The beaches of Nerja are one of the towns´s biggest assets, the crystal clear waters and rocky outcrops the pepper the coastline make it a haven for snorkeling and scuba diving. The steep cliff-sides offer breath taking views, none as spectacular as that of the Balcon de Europa. The shape of the coves mean the waters are tranquil and the beaches protected from harsh winds. Restaurants, kiosks and chiringuitos scattered along the shoreline ensure that the beaches of Nerja are well catered and lively; a haven for both tourists and locals.

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El Playazo beach lies to the West of Nerja town centre, it is accessible from the N340 and is approximately 1.8km long. The sand is typically Mediterranean; dark with course grains. Facilities include: showers, sunbeds, parasols and number of beach side restaurants located on the promenade. The excellent facilities and high standard of cleanliness have been recognised by the European Union who awarded it a coveted Blue Flag. Due to it´s size this beach remains relatively quiet even through the summer months, with tourists preferred to stay within the town centre.

La Torecilla is a small beach on the Western perimeter of Nerja town, at the end of Avenida Castilla. This beach is backed by urbanizations and the Paseo Maritimo which goes part of the way around Nerja´s coast; due to the undulating and rocky terrain the paseo cannot go all the way around the shoreline, to get to El Salon beach you have to walk slightly inland along the road. Facilities include: beachside cafés and kiosks and a few parasols and sunbeds, but the size of this beach makes it difficult to add more facilites. This beach has also been awarded the Blue Flag by the European Union. It is mostly used by neighbouring urbanizations. The beach takes it´s name from the nearby tower La Torrecilla. It is a small tower that was built to protect Nerja from raids by North African pirates

El Salon beach is flanked on either side by rocky cliffs, making it a little difficult to access. It is a small beach backed by urbanizations and hotels, as such it does not have many facilities, as it is mostly used by residents of the hotels or accommodation.

La Caletilla, this is a very small beach situated to the West of the Balcon de Europa. In spite of it´s size it actually offers better services than the Salon beach because of it´s central location, it has sun loungers, parasols, cafés, kiosks and parking you can even rent pedalos. It is surrounded by rocky outcrops making it a very attractive beach and also boasts crystal blue waters. It's right in the centre of town, close to the tourist office and other main sights.

Calahonda, Chorillo & Carabeo, there are three very small beaches to the East of the Balcon de Europa, they are all separated by boulders and rocky cliff-sides. The beaches are accessible via a footpath that passes along the cliff at the back, it is not an easy walk making it difficult for families with prams or wheelchair users. These beaches are picturesque offering beautiful blue waters, protected by the natural coves. They also have the added advantage of being situated in the centre of Nerja town, visible from The Balcon de Europa. These beaches are particularly popular for snorkelling and scuba diving because of the tranquil waters and clear shoals. There are basic facilities here: restaurants, chiringuitos, sunbeds and parasols for hire.

Playa Burriana is the most famous of Nerja's beaches it is very popular with families because there is a childrens play area and a volley ball net. In spite of how busy it gets it is surprisingly spacious and clean. Like the rest of Nerja it is picturesque, flanked by cliffs on either side backed by some urbanizations but also wooded areas and gardens. In recent times the beach has benefited from new shops and beach bars as well as facilities for snorkeling and other water sports. There are pedalos, sun lougers and parasols to hire, also there are some showers and restaurants set back off the beach itself, along the promenade.

It is accessible from the N340 via Calle Bajamar, which links the main road directly to the beach car park. The beach has received many awards, including the Blue Flag and the Spanish equivalent "Q" for quality.

Maro, just east of Nerja is a village called Maro, whose Blue Flag beach is aptly named Playa de Maro, or Caleta de Maro. This secluded cove is widely considered one of the best beaches in Andalucia. Playa de Maro is very beautiful - off-the-beaten-path, backed by cliffs, with turquoise waters, and surrounded by beautiful wild vegetation; it's well worth the effort of getting there, despite the tricky parking.

The beach is popular with snorkelers and scuba-divers, due to the clear waters inhabited by an abundance of fish, the sheltered situation, and the rock formations around the headlands either side. It's also a great spot for swimming in the warm Mediterranean currents. Maro beach has a beach bar, showers and public toilets.  Sunbeds and sunshades are available for hire.

The small cove is accessible by car, down a steep and windy tarmac road. There is a very small car park at the end of the road, which soon fills up in the summer, overflowing with cars parked up the steep access road. If you are driving down and reach the beginning of a line of parked cars, it's best to leave your car and walk down the rest of the way.

Cañuelo, a little further east the next beach is part of the Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo Natural Area. This is a unique stretch of near-virgin coastline which runs for 12km east of Nerja to La Herradura. Its dramatic rocky steep cliffs (acantilados) plunge down to the sea, leaving a few sheltered bays with beaches in between. Due to the protected natural area status it is not posible to drive down to track to the beach in motor vehicles. The athletic may walk or cycle.

This beach is served in the summer by a shuttle minibus. Park your car just of the N340 and wait with the other tourists in the green tin shelter for the minibus. A return ticket is €2 per person, pay the driver. There is a popular beach bar 'Chiringuito La Piedras' where drinks, snacks and full lunch menu is served.

Balcony of Europe, however, the heart of Nerja is its spectacular Balcón de Europa the "Balcony of Europe", a magnificent promenade along the edge of a towering cliff, once the site of the great Moorish castle, with sweeping panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the small coves and beaches below, against an awesome backdrop of hazy blue mountains.