Nerja Beaches
Nerja Beaches

21 Spectacular Nerja Beaches

The Nerja Beaches

🌴 Ahhhhh... THIS is why you come to Nerja... For its exquisite sandy beaches and spectacular Mediterranean Sea views.

Nerja has 21 beaches for you to enjoy (11 in town and 10 more in the Nature Reserve), all offering a wonderful assortment of sporty activities, delicious seaside chiringuitos, a shallow surf, and gentle waves. You can rent a sunbed for the day, go for a swim, or join one of the many kayaking tours along the coast... a day spent on any of these Nerja beaches would be a day spent...well, in Spanish heaven...

The TOP 6 Nerja beaches

The most popular Nerja beaches are mostly located near the town center close to restaurants, 4-star hotels, and loads of shopping. But some of the Nerja beaches will surprise you. Located just 5-minutes from one of Spain's most protected nature reserves, you will find isolated, pristine beaches that will take your breath away!

Nerja Beaches - Burriana
Playa Burriana There is nothing you can't find along Burriana beach. Nerja's busiest and longest beach, Burriana is jam-packed with fabulous chiringuitos, cafes, beach shops, and water-related activities for both the kids and the adults.

Nerja Beaches - Calahonda
Playa Calahonda This is the beach seen most often in beautiful photos of Nerja. Wonderfully located, just on the eastern side of the Balcón de Europa, Playa Calahonda is small but popular with a very lively atmosphere.

Nerja Beaches - Carabeillo
Playa Carabeillo On the western end of Playa Burriana you will find the quiet cove of Playa Carabeillo. Protected from coastal winds by large boulders at one end, this 'wild' beach provides small nooks and crannies where visitors will find privacy and tranquility... even in the summer months.

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

Nerja Beaches - Torrecilla
Playa Torrecilla A beautiful sandy beach along one of Nerja's busiest plazas, Plaza Fabrica de Los Cangrejos. Here you will find numerous seaside hotels, restaurants, and a wonderful promenade for evening walks.

Playa Torrecilla is a 'Blue Flag' beach and has also been awarded the 'Q' for Quality.

Nerja Beaches - Playa de Maro
Playa de Maro Playa de Maro is a little different than the other Nerja beaches. It's located just outside of town in the Maro / Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve.

This reserve has 9 other virgin beaches to explore, as well as very popular kayaking tours along the coast, past hidden caves and waterfalls.

The smaller Nerja Beaches in Town (but still very popular and beautiful) are:

The coastline around the eastern-most part of the Costa del Sol is rocky with soaring cliffs that meet quant coves and bays at the water's edge. This creates many smaller beaches along the coast that are great if you are looking for a little more privacy and quiet.

11 Stunning Nerja Beaches And 10 More in the Maro Nature Reserve...


Playa Calahonda

Nerja Beaches - Playa Calahonda
** Playa Calahonda - The Most Iconic of the Nerja Beaches

Out of all the Nerja beaches, Playa Calahonda is the most photographed and well-known, not only due to its prime location, right in the center of Nerja and next to the famous Balcón de Europa, but also because of its unique beauty.

This tiny beach was once a hub of fishing activity. Fisherman would cast their nets from Playa Calahonda and set sail in their colorful boats to catch the days offering. Once back they would store their equipment in small houses carved out of the surrounding cliffs and rocks. Today, you can still see one of these charming little houses with its whitewashed exterior, blue door and trim, and a beautiful display of pink and red Geraniums.

For More Information, Where to Stay, and Photos of this Nerja Beach, Read ➜ Playa Calahonda


Playa Burriana

Nerja Beaches - Playa Burriana
** Playa Burriana - The Busiest of the Nerja Beaches

Packed from end to end with restaurants, tapas bars, aquatic sports companies, beach shops, and more Playa Burriana is the most popular and busiest of all the Nerja beaches. With over 800-meters of smooth sand and gentle surf this beach is the top pick for most visitors to the area.

