The Mysterious Depths of the Spanish Underground in Nerja

The beautiful, quaint little Spanish town Nerja is rightly world famous as a tourist resort. It is the perfect place for couples and families alike to journey to for a lovely week or two in the warm Spanish sunshine. The town has fabulous luxury villas and super stylish modern apartments to satisfy even the most discerning holiday maker as well as countless fantastic restaurants.

In addition to these beautiful features, the town boast many other spectacular attractions and sights to see. Among these attractions are the beautiful ruins of the Napoleonic period fortress and the fantastic and ornate Church of El Salvador. In Nerja, of course one of the foremost attractive features of the area is the spectacular natural beauty of the surrounding natural environment. This includes the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea and the fabulous white sandy beaches on its shore. However, a more understated but no less impressive feature of Nerja’s natural environment is the resorts extensive system of caves.

The caves were discovered by accident in August 1959 when a group of 5 young people were enjoying a cooling swim in one of Nerja’s natural lakes and discovered one of the caves 2 natural entrances through a narrow sink hole. Since that time they have been transformed into a wonderful tourist attraction. The cave is now known locally as ‘La Mina’. A purpose built entrance to the cave was constructed, and on this site today is a fascinating museum detailing the caves formation and history.

The cave is estimated to be over 5 million years old, having been formed by the movement of underground glaciers and rivers during the Upper Miocene period. The cave is over 5 km in length and comprises of 4 large sections. Fossilised and skeletal remains in the cave indicate that the cave was inhabited by humans from around 25 thousand BC until 10 thousand BC. Scientists believe that during this time the inhabitants of the cave kept animals as remains of rabbits, fish, chickens and small cows have been discovered. Another interesting discovery in the caves has been that the human occupants only lived within the cave seasonally ( most likely during the Winter) and that during their periods of absence the cave was occupied by cave hyenas.

Today the one section of the cave which has formed naturally into the shape of a theatre is used for theatrical productions and music concerts. The magnificent natural setting means that the venue is extremely popular and everything from Shakespeare to Wagner has been performed there.