Everything happens in the city of Nerjain the region of Malaga in Spain, and could be just another television series. But not quite. “Verano Azul” was produced in the early 80s and broadcast in Portugal under the name “Verão Azul” and marked the television landscape at a time when there were no cable channels or streaming. Just as it sparked an interest in Nerja, as only television can.
The series portrayed the adventures and misadventures of a group of young people (Tito, Bea, Desi, Piraña, Pancho, Javi and Quique), the painter Julia and the old fisherman Chanquete, who meet during their big vacation in the city of Nerja, in Malaga.
Topics such as adolescence, sexuality, divorce, drugs, old age, death, ethical values and family relationships are widely covered, with the ease that the time allowed.
The series was a true case of popularity not only in the Iberian Peninsula, but also in Latin America and even in European countries such as Croatia or Bulgaria. Without her, Nerja, a beach town about 60 kilometers from Málaga, would not be as well known.
And as such, and as a tribute, the municipality of Nerja inaugurated the Parque Verano Azul in 2001, with a replica of Chanquete’s boat and streets named after the characters. Even the promenade bears the name of the director of the series, Antonio Mercero, who recently died.
Nerja: small-scale summer destination
The town of Nerja is located east of Malaga, with the sierra almijara standing behind and as if supporting a region that refused to destroy its essence as a small fishing village, which allowed it to maintain the charm that is so characteristic and appreciated.
This strategy seems to have worked, given that the city is increasingly popular with tourists, especially in the warmer months.
The historic center is a succession of whitewashed houses, with narrow and winding streets, where you can find small shops selling local art and crafts, typical jewelry and local products.
And that’s where you’ll find the old Moorish fortress that was converted into the famous Europe countera promontory that offers incredible views over the coast and is flanked by palm trees.
The highlights of Nerja do not end there: the caves are, in fact, the third most visited tourist attraction in Spain, due to the stalactites and stalagmites of great beauty, as well as due to the fact that in the caves it is still possible to see traces of paintings from the Paleolithic.
In addition, and doing justice to its reputation as a summer destination, Nerja offers picturesque beaches and isolated coves, many of which are practically unknown to tourists, as well as the possibility of practicing water sports.
Beaches of Nerja: little paradises in Andalusia
Nerja is an incredible beach tourist destination and much of this is due to the incredible temperature that is stable throughout the year, with 320 days of sunshine. And even the name is in line with this state of wonder: Nerja means “bountiful spring” in Arabic.
The beaches help establish this reputation. Find out which ones are the best.
It is the most popular beach in the region, probably because it was one of the main filming locations for “Verão Azul”. It is excellent for practicing water sports, enjoying local restaurants or having a drink in a typical bar.
For many, this is one of the best beaches in Spain and some call it paradise on earth. It has several hidden waterfalls, submerged caves and some of the best spaces for snorkeling.
What makes it one of the best beaches in Nerja is that it’s probably the cleanest beach you’ll ever see. It is located within the natural reserve of Cliffs of Maro, which gives it great beauty.
El Canuelo beach
This beach is perfect for the whole family or a large group of friends, due to its size and sand. It has natural geological formations that favor the practice of diving in the crystalline waters.
Beneath the Balcón de Europa is located Caletilla beach, which is easily mistaken as a private beach, but is actually available to anyone. This happens because of its semi-hidden location, but also because it is quite small, even being submerged during high tides.
Must-do activities in Nerja
Nerja is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Costa del Sol and this is largely due to the controlled development that has allowed it to maintain the traditional and historic charms of the region, without turning it into an overly developed city. And there’s a lot to see and experience.
Caves of Nerja
The caves were accidentally discovered in 1959. A group of children were playing in the region and one of them stumbled upon one of the most important geological formations today.
They stretch over five kilometers in length and several of their sections are open to the public, including the largest column in the world, which even won a place in the Guinness Book of Records in 1989. There you can also see ancient cave paintings by Neanderthal, over 10,000 years old, probably the oldest in the world.
Recently, traces of Roman pottery, Moorish coins and traces of unusual biodiversity have been discovered.
Climb to El Cielo
El Cielo is the highest coastal mountain in the region, standing over 1,500 meters high.
Access to the top is very simple and provides unmissable views. On a good day, you can see the entire Costa del Sol in panoramic view, namely the path that runs between Almuñécar and Málaga, as well as the hills of the Sierra Tejeda and the north coast of Africa.
kayaking and canoeing
As a beach and coastal area, water sports are one of the most frequent activities in the Nerja region. And among them stand out kayaking and canoeing.
The unmissable route for this starts at Burriana beach and ends at Maro beach. Along the way, it passes through some of the most spectacular coastal landscapes, from hidden beaches, turquoise waters, coves and waterfalls.
A day in Frigiliana
Just 6 kilometers from Nerja is the population of Frigiliana, known for its beauty and for having some of the most delightful villages in Spain, having even been awarded the prize for “most beautiful village in Andalusia”, awarded by the cabinet of Spanish tourism.
Nerja: technical sheet
How to go
- Bus: Lisbon Oriente – Málaga (Flixbus, €23.99); Porto (House of Music) – Malaga (Alsa)
- Plane: Lisbon/Porto – Málaga (TAP, Vueling and Air Europa, from €205.99)
When you arrive in Malaga, you can rent a car and travel the approximately 60 kilometers to Nerja or choose to travel by bus.
check out all information about Nerja.
- Tongue: Castilian
- Population: 21,204 inhabitants (2016 census data)
- Location: Malaga – Andalusia, Spain
- Extension: 85 square kilometers