Here you will also find a few good hotels, the Nerja Parador being the best located, and a ton of wonderful villa and apartment rentals. If you choose to stay near Playa Burriana, please keep in mind that you will need transportation to and from the city center.

Also: Kayaking excursions leave hourly from this beach to tour the waterfalls in the Maro Nature Reserve.

For More Information, Where to Stay, and Photos of this Nerja Beach, Read ➜ Playa Burriana


Playa Carabeillo

Nerja Beaches - Playa Carabeillo
** The Nerja Beaches - Playa Carabeillo, at the end of Playa Burriana

Playa Carabeillo is a small cove on the western end of Playa Burriana, but it really is just a continuation of Playa Burriana. The large rocks, that jut out of the sea on one end, and the surrounding lush vegetation have created a very private natural cove. This is why Playa Carabeillo has been given its own beach designation.

Access to this beach is down a staircase from Carabeo Street or walking from neighboring Playa Burriana. You will find no services on this part of the beach... just quiet, solitude, and amazing sea views.

For More Information, Where to Stay, and Photos of this Nerja Beach, Read ➜ Playa Carabeillo

Playa Carabeillo: Top Hotels ➜
Parador de Nerja - tour stars
Hotel Carabeo - tour stars - Great Location, Very Nice!
Coronado Parador Nerja
Jarales Parador Nerja Canovas


Playa Carabeo

Nerja Beaches - Playa Carabeo
** The Nerja Beaches - Playa Carabeo

As you take a leisurely stroll through the winding streets of the Nerja Old Town, past shops, flower-filled balconies, and charming cafes... you will at once come across a small, intimate mirador (Balcón de Carabeo) with magnificent Mediterranean Sea views and the picturesque cove of Playa Carabeo below.

Surrounded by high cliffs and enormous rock formations on either end, this Nerja beach is protected from strong winds and waves. It's the perfect place to spend a lazy day, away from the crowds, but close enough to town to enjoy its many bars and restaurants.

For More Information, Where to Stay, and Photos of this Nerja Beach, Read ➜ Playa Carabeo

Playa Carabeo: Top Hotels ➜
Parador de Nerja - tour stars
Hotel Carabeo - tour stars - Great Location, Very Nice!
Casa Jardin - tour stars


Playa Chorrillo

Nerja Beaches - Playa Chorrillo
** The Nerja Beaches - Playa Chorrillo

If you are looking for a quiet, out of the way place to spend the day, Playa Chorrillo is the place! This beach is a narrow, sandy area between Playa Calahonda and Playa Carabeo with giant boulders that create intimate nooks and crannies.

To access this Nerja beach you will have to cross over from Playa Calahonda. Go down the stairs from the Balcón de Europa, all the way to Playa Calahonda, then walk directly across the beach towards the giant rocks on its eastern end. From there you can make your way around the rocks, along 60-meters of soft white sand... and finally find yourself a quiet, relaxing spot.

For More Information, Where to Stay, and Photos of this Nerja Beach, Read ➜ Playa Chorrillo


Playa Caletilla

Nerja Beaches - Playa la Caletilla
** The Nerja Beaches - Playa la Caletilla

Playa la Caletilla sits just below and to the west of the famous Balcón de Europa, it enjoys wonderful views of this historic balcony, the flower-covered cliffs below it, and the bright blue sea all around it.

Because of its location, in front of the Hotel Balcón de Europa, this beach was thought by many to be private. But on the contrary, this lovely little cove, nestled within the cliffs and rocky shoreline, is available to all and is perfect for families with small children.

Playa la Caletilla is very easily accessed as the city of Nerja has built a wonderful promenade that runs the length of this 50-meter-long sandy beach. You can walk from either Playa Calahonda to the east or Playa el Salón to the west.

For More Information, Where to Stay, and Photos of this Nerja Beach, Read ➜ Playa la Caletilla


Playa el Salón

Nerja Beaches - Playa el Salón Y Playa la Caletilla
** The Nerja Beaches - Playa el Salón and Playa la Caletilla in the Foreground

Playa el Salón stands out and is a favorite of many Spanish families due to its beauty, location, and charm. This 200-meter-long cove was once a fisherman's beach. Like Playa Calahonda to the east, this beach was used as a small port where fisherman and their families gathered, worked, and celebrated the catch of the day.

