Nerja – The Bustling Balcony of Europe

There are not many towns around the Mediterranean that claim to be the Balcony of Europe but, on account of its fantastic seaside promenade, Nerja on the Costa Del Sol does. This town on Spain’s southern Mediterranean coast has a town centre that must be the envy of many.

Perched high above the sea on a clifftop the Balcon de Europa offers visitors sweeping panoramic views along the coastline and out to sea. It was so named after a visit from King Alfonso XII who visited in 1885, who it is believed took in the view and was so impressed he declared, “This is the balcony of Europe.” King Alfonso’s contribution is honoured with a life sized, and much photographed, statue of him at the end of the Balcon.

King Alfonso XII statue, Nerja, Spain.

There are also two old guns at the end of the Balcon that remain as a nod to the memory of conflict with the French in 1812. The remains of the Batteria (fortified gun tower) that used to stand where the Balcon is currently can be seen in the sea if you look over the edge of the Balcon.

The Balcon is lined with long flowerbeds containing colourful blooms as well as street cats taking advantage of Spain’s siesta culture and hiding from the heat of the day.

The nearby 17th century Church of El Salvador, built in Baroque and Moorish style, stands nearby and the Gardens of Capistrano can be explored on the descent down to Burriano Beach.

Church of El Salvador, Nerja, Spain.

The Balcon de Europa is the central heart of Nerja’s old town and is usually busy, which makes it a great place for a spot of people-watching. Many cafes and restaurants spill out onto the Balcon and surrounding streets and town squares.

Ice cream stand, Balcon de Europa, Nerja, Spain.

There are popular ice cream vans and the Balcon is also a great spot to start a horse-drawn carriage ride through the old town.

For a bit of Spanish life and an amazing seaview Nerja’s Balcon de Europa cannot be beaten. Have you been?

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