A trip to Andalucía would not be complete without a visit to the Nerja Caves, one of Spain’s most popular and spectacular historical sites.
The magnificent Nerja Caves – Cuevas de Nerja – are a series of huge caverns stretching for almost five kilometres and home to the world’s largest stalagmite, a 32 metre high column measuring 13 metres by 7 metres at its base.
There are three Galleries – Show Gallery, Upper Gallery and New Gallery – with each gallery containing a number of Halls.
The Upper Gallery and New Gallery contain many of the prehistoric cave paintings, but tourist access to these areas is limited to special groups.
On January 12th 1959, five local lads from the village of Maro decided to go hunting for bats and headed for a pothole known locally as ‘La Mina’ where they spent the night watching a great number of these creatures exiting through the hole in the rocks.
The boys decided to return the next day, taking with them some tools to dislodge a couple of stalagtites in the entrance. Once inside, they found themselves able to descend to a huge cavern where they discovered a number of skeletons next to some ceramic pottery.
Excited by their find, they went back to tell their family, friends and teachers but it wasn’t until the cave was visited by a medical expert and a photographer that the true extent of their discovery became apparent.
The first photographs of the caves were published in the Málaga newspaper ‘Sur’ about 100 days after their discovery and after first being called ‘Cueva de las Maravillas’, they then became ‘Cueva de Nerja’.
The Nerja Caves were officially inaugurated on June 12th 1960 and opened to the public.
The Nerja Caves also offers a special experience for visitors, with groups of up to fifty people able to enjoy a guided tour of the caverns in the company of actor Miguel Joven, famous for his role as ‘Tito’ in the popular TV series Verano Azul.
These special visits will be daily at 14:00 and 18:30. As well as learning all about the caves and its early inhabitants, visitors will be treated to a series of anecdotes from Miguel Joven relating to the filming of one of the episodes of Verano Azul which took place inside the caves.
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There is also the possibility of combining a visit to the caves with a lunch or dinner at the Nerja Caves Restaurant. These special guided visits can be booked online via the Nerja Caves website: www.cuevadenerja.es
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The Nerja Caves Foundation has launched a new free app, available for Android and iOS, which provides all sorts of information, in four languages, for visitors to the Caves and the Nerja History Museum.
Users can choose between Spanish, English, French and German and there is information about tickets, times, facilities, cultural heritage, links to online tickets, a locator, descriptions of various areas in the Caves, data about the Museum and more.
The app is titled Cave of Nerja in the Google Play Store.