Touring the Balcón de Europa
Nerja has many fascinating places to visit but none is as iconic as the Balcon de Europa. The view point is a considered the landmark that defines Nerja
A King’s View
The views from the Balcon de Europa are so spectacular that King Alfonso XII stood on its seat and coined the name. At least that is what is widely believed and relayed to tourists.
According to the story, it was during a visit after a huge earthquake in 1885 that the King marvelled at what one could see from the landmark and he named the place the Balcony of Europe. In fact, that story is so well loved that there is a life-size statue of the King overlooking the balcony.
The less spectacular story, which is supported by existing documents, shows that the landmark was so named even before King Alfonso XII came visiting after the earthquake
Built upon a fortress and former gun battery locally known as “La Bateria”, the Balconfeatures huge towers where the cannons were placed. These towers were strategically aligned along the coast pointing to a very well thought out tactical offensive by the then military. They were used by the French to fight off the British as well as any raiding pirate parties.
Unfortunately, in 1882 the British were able to destroy “La Bateria” leaving behind only two canons. The destruction was so extensive that today we only have the two rusty canons and some rock left of the original “Balcon de Europa”
Present day “Balcon de Europa”
This historic fortress has reclaimed its former glory by bringing people together in peaceful and harmonious festivities. The Balcony of Europe is now peppered with countless bars, restaurant, and cafes.
The summer brings in bands that immerse the area in music, festivals, plays and concerts and the evening always has people enjoying their “Paseo”. The landmark is the epicentre of all of Nerja’s festivities as they all begin and end there
Iglesia EL Salvador
You cannot mention the Balcon de Europa without the touching on the Iglesia El Salvador. This timeless piece of architecture was finished in 1697 but underwent restoration which was completed in 1997. It features a baroque-neo classical style and has a bell tower that was built in 1724.
The church has the longest marriage waiting list on the coast because of its location, architecture and rich history
The views to the left of the Balcon de Europa include
- The Calahonda beach
- The rocky outcrops that lead to El Chorrillo beach
- The Maro-Cerro Gordo coastline
To the right you have
- La Caletilla beach
- El Salon beach
- The Costa del Sol
- The rocky promontory at Torrecilla
One of the features with the most signage in Nerja, the Balcon is not difficult to find. The area is pedestrianised because it is best explored on foot. Although hard to miss, you can always ask if you get lost.
From spectacular views to a rich history, the Balcon de Europa is exactly what you need to cap a vacation in beautiful Nerja,