SPAIN: NERJA ~ Cueva de Nerja & Balcon de Europa

December 26, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyNerja, Andalucia, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyView from the Balcon de Europa, Nerja, Andalucia, Spain


After a morning walking around the Alhambra in Granada, we check out the time and figure we have just enough time to get to the Cueva de Nerja for the last entry (if I speed a little).  The caves close at 4 pm and we arrive just in time – we pay our €10 admission fee, are given audio guides, and sit through a 10-minute video that explains a bit about the caves before heading to the entrance escorted by a (not-too-happy) security guard.

 


CUEVA DE NERJA


Though it was kind of iffy getting there so late, I'm glad to have been able to visit when it wasn't jam-packed with other tourists. The caves are spectacular – the stalactites (hanging from the ceiling) and the stalagmites (rising from the floor) are jaw-droppingly impressive.  And if you're worried about feeling claustrophobic, no worries, as the halls of the cave are massive – large enough that they actually have room to seat about 100 folks in the Hall of the Waterfall for concerts in the summer! Well worth the visit, though beware of the steps... no one tells you that there's about 400 steps that you have to make your way up and down throughout the visit.

More info about the caves, opening hours and rates here

 

Entrance area to the Cueva de Nerja Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyEntrance area to the Cueva de Nerja Entrance area to the Cueva de Nerja


Descending to the caves - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyDescending to the caves Descending to the caves


Nerja, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala de Vestibulo Sala de Vestibulo (Entrance Hall)


Sala de Belén Nerja, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala de Belén (Nativity Hall) – filled with columns of calcite Sala de Belén (Nativity Hall) – filled with columns of calcite


Sala del Colmillo (Hall of the Tusk)  - Nerja, Andalucia, Spain Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala del Colmillo (Hall of the Tusk) Sala del Colmillo (Hall of the Tusk) 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala de la Cascada o Ballet – It is here that concerts are actually held Sala de la Cascada o Ballet (Hall of the Waterful) – It is here that concerts are actually held


Sala de los Fantasmas (Hall of Phantoms)  Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala de los Fantasmas (Hall of Phantoms) Sala de los Fantasmas (Hall of Phantoms) 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTime to head up the stairs in the Sala de los Fantasmas to the Sala del Cataclismo Time to head up the stairs in the Sala de los Fantasmas to the Sala del Cataclismo


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyUgh, more stairs...... Ugh, more stairs...... 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThis particular formation has been nicknamed the "curtains" since it sort of does look like hanging curtains This particular formation has been nicknamed the "curtains" since it sort of does look like hanging curtains


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySala del Cataclismo – The photo doesn't do it justice, but thatn central column which, at 32 metres high, is the tallest in the world Sala del Cataclismo (Hall of the Cataclysm)  – The photo doesn't do it justice, but that central column (32 metres high) is the tallest in the world


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyChecking out the massive central column from the other side Checking out the massive central column from the other side


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyWho knows how many years of calcium deposits Who knows how many years of calcium deposits


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBack in the light of day – Plaza de los Descubridores Back in the light of day – Plaza de los Descubridores


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyMonument to group of kids that accidentally discovered the caves in 1959 – Plaza de los Descubridores Monument to group of kids that accidentally discovered the caves in 1959 – Plaza de los Descubridores


BALCON DE EUROPA, NERJA


Leaving the caves, we head down the hill and find parking somewhere close to the city centre. Nerja itself is a tiny coastal town, but what sets it apart from all the other coastal towns along the Costa del Sol is the Balcon de Europa – a large round balcony on a towering cliff with incredible sweeping views of the Sierra Almijara and the Mediterranean Sea.

Lucky that we there during low season, it seemed like we had the entire promenade and balcony to ourselves. After rushing and driving from one city to another, we couldn't help but just sit and enjoy watching the views of the sea, sky, mountains, the little figures on the beach below and just enjoying the general "calmness" of this particular spot. 

 

Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTime to search for the Balcon de Europa Time to search for the Balcon de Europa


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLove the tile work under the balconies Love the tile work under the balconies


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyA glimpse of the Mediterranean A glimpse of the Mediterranean


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyFlower pots on walls Flower pots on walls


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyView of Calahonda beach and sierras from the promenade View of Calahonda beach and sierras from the promenade


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyIt's freezing – like winter jacket and scarf freezing – and there's people on the beach It's freezing – like winter jacket and scarf freezing – and there's people on the beach


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyIron railings of the Balcon de Europa Iron railings of the Balcon de Europa


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe child, taking in the impressive views The child, taking in the impressive views


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySelfie crashing – Balcon de Europa Someone is crashing my selfie – Balcon de Europa


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyRocks far below Rocks far below


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe child, chillin' with King Alfonso XII The child, chillin' with King Alfonso XII 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyAlone with the sea and sky Alone with the sea and sky


Paseo Balcón de Europa – a pedestrian promenade lined with cafés, restaurants and ice cream parlours - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPaseo Balcón de Europa – a pedestrian promenade lined with cafés, restaurants and ice cream parlours Paseo Balcón de Europa – a pedestrian promenade lined with cafés, restaurants and ice cream parlours


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLa Caletilla Beach, El Salon Beach and the rocky promontory at Torrecilla Beach La Caletilla Beach, El Salon Beach and the rocky promontory at Torrecilla Beach


Iglesia de El Salvador on the Plaza Cavana  Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyIglesia de El Salvador on the Plaza Cavana Iglesia de El Salvador on the Plaza Cavana 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBeautiful flowered balconies Beautiful flowered balconies


ITALY IN SPAIN


It's dinner time and the child is begging for pizza. Pizza! You're on the southern coast of Spain with all kinds of yummy Spanish cuisine at your fingertips and you want pizza. Sometimes I wonder if she's really my child. Anyway, we find a cute Italian restaurant in Benalmadena and thank god that have my Pil Pil Shrimps (basically garlic shrimps), and the child gets her pizza – a taste of Italy in Spain.

 

Time for a fruity drink Time for a fruity drink


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPil Pil Shrimps – YUM! Pil Pil Shrimps – YUM!


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyMore yumminess More yumminess


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyNot quite the same as having pizza in Italy, but to the child, pizza is pizza Not quite the same as having pizza in Italy, but to the child, pizza is pizza


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyRavioli for me! Ravioli for me!


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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