Are you planning a day trip from Fuengirola to Nerja?
If you need some help to plan this trip, and ideas on what to see in Nerja, then you’re at the right place.
I have been living in Fuengirola since 2020, and visited Nerja two times already, so if you need first-hand local tips and insights, this article will give you exactly that.
Let’s check all your options for planning this day trip, and I have also included my tips on what to see in Nerja at the end of the article.
One Day Trip from Fuengirola to Nerja
You have five different ways you can do this trip: by car, bus, train, taxi and local tour company.
If you want to ensure you have enough time to explore Nerja on a day trip, I recommend driving there with a rental car or booking a local tour.
Public transport is not the best option for a day trip, as the travel time will add up to 2 hours one way.
PS: If you would like to also see the famous pretty village of Frigiliana, which is just north of Nerja, the local tour company I recommended below does this trip together with a visit to Nerja. Check it out below or book your spot right away here.
Let’s get into the details of each of these options.
Distance Between Fuengirola and Nerja
The distance between Fuengirola and Nerja is approximately 90 km (56 miles).
Is One Day in Nerja Enough?
Yes, one day is plenty of time to explore Nerja. At the end of the article, you will find my detailed recommendations on what to see and what to skip while visiting Nerja for a day.
1. Day Trip from Fuengirola to Nerja by Car
If you’re planning to rent a car in Fuengirola, or already have one, driving to Nerja is very simple. The details of the journey are below.
- Journey Duration: approx 1 hour
- Distance Covered: 90 km (56 miles)
- Tolls to Pay: none if you use A-7 (not AP-7)
- Petrol Cost: approx 10 euros based on the calculator
The suggested route is marked on the map below. If you want to avoid paying extra toll tax, you should use the A-7 instead of the AP-7.
The AP-7 is slightly faster and less busy, but it won’t make a significant difference unless you’re commuting during the busy peak hours.
Parking in Nerja
There are a few different parking options available in Nerja. If you want to explore the coastline and the old town, I suggest checking the parking garages at the outskirts of the old town, as the ones in center get filled up pretty quickly.
All parking options are displayed on the map below.
If you’re staying in Fuengirola and don’t like the hassle of navigating the local traffic or using public transport, getting a trip with a local tour company is a super convenient option to see Nerja.
The tour company I recommend offers conveniently located pick-ups from Paseo Maritimo in Fuengirola and four language options (English, Spanish, Italian & German).
This local tour will allow you to see two beautiful places within the same day – both Nerja and Frigiliana.
Click the link below to reserve your spot – this day trip is available once a week in the main season.
The day trip comes with free cancellation policy up to 24 hours before the trip, and book now pay later option.
3. Day Trip from Fuengirola to Nerja by Bus
Taking a day trip from Fuengirola to Nerja by bus is not a great option as there are no direct bus connections between Fuengirola and Nerja. Even with the train option, the total one-way travel time can add up to 2 hours, which is quite a lot for a day trip.
Nevertheless, I will include the details for those who want to consider this option.
To get to Nerja by bus, I suggest taking the train from Fuengirola to Malaga (40 mins), and then the local bus to Nerja (1.5 hrs). The details for the train can be found below, and I will share the details for the bus journey from Malaga here.
The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours and there are roughly 3 – 4 stops on the way, but no changes are required.
The buses between Malaga and Nerja run quite frequently, the earliest one around 6am and on your way back as late as 10pm. The tickets cost just under 5 euros per person one way, but the price will vary depending on the connection your choose, the date of the travel and how far in advance you book.
You can buy your bus tickets in advance on alsa website, which also shows you the timetable with the different connections available.
4. Day Trip from Fuengirola to Nerja by Train
As I mentioned, you need to get to Malaga first to continue your journey to Nerja.
There is a regular train connection between Fuengirola and Malaga with the local C-1 commuter train, which runs every 20 minutes. The travel time is around 40 minutes.
If you need detailed instructions on how to use this train connection, you can find them in this detailed transport guide.
Once you get to Malaga Maria Zambrano, you simply cross the road to the bus station to take a local bus from there (see above notes for bus connections).
There are no trains available from Malaga and Nerja, there is no train station in Nerja.
5. Day Trip from Fuengirola to Nerja by Taxi
Taxi from Fuengirola to Nerja would cost between 80 to 100 euros, depending on your destination and the size of the car.
