August 2017 August 2017 - Page 55

First time in Nerja? Read this and check the map opposite and our guide before you go anywhere... Much of Nerja’s charm comes from its narrow winding streets but they also make finding your way around quite confusing if you are a first-time visitor. Driving is even more confusing because so many streets are one-way and several are pedestrianised so the first rule is dump the car. If you use the main car park (see map), take the south exit and you will find yourself on the Balcón de Europa, the “Piccadilly Circus” of Nerja. This peninsula and the area behind it is a magnet for visitors and a great place to sit and watch the world go by. contained town. Coming back towards the Balcón, there are Playa Carabeo, Playa El Chorrillo and, next to the Balcón itself, Playa Calahonda on one side and Playa El Salón on the other. Further west are Playa La Torrecilla and Playa El Playazo, both of which can be reached down Avda. Castilla Pérez, one of Nerja’s busiest streets. The Caves Discovered in 1959, the Nerja caves are one of the biggest tourist attractions in Spain, visited by hundreds of thousands each year. One of the most beautiful cave complexes in Europe, look especially for the 32m high column in Cataclysm Hall which was formed by an estimated 1,000 billion drops of water. Recently opened are the adjoining Botanical Gardens, they cover 26,000 square metres on a site next to the entrance to the caves. The garden is laid out in four zones, including traditional crops, vegetation linked to climate, vegetation linked to different soils and special collections, with a total of more than 200 species on display. One of the collections features rare and endangered species common to the area. Set around a central lake, the garden also includes a classroom for educational visits and workshops. It is open to the public every day except Sunday from 9.00am to 3.00pm. Admission is free. Stand with your back to the sea and it’s shopping