Eventually, the caves were vacated, probably in favor of more comfortable and better-lit accommodations, if not improved sanitation. Modern man had no idea they existed until 1959 when a group of boys dared each other to drop down into a sink hole at the edge of town. As you might imagine, they came home with some stories to tell that day. I was told that one of the boys grew up to open this restaurant on Burriana Beach (look for the “AYO” on the roof).
You will notice some cave paintings on nearly all the marketing materials representing the Nerja Caves, and we were particularly excited to see these before our visit. After an hour of working our way up and down several staircases and along the pathways in awe of the caves themselves (you may move more quickly without small kids on foot), we realized we still had not seen—or at least noticed—any cave paintings. We stopped short of the exit, turned on our heels, and retraced our steps, checking the signs along the way. Nothing clearly led to a cave painting. But just before our final exit, we realized that what might, at first glance, be rusty stains on the natural rock wall, was some sort of an antelope! Well, there it was. A little anticlimactic after the world’s largest column, but we had indeed seen a cave painting.Practical tips for your own visit follow.
- Plan for at least 45 minutes of exploring on foot, longer if you have young kids walking with you.
- There are several steps throughout the cave, so if you’ll be visiting with a young child who will need to be carried all or at least part of the way, do yourself a favor and bring a child carrier, backpack, or sling.
- Use the restrooms before you enter the caves for your tour.
- It’s not terribly cold inside the caves, so don’t overbundle or you may end up carrying extra jackets.
- Like most businesses in Spain, the Nerja Caves observe an afternoon siesta beginning at 2 p.m., so get there well in advance or don’t bother arriving until after 4 p.m.
- There is a full-service restaurant with a sea view, and during our visit they were promoting a buffet where kids under 3 could eat free and kids 4-7 were half price between noon and 4 p.m.
- Snacks and ice cream are also available to eat outdoors.
- Parking is 1 Euro, paid by coin as you exit through the automated gate.