Would you like to take a break from Málaga and enjoy a unique landscape in the world? We suggest a car route from Malaga to El Torcal de Antequera, a natural park that will amaze you with its karstic rock formations.
The itinerary starts in Málaga, where you can rent a car with Malagacar.co.uk. From there, you should take the A-45 motorway to Casabermeja. Then, you should take the MA-3404 road and link up with the A-7075 and MA-9016 roads that will take you to the car park and visitor centre of the Torcal de Antequera natural park.
It will be a complete itinerary from Malaga to El Torcal, with a stop in the town and recommendations for your visit.
You can drive to Antequera in about 1 ½ hours. Take the N-340 towards Málaga. After passing through a number of tunnels, the road reaches the highest point of Puerto de las Pedrizas at 780 m (2,560 ft) and the N-331 branches off to Antequera (signposted to Sevilla and Córdoba). The road descends, offering the first views of Antequera’s rich agricultural plain.
In land area, Antequera is the country’s fifth-largest municipality, home to about 40,000 residents. Agriculture, especially grains and olives, is the economic mainstay. Many consider the oil made from the local Hojiblanca variety of olive to be the best in Spain. A new and highly productive crop here is sunflowers, which make a vivid patchwork through the Vega (fertile plain) in early summer. Some 12 km (7 miles) further on, turn left into Antequera.
Arrival at the town of Antequera
Antequera is a town with more than 5,000 years of history, which has left a rich legacy of monuments and archaeological sites. Some of the most remarkable ones are:
- The dolmens of Menga, Viera and El Romeral: These are megalithic tombs that date from the 3rd millennium BC and are considered World Heritage by UNESCO. They are located in a natural park that also offers beautiful views of the Peña de los Enamorados, a mountain with a peculiar shape that resembles a human face.
- The Alcazaba: This is a Moorish fortress that dominates the town from a hill. It was built between the 11th and 15th centuries and has several towers and walls. One of its highlights is the Torre del Homenaje, which offers panoramic views of Antequera and its surroundings.
- The Royal Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor: This is a Renaissance church that was built in the 16th century on the site of a former mosque. It has a magnificent facade with sculptures and reliefs, as well as a beautiful interior with chapels and altarpieces.
- The Museum of Antequera: This is a museum that displays the artistic and cultural heritage of Antequera, from prehistory to modern times. It has collections of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, jewellery, textiles and more. It is located in the Palace of Nájera, a 17th century building with an elegant courtyard.
Antequera also has many other attractions, such as churches, convents, palaces, fountains and gardens. You can walk through its streets and squares and discover its charm and history.
- Religious Museum: https://goo.gl/maps/KjuinSF8Fja4NLcB7
- Alcazaba: https://goo.gl/maps/4WkjihjvauYZz5Lc9
- Royal Colegiate Church: https://goo.gl/maps/beA7FtzHhiqtABWz7
- Museum: https://goo.gl/maps/Grgx7Axc8Z76sTgC7
- Dolmens: https://goo.gl/maps/MBesBVeZyAQWDKdb8
For lunch we recommend you to go to El Angelote (952-703-465) in Plaza Coso Viejo, near the museum. Or head back to your car and follow signs to the Parador whose restaurant (952-840-261) is also a good option.
You can taste some of its typical dishes, such as porra antequerana (a cold soup made with bread, tomato, garlic and peppers), molletes (a type of bread roll) or bienmesabe (a dessert made with almonds, eggs and honey).
Visiting El Torcal de Antequera
After lunch, take the scenic 16 km (10 mile) drive to El Torcal de Antequera. El Torcal de Antequera is a natural park that covers an area of 17 square kilometres. It is famous for its karstic landscape, which consists of limestone rocks that have been eroded by water and wind over millions of years. The result is a spectacular scenery of shapes and forms that resemble animals, objects or figures.
The park has three routes that you can follow to explore its wonders:
- The green route: This is the shortest and easiest one, with a length of 1.5 kilometres and a duration of 30 minutes. It is suitable for all ages and abilities and allows you to see some of the most emblematic rock formations. There you will find the Tornillo (the Screw), the Camello (the Camel) or the Sombrerillo (the Little Hat).
- The yellow route: This is the intermediate one, with a length of 2.5 kilometres and a duration of one hour. It is more challenging than the green one and requires some physical effort and caution. It offers more varied views of the park and its flora and fauna, such as orchids, vultures or mountain goats.
- The red route: This is the longest and most difficult one, with a length of 4.5 kilometres and a duration of two hours. It is only recommended for experienced hikers and requires good equipment and preparation. It takes you to the highest point of the park, at 1,339 metres above sea level. With this route you can enjoy panoramic views of the surroundings.
El Torcal de Antequera is a place that will leave you speechless with its beauty and uniqueness. It is a must-see if you are in Malaga and want to discover a different side of Andalusia. We hope you enjoy this route and have a great time!
Driving back to Málaga
At the end of the road from El Torcal, turn to Villanueva de la Concepción and head east along a pot-holed road to Casabermeja. In Casabermeja follow the signposts to Málaga. This route passes through the area of Parque Natural de Montes de Málaga.
When you rejoin the Málaga-Antequera road, follow the signs to Torremolinos. If time allows, you may want to follow signs to the Jardín Histórico Botánico where you can roam the gardens of La Concepción.
We hope you enjoyed the road route from Malaga to El Torcal de Antequera, and the itinerary.