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Nerja - Andalucia - Spain

Once a small fishing village, Nerja is now the biggest resort to the east of Malaga, but it has managed to avoid the worst effects of unrestrained expansion and high rise hotels. There are still plenty of bars and nightclubs for those wanting to party the night away, however the old centre of the town has retained some of its original charm. The Balcón de Europa is a cliff that juts out to sea and is enclosed by two sheltered beaches, it is a favourite spot of many visitors with a beautiful view of the Mediterranean.

Nerja is probably most famous for its caves which lie some 6km inland. Discovered in 1959 by some boys chasing bats they discovered the entrance to a huge system of limestone caverns. The caves are protected and have been well preserved with many parts still closed to the public including areas with prehistoric paintings of animals & humans figures. It is estimated that the caves were inhabited between 20,000 BC and 1,800 BC. Visitors are treated to a series of well lit chambers & displays of archeological finds. Of interest are the Hall of Bethlehem which is full of stalactites and stalagmites. The Hall of the Waterfall, which is the scene for the Festival of the Caves held in July. And the Hall of the Cataclysm, whose fallen rocks indicate an earthquake long ago, the centre piece in the Hall of Cataclysm is the central column, formed when a stalactite and stalagmite met and joined after thousands of years of growth. It is the tallest of its kind in the world at some 32 metres.