Playa de Cantarrijan - the Costa del Sol's best nudist beach

Playa de Cantarrijan, or Cantarrijan beach, is the kind of place that you'll hear about, way before going there. There's a certain mystique about it and reputation for being a very happening and trendy spot. For those in the know, it also has a reputation for being the Costa del Sol’s best nudist beach. 
Playa de Cantarrijan, Costa Tropical
The beach sits right on the border between the provinces of Malaga and Granada. Deciding on whether it actually falls on the Costa del Sol or the Costa Tropical is hard to do. The access and most of the beach falls on the Malaga-side, if you walk to another end of the beach you'd be in Granada. Then again, this area sits under the municipally of Almuñecar. 
Location notwithstanding, Cantarrijan is one of our favourites and included in my top 10 beaches in Andalusia selection.

What to expect at Cantarrijan beach

A mixture of sand and shingle, as with all the beaches and coves in the Natural area of Los Acantilados de Maro, the surrounding area is rigorously protected and during the busier summer months, you will need to take a bus down there.

It's a small price to pay for its beauty and preservation.

Playa de Cantarrijan, Costa del Sol

The water is exceptionally clean and has won various awards to that effect. As fishing is not allowed in this area (due to its protected status), the sea around Cantarrijan is full of fish.

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of fish and the clarity of the water….when compared to other beaches just a few kilometres along the coast. Goes to show you what the whole of the Costa del Sol and Tropical could look like with a bit of protection and care. 

Needless to say, the snorkelling and diving in this whole area are brilliant. 

The beach can be divided into two sections. The first – just in front of the two restaurants – is clothing ‘optional’ and the second tends to be completely naturist. On the occasions we have been down there around 90% of people are in the nude. It's something you quickly get used to. 

If feeling energetic and in the mood for a beautiful walk, try the hike from Cantarrijan to neighbouring El Cañuelo beach

All in all, a fun experience and an exceptionally beautiful beach. Highly recommended.

How to get there

There are two ways to get there if coming from the Nerja/Malaga area. Using the new motorway or the along the old coast road the N340.

The sign for Catarrijan is situated some 15kms from Nerja. If taking the new motorway, come off at the exit for La Herradura and when coming to the first roundabout, take a sharp right following signs to Malaga (N340), basically doubling back on yourself. After about 3kms you‘ll see a sign for Cantarrijan on the left. There's a large parking area at the top.

Access is currently restricted during the summer months. There are regular shuttle buses that take you from the parking to the beach. At the time of writing the price was 2€ per adult and children went for free. Summer officially ends on September 1st – from that moment on you can drive down to the beach. There was talk about cutting the access off for individuals all year round. On a couple of the neighbouring beaches, they have done so already, namely on Playa el Cañuelo. So far, Cantarrijan is still accessible in the winter months. 

The old N340 route from Nerja is slightly longer, but far more scenic. From Nerja/Maro follow signs for Almeria and after some 15kms keep your eyes open for the signs.

For additional beaches in the area see our Nerja beach guide and our list of top things to do in Nerja.  

image credit Jose Carlos Balsalobre Guerrero