Antequera & El Torcal NP, Spain

Antequera main street, Calle Infante Don Fernando, Andalusia, Spain

Antequera main street, Calle Infante Don Fernando, Andalusia, Spain.

Why visit Antequera and Torcal NP?

This small, ancient town offers relics from Roman, Islamic and of course Spanish eras, as well as Neolithic and Bronze Age dolmens (burial mounds from 2, 500 BC). It’s just 47 kms from Malaga and an easy day trip by bus or car; getting out of Malaga is the main problem!
Self drive is useful here as the dolmens are a kilometre away from the centre while a few kilometres south is the El Torcal Natural Park (aka Paraje Natural Torcal de Antequera) with some good walks among strangely eroded rock formations (see below).
The town has a traffic problem and tourists who drive there are advised to park ASAP in the underground car park at the end of the main street, opposite the Plaza de Toros.

San Sebastian church, Plaza San Sebastian, Antequera old town, Andalusia, Spain

San Sebastian church in Plaza San Sebastian, Antequera old town.

Antequera  attractions

The town hosts a couple of fine churches and excellent museums. The Iglesia del Carmen is worth a visit for its interior, as is the Real Colegiata de Santa Maria la Mayor, see below.
The Museo Municipal displays some superb Roman sculptures, mosaics and a mass of religious silverware, while the nearby Museo Conventual de las Descalzas specialises in religious art works.

The Real Colegiata de Santa Maria la Mayor, Antequera, Andalusia, Spain

The Real Colegiata de Santa Maria la Mayor, with beautiful Mudejar ceiling and occasional fine musical events, seen through the 1585 Arco de los Gigantes, with the Alcazaba entrance on the right.

Alcazaba, Antequera, Andalusia, Spain

The local fort/Alcazaba, a terrific viewpoint and ambience but not much to see otherwise.

Dolmen de Viera, Antequera, Andalusia, Spain

Dolmen de Mega, 1km from the town centre and 4, 500 years old. Photo by Grez.

Torcal  attractions

The road from Antequera into El Torcal National Park, Andalusia, Spain

The road into El Torcal Natural Park.

Anyone who has been lucky enough to walk around the USA’s canyon area, the Grand Circle, is unlikely to be impressed by Torcal’s rock formations! Nor indeed does Antequera’s town measure up to its Andalusian competition of Ronda, Seville, Granada and Cordoba.

Torcal National park rock panorama, Andalusia, Spain

El Torcal’s raison d’etre, slashed and scattered rocks.

El Torcal hiking trail, Antequera, Andalusia, Spain

A couple of decent short hiking trails are suggested, 1. 5km Ruta Verde and 3km Amarillo.

El Torcal rocks, Antequera, Andalusia, Spain

El Torcal rocks, Antequera