Small houses were built under the cliffs where the locals could store their equipment and some were even lived in. These unique dwellings, still present today along Playa el Salón, have been converted into tiny summer homes.

Access to this beach is from Calle Salón to the right of the Church of El Salvador in the Plaza de Balcón de Europa or from the newly built promenade that connects to Playa la Caletilla.

For More Information, Where to Stay, and Photos of this Nerja Beach, Read ➜ Playa el Salón


Playa el Torrecilla

Nerja Beaches - Playa Torrecilla
** The Nerja Beaches - Playa Torrecilla

The 'Blue Flag' Campaign, starting in 1987, has been awarded to over 4,000 beaches and marinas in 48 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Jordan, UAE, and the Caribbean. As of today, Spain has had more 'Blue Flag' beaches than any other country every year since the awards began. Playa Torrecilla is a Blue Flag beach.

This Nerja beach is the second most popular in Nerja and is, like Playa Burriana, loaded with high-end services. Just some of the many amenities you will find on Playa Torrecilla are: seaside chiringuitos, tapas bars, 5-star hotels, beach shops, umbrellas and sunbeds, showers, toilets, kayak and jet ski rentals, and much, much, more...

For More Information, Where to Stay, and Photos of this Nerja Beach, Read ➜ Playa Torrecilla


Playa el Chucho

Nerja Beaches - Playa el Chucho
** The Nerja Beaches - Playa el Chucho

This 230-meter-long, sandy beach can be found between Playa Torrecilla and the mouth of the famous Chillar River. Visitors to Playa el Chucho will enjoy many amenities during the summer months as one of Nerja's 4-star hotels, Perla Marina, is located right on the beach.

Access to this beach is along a seafront promenade that runs from Playa Torrecilla and the bustling Plaza de los Cangrejos. There is also a wonderful mirador on the western end of Playa Chucho with amazing views of the surrounding beaches and many large rocks where snorkelers can explore the marine life.

For More Information, Where to Stay, and Photos of this Nerja Beach, Read ➜ Playa el Chucho


Playa el Playazo

Nerja Beaches - Playa el Playazo
** The Nerja Beaches - Playa el Playazo

The last and longest of the Nerja beaches on the western end of town is Playa el Playazo. It is also the most natural with fewer available services.

This beach is easy to access and has numerous parking areas behind it, amongst the farms and sugarcane plantations. There are also a few beach bars on this beach that serve fresh seafood dishes and traditional local cuisine.

One of Nerja's most popular hotels, the Marinas de Nerja, is located at the western end of Playa el Playazo. It boasts a spa, a beachfront restaurant, self-catering rooms with sea views, and two huge outdoor pools. Boat and jet ski rentals are also available on the beach.

For More Information, Where to Stay, and Photos of this Nerja Beach, Read ➜ Playa el Playazo

Playa el Playazo: Top Hotels ➜
Marinas de Nerja Beach & Spa - tour stars


Piedra de Tarzan

Nerja Beaches - Piedra de Tarzan
** The Nerja Beaches - Piedra de Tarzan

The last Nerja beach on our list (within the city limits) is a hidden cove on the eastern end of town past Playa Burriana. It is the hardest beach to access which makes it very private and quiet. The Piedra de Tarzan (Rock of Tarzan) beach is named for the huge boulder that sits on one end of the cove. It's a great spot for jumping into the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean.

Access to this Nerja beach is either by sea (in a kayak or small motor boat) or by following inland trails. It has no services and is very remote.

Are Water Sports are Available?

🛶 During the summer months, the sea along the Nerja coastline is filled with eager sports enthusiasts... Some of the water sports you can try while you're here are:

Windsurfing, kayaking in the Maro Nature Reserve, stand-up paddleboard, aquatic cycling, water skiing, wakeboarding, snorkeling, and scuba diving...

