One of the Best Kept Spanish Secrets: Nerja & Playa Maro
Often called the jewel of Andalusia, hovering on rocks above the glistening Mediterranean Sea, Nerja is in the heart of Spain’s popular Costa del Sol.
How to Get to Nerja
Nerja is a 45-minute car/taxi journey from Malaga & offers visitors a touch of the real Spain full of history and gastronomic delights that go hand in hand with a day at the beach and a lively bar scene at night.
What to Expect
The white-washed red roof tiled town is also the home of 10 beaches that stretch along a 16-kilometre jagged coastline and include the Blue Flag Playa Burriana and its paved promenade, the Paseo Marítimo Antonio Mercero where you will find plenty of beachside Merenderos serving delicious seafood paellas.
So far, Nerja is still unspoilt and has avoided the temptation to follow its counterparts, by not allowing tall high story apartment buildings and busy commercial centres in the municipality. Yet statistics reveal that its popularity appears to be growing. In Nerja's peak season, thousands of returning visitors flock to enjoy some of its olde-worlde beauty. Not wanting to leave its captivating presence, many search for an ideal holiday home, others eager to learn the Spanish language in Spain, some even enquire on how to become a permanent resident. In the summer months the atmosphere on the famous Balcon de Europa is exhilarating. But what if the hustle and bustle is not your idea of a memorable holiday?
If you are looking to escape the crowds, all is not lost. There are still certain secluded spots here in the municipality of Nerja that are rarely found, let alone visited. If you head east out of town on the old N-340 coastal road taking the exit for Maro, you're about to discover a hidden treasure. After driving through the centre of the village, you come to a small roundabout, and during certain times of the year you will notice something distinguishingly different about this coastal town, there’s rarely any other traffic!
At the roundabout you will you'll need to take the first extreme right and follow the road down to the coast, passing several farms and greenhouses before arriving at a car park above the crescent-shaped Playa Maro.
Nestling in a sheltered cove overlooked by a Moorish tower Playa Maro is often featured in Andalucia’s tourism commercials and is considered to be one of the best beaches in Southern Spain.
Bordering the Los Acantilados de Maro and Cerro Gordo Natural Area, the 150-metre long 20-metre wide dark sandy beach is protected from the wind making it a spectacular beach to soak up the sun while enjoying a swim in the glass-like water. Being a protected area of natural beauty that extends several kilometres out to sea, fishing is banned, allowing for an abundance of marine life to thrive in the safeguarded waters that make it one of the best places in Andalucía to dive or snorkel. In fact, just a few metres out into the refreshing mediterranean sea, all you need is a mask to watch the fish swimming around you.
While lacking some of the facilities of a larger urban beach Playa Maro does have lifeguards on duty during the summer season as well as a small shop, restaurant, bar, public toilets, and showers.
There is a place to rent sunbeds, umbrellas and watersports equipment with Sea Kayaking Salamandra offering guided tours where you will discover the Cascada la Doncella and the Cascada Grande de Maro, two spectacular 15 metre high waterfalls where freshwater streams meet the Mediterranean Sea.
If guided tours are not for you, rent a kayak and set out on your own adventure to explore the jagged cliffs and coves between Burriana and Maro. In recent years stand up paddle boarding has become popular on many beaches with the sheltered location of Playa Mara being the perfect place for a beginner to give it a try.
Playa Maro Will Appeal to Everyone
While you may not run into fellow holidaymakers on Playa Maro you will find plenty of local families who enjoy the natural beauty and facilities that this out of the way gem offers. If you have the chance to spend some time at Playa Maro you might just come away with the feeling that you have discovered a magical place that you can keep to yourself.