the Balc贸n de Europa

Balcon de Europa Weddings

With its breathtaking views and romantic ambiance, the Balc贸n de Europa is a much sought-after destination for love and a popular venue for weddings. With an unparalleled backdrop of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, rugged cliffs and picturesque Andalusian architecture, it's easy to see why couples choose this remarkable venue to say "I do".

Although the Balcon itself is not available for the ceremony, there are several locations along the Balcon that are, including the Hotel Balcon de Europa and the Church of El Salvador. After the ceremony, the stunning views provide an amazing backdrop for wedding photos, capturing memories that will last a lifetime.

As the Balcon de Europa is located in the old town of Nerja, you will find all the essential wedding services nearby, such as first class catering services offering delicious Spanish cuisine and luxurious accommodation for guests. And Nerja's pleasant year-round climate makes it possible to plan outdoor weddings at the Balcon at almost any time of the year.

Weddings at the Balc贸n de Europa
** Weddings at the Balc贸n de Europa

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