Top Kayaking Excursion We Recommend:


Kayaking - Nerja Spain
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

Tours leave from Playa Burriana (Nerja) - tour stars484 Reviews

10 More Nerja Beaches in the Maro Nature Reserve!

The beaches of neighboring Maro and the Maro / Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve, 5-minutes from Nerja, are some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain.

Maro is a municipality of Nerja that is home to the famous Nerja Caves. Exploring the caves, visiting the small village of Maro and then heading down to the beaches in the nature reserve would make a wonderful day trip from Nerja! kayaking is very popular from Playa de Maro!

Nerja Beaches - Playa Cañuelo Nerja Beaches - Playa Alberquillas
** Nerja Beaches - Playas de Cañuelo & Alberquillas

  1. Playa de Maro - The most well-known of the Maro beaches, this beach is located just outside the village of Maro and has a few services. Kayaking is also popular from this beach.
    From Nerja ➜ 4.8 km (9 min)

  2. Cala de Maro - This is a tiny, rocky beach located along a riverbed and shielded by sugarcane plantations. Access is through a path along the Barranco through tunnels carved out of the sugarcane. The path is very narrow as you near the beach, so this beach is considered 'difficult' to access.
    From Nerja ➜ 2.0 km (3 min)

  3. Playa la Caleta de Maro - This is a stunning, virgin beach away from all the summer crowds. There are no services on this beach but kayaks are available for rent.
    From Nerja ➜ 4.5 km (8 min)

  4. Playa del Molino de Papel - One of the longest in the Nature Reserve, this Nerja beach is located at the end of the Río de la Miel (River of Honey) and is very easy to access. It is protected by the sheer cliffs where the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama meet the sea. This beach received its name from an ancient paper mill (that still remains today) that brought much prosperity to the area.
    From Nerja ➜ 6.5 km (10 min)

Nerja Beaches - Kayaking at Playa la Caleta Nerja Beaches - Calas del Pino
** Nerja Beaches - Kayaking at Playa la Caleta & Calas del Pino

  1. Playa de las Alberquillas - A 400-meter sand and pebble beach that offers crystalline waters perfect for snorkeling. The marine life in this area is protected due to its status as a nature reserve. Dirt paths lined with wild rosemary and thyme lead the way down to this pretty virgin beach.
    From Nerja ➜ 7.0 km (10 min)

  2. Calas del Pino - These are two separate coves that are connected by a scattering of small boulders and interesting rock formations, it is known as the 'Pine Coves'. This pristine Nerja beach is enveloped by a Pine Forest with an old Roman tower standing guard at its highest point.
    From Nerja ➜ 7.7 km (12 min)

  3. Playa el Cañuelo - The cove of Cañuelo is large and dramatically beautiful with large rocks jutting out of the sea at both ends. Snorkelers will enjoy seeing the many species of brightly colored fish and coral that thrive in these waters, some of which are listed as being close to extinction. This is the most popular of the Nerja beaches in the reserve as it has many amenities, such as two restaurants, showers, toilets, and a shuttle from the parking area.
    From Nerja ➜ 9.1 km (13 min)

  4. Playa Cantarriján - The final beach in the Maro Nature Reserve is officially located in the Province of Granada in the neighboring town of La Herradura. This is the only 'Playa Naturalista' or nude beach in the area. It has two great restaurants, toilets, showers, a wonderful hiking trail, a shuttle, and is completely secluded by the soaring cliffs of the reserve.
    From Nerja ➜ 12.7 km (15 min)

  5. Playa de la Torre de Maro - A tiny beach accessed by a walking trail. You can find more information about how to arrive here ➜ Maro Beaches.

  6. Cala Doncella - Another small cove accessed by a walking trail. You can find more information about how to arrive here ➜ Maro Beaches.

Where to Stay Outside of Nerja to Enjoy these Beaches

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.

  • Frigiliana (9 km) - Chosen as one of the prettiest villages of Spain this mountain village is just a 12-minute drive from Nerja and 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 20-minutes from Nerja 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 the Maro beaches 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, like this one!

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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