I took this trip twice, the first time we paid 80 euros for 3 people in a standard car, and the second time it was 130 euros for 3 adults and 2 kids in a van.
What To Do on a Day Trip in Nerja
So what should you see once you get to Nerja?
Nerja is not big by any means, and the prettiest part of the town is the old town and coastal area. You can simply take a leisure walk along the coastline, stop to admire the views from the Balcony of Europe viewpoint, and then venture out to the old town in search of a lunch spot.
Nerja has also great small markets in the old town, and lots of authentic cute restaurants to take shelter from the sun.
If you have some spare time, I highly recommend visiting the Caves of Nerja, home to the tallest stalagmite in the world. I’ve just recently returned from this excursion and I was blown away by how pretty it was!
The caves are outside of the town, so if you don’t have a car you can take a taxi from a taxi stand, it will cost around 10 euros. There is also a small red tourist train that will take you there.
Another option to venture out of Nerja is to visit the pretty village of Frigiliana – you can check photos from my visit here.
More Day Trips from Fuengirola
If you fancy exploring more of Southern Spain, Fuengirola is a great base to plan lots of other day trips.
If you’re planning a trip to Nerja, I think you will also love a day trip to Frigiliana.
Some of the most popular day trip options include the nearby cities of Marbella (and the flashy Puerto Banus), the hilltop village of Mijas Pueblo, but also the more known and bigger cities like Granada (my favourite place in Southern Spain), Seville and Cordoba.
You can also get as far as Gibraltar or Morroco in a single-day trip!
For nature lovers, I recommend the day trip to Caminito del Rey which will be the highlight of your stay in Fuengirola.
Frequent Questions About This Day Trip
Here are some popular questions you might have about this trip – if you didn’t find your answer here, leave a comment below the post.
Can you get a bus to Nerja from Fuengirola?
No, you can’t get a bus from Nerja to Fuengirola. There are no direct buses to Fuengirola, you will have to get a bus to Malaga and then change there to take a bus or train to Fuengirola.
How do I spend a day in Nerja?
You can spend the day in Nerja exploring the coastline, the old town and visiting the famous Caves of Nerja. Balcony of Europe is one of the main landmarks in the city and there is plenty to discover for a full day trip.
How far is it from Fuengirola to Nerja?
The distance between Fuengirola and Nerja is 90 km (56 miles).
Is it worth visiting Nerja?
Yes, Nerja is definitely worth visiting. Nerja is famous for its Balcony of Europe, a stunning viewpoint overlooking the Mediterranean sea, its old town and the caves of Nerja.
Has Nerja got a train station?
No, Nerja does not have a train station.
Are tapas free in Nerja?
No, tapas are not free in Nerja. The free tapas with every drink custom is only alive in cities like Granada or Jaen.
How much does it cost to get into Nerja Caves?
The tickets to Nerja caves cost 15 euros per person.
How much is a taxi from Fuengirola to Nerja?
A taxi from Fuengirola to Nerja costs between 80 to 100 euros, depending on the destination, time of travel, number of travelers and the type of car.
Can you walk to the caves from Nerja?
Yes, you can walk to the caves of Nerja from the city, but it will be a very long walk. To get to the caves from Balcony of Europe would take about 1 hour, covering a distance of 5km.
Why is Nerja so popular?
Nerja is popular thanks to its unique location, the fact that it still looks like a traditional coastal town without high rise buildings, its beautiful beaches, nature sights and of course the Balcony of Europe and Nerja Caves.
How long does it take to walk through Nerja Caves?
It takes about 1 hour to walk through the caves of Nerja. If you’re in a rush, you can do it also in about 30 – 45 minutes.
Southern Spain Travel Tips
BEST CAR RENTAL
To rent a car, I highly recommend Discover Cars, an award winning price comparison site for car rentals.
BUS & TRAIN TICKETS
To get the cheapest bus or train tickets, take a look at Omio to find the timetables and prices.
Local travel companies offer many day trip options from almost all the destinations in Southern Spain. You can check them out here.
I have been using booking.com for all my trips in Spain and abroad, and it’s the best place to book your hotel.
If you would like to leave your luggage behind to explore the city on your last day, you can use Radical Storage service, which lets you book luggage storage in all the destinations in Spain.
LOCAL SIM CARD
If you want to avoid surprising extra charges from your operator, you can use a service like Airalo, where you can buy digital packs for e-sim cards.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links – if you decide to book using one of the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this site. This is at no extra cost to you.