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Nerja Cave and its Surroundings - one of the most spectacular caves in Spain

Diputación de Málaga
Cueva de Nerja. Peces

Nerja Cave and its Surroundings - one of the most spectacular caves in Spain

This nature wonder is a site which one would always like to go back to

Nobody could imagine that the discovery of this cave by five young people from Maro in the middle of the 20th century would mean so much for the history of the town of Nerja and Axarquía Costa del Sol. After the huge tourist and cultural potential of the cave had been realized, it was opened for visit, and proper management and conservation institutions were created.

Its great importance for the cave painting in the south, was the cause of being proclaimed Cultural Heritage and an Art and Historic Monument. This entire complex of caves is divided in three sections: the tourist galleries, the higher and the new caves. Only the first part can be visited, as other two are closed for research and conservation of prehistoric remains, cave paintings and rock formations. If you wish to see it you can access its web page.

Nerja Cave is one of the most important burial archaeological sites in Andalusia as it contains some curious paintings from the periods that range from the Upper Palaeolithic to 4000 years ago. The main motives are animals: horses, deer, goats, seals and fish. There are also plenty of cave formations, such as stalactites, stalagmites, columns, Rimstone dams or gours, flowstones, Sinterfahne or pearls.

The beginning of the 9th path, 'Cueva de Nerja – Fuente del Esparto', which belongs to the Great Path for everyone is the entrance to the Sierras de Tejeda Natural Park in Almijara.

Museum

Nerja Museum is the best place to learn about town's history and natural and cultural heritage. It provides a broad view of history of the surroundings, especially local history, from prehistory to nowadays, underlining the most important features of each period.

Music and Dance Festival

On 12th June 1960, Nerja Cave was ready to be open to the public. For that event, Music and Dance Festival, which hosted ballet 'Le Tour de Paris' accompanied by the Málaga Symphony Orchestra from Málaga, was chosen. Since then, it has been celebrated every year to commemorate its firs opening.

Important Plants in the Area

Good climate caused by the warm air stream coming from the nearby sea (the cave is placed at an altitude of 158 m above the sea level and, with its 4,823 m, it is the cave which went through the biggest topographic development in Andalusia), tall mountain tops which protect the area against the cold northern winds and the varied and plentiful rocks, dolostones among them, are some of the reasons that plenty of extraordinary species that form the Mediterranean plant life grew in the Sierra de Almijara and along this route.

Some of these plants are very rare, some can only be found at certain spots and almost all of them are endangered species. The most common ones are the spurge olive (Cneorum tricoccon), the southern boxthorn (Lycium intricatum), and other shrubs like Maytenus senegalensis and the Balearic boxwood (Buxus balearica)

Mines and Cane Honey, Sugar and Paper Factories

Nerja had an extraordinary industry in the past. The most important were its sugar cane honey, sugar and paper factories.

In the early 20th century, lead, galena, iron and asbestos mining at some important landmarks, such as Cazadores Precipice, was booming. What is more, the Fuente de Esparto (Esparto Fountain) Way, which is actually a livestock track, is also named the Way of Las Minas (The Mines) and Cómpeta due to the popularity of this industry.

Muleteers used to transport minerals on donkeys up to the Esparto Fountain, where these substances were washed. Then they were taken to Burriana Factory and shipped to foreign countries like France or Italy.