Nerja (pronounced [ˈneɾχa]) is a municipality on the Costa del Sol southern Mediterranean coast, about 50 km east of Málaga. Under Muslim rule, its name was Narixa, which means "abundant source" and is the origin of the current name.
Nerja has a rich history, evidenced by the primitive paintings found in its famous Nerja caves, discovered in 1959. The Romans built here three settlements, including Detunda, of which now large remains can be seen. The area was later taken over by the Arabs in the early 8th century. These caves are now believed to be just one entrance to a linked series of sinkholes stretching many miles into the mountains between Nerja and Granada, and which may yet prove to be one of the most extensive unexplored systems in Europe. Visitors to the caves will be able to view the remains of one of the ancient inhabitants of Nerja. The Balcón de Europa, a mirador or viewpoint which gives stunning views across the sea, is in the centre of the old town.
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