A visit to the Nerja Donkey Sanctuary on the Costa del Sol, Spain

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Visiting the Nerja Donkey Sanctuary on the Costa del Sol, Spain


They say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, so I figured this month would be the perfect time to look back on some of our family’s animal encounters during travel that I haven’t yet covered in this blog (there are many!). Watch for more fun animal discoveries your family may also enjoy throughout the month.


Sign at nerja donkey sanctuaryWhile staying in the small town of Nerja, Spain, on the Costa del Sol, we delighted in a visit to the Nerja Donkey Sanctuary.  It’s centrally located in the town, only 10 minutes from the world-famous Nerja Caves (click here to see why you must visit these caves!), and about 35 minutes from the larger city of Malaga.  

The sanctuary is a refuge for “retired” and often neglected burros, though it is also home to numerous other animals in need of homes. While most of the donkeys, mules, and horses were in corrals, the amiable hostess “Petra” walked right up to greet us in her fluffy white coat as she did for all visitors. Pot-bellied pigs and goats were also on the prowl, adding to ther merry scene.

The greeter donkey "Petra" at the Nerja Donkey Sanctuary in Spain

Although entrance to the sanctuary is free (so you can come back as often as you like with the kids), you will want to bring along a few extra Euros to buy a bucket of greens and food scraps to feed the animals. Donations are also sorely needed and welcome, so please consider dropping yours in the box before your exit – or for 25 Euros, you can sponsor a donkey for a year (more information on “donkey adoptions” here).

To see our other tips and recommendations for family-friendly travel in southern Spain, click here.   For more information about the Nerja Donkey Sanctuary (Nerja Burros), visit their website.

More animal adventures? Check out our visit to the World of Snakes in Grecia, Costa Rica!

Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli
Author of the award-winning Travels with Baby and Take-Along Travels with Baby
Curious about this content? See my editorial content disclosure.

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