If you are looking for a scenic route that takes you from the coast to the inland of Malaga province, you might want to try the road from Marbella to Antequera. This route covers about 100 kilometres and offers stunning views of mountains, valleys, lakes and villages. You will also discover some of the historical and cultural attractions of this area, such as the Torcal de Antequera Natural Park, the Dolmens of Antequera and the Alcazaba of Antequera.
This is not the shortest route, but it is certainly a road route with stunning views. You will enjoy driving your car on these inland roads and finally reach your destination, or will you? You may be interested in stopping at some of the places to eat, and in the end you may decide to leave the next town for another day.
Marbella to Ojen
To start this route, you need to take the A-355 road from Marbella towards Ojén. This road climbs up the Sierra Blanca mountain range and gives you a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea and the coast.
Ojén is a charming white village that preserves its traditional architecture and customs. Located 10 kilometres northeast of Marbella, on the inland road that connected with Málaga, Ojén is situated next to the Almadán Stream, in a very peaceful and water-rich place. This village of white houses is surrounded by the Sierra Blanca and Alpujata mountains, which are rich in minerals such as iron, nickel, lead, talc and dunite.
You can stop here to visit its church, its museum of popular arts and its caves. The caves are one of the unique elements of Ojén and are divided into two groups: the High and the Low. Today they are rehabilitated and have a cultural use. From the first group you can enjoy a beautiful landscape of the Ojén village, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. The second group, near the Almadán river that crosses the town, are used for festivities, weddings and stage for activities as unique as a terror tunnel on October 31st until the Living Nativity Scene in December
Where to eat
In Ojén, there are a variety of great dining options. For Mediterranean cuisine, you might want to try Restaurante El Fogón de Flore. If you’re in the mood for Spanish cuisine, Pinchos y Chocolate is a good choice. Another option for Mediterranean cuisine is Meson Restaurante la Casa Nueva.
Ojen to El Burgo
From Ojén, you continue on the A-355 road until you reach the junction with the A-366 road. Here you turn right and head towards El Burgo. This road crosses the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, a biosphere reserve that hosts a rich variety of flora and fauna. You will see pine forests, cork oaks, chestnut trees and olive groves along the way. You might also spot some wild animals such as deer, wild boars, foxes and eagles.
El Burgo is another white village that has a medieval origin. Initially, among the Germanic peoples and in Roman times, the term “burgo” referred to small towers or fortified posts. In the High Middle Ages, a burgo was considered a castle built by a feudal lord for purely military purposes, such as an outpost or border watchtower.
In El Burgo, you can visit its castle ruins, its church and its ethnographic museum. These sites offer a glimpse into the village’s rich history and cultural heritage.
Where to eat
There are several good places to eat in El Burgo. One of them is Restaurante Casa Pepe which serves Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. Another option is Carpe Diem Restaurante Lounge which serves International and Spanish cuisine. Venta el Yoni is also a good option for Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine
El Burgo to Ardales
The next part of the route is from El Burgo to Ardales. You need to take the MA-5401 road and then the MA-5400 road.
The road from El Burgo to Ardales is winding and steep, but it offers spectacular views of the Guadalhorce valley and the reservoirs of Guadalhorce, Guadalteba and Conde de Guadalhorce.
Ardales is a town that has a long history and a rich cultural heritage. You can see its cave paintings, its Arab fortress, its Gothic church and its hermitages. The cave paintings are located in the Cueva de Ardales (also known as Doña Trinidad Cave), which is one of the most important Paleolithic parietal art caves in southern Europe. More than a thousand graphic representations have been found in it
Where to eat
In Ardales, there are a variety of great dining options. For Mediterranean and European cuisine, you might want to try Restaurante El Mirador. If you’re in the mood for Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine, Restaurante El Kiosko is a good choice. Another option for Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine is Meson la Alternativa.
Ardales to Antequera
The final part of the route is from Ardales to Antequera. You need to take the A-357 road and then the A-45 road.
The road from Ardales to Antequera passes through the countryside of Malaga, where you can see olive trees, almond trees and wheat fields. You will also cross the Guadalhorce river and the Caminito del Rey, a famous walkway along the cliffs of a narrow gorge.
Antequera is a city that has been called the heart of Andalusia, because of its location and its history. It has a remarkable monumental complex that includes churches, convents, palaces, arches and towers. You can also visit its museums, its bullring and its market.
One of the main attractions of Antequera is the Torcal de Antequera Natural Park, a karstic landscape that features amazing rock formations. You can hike through its trails and enjoy its flora and fauna.
Another attraction of Antequera is the Dolmens of Antequera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of three megalithic monuments dating back to the Neolithic and Bronze Age. They are considered as one of the most important examples of European prehistory.
The Alcazaba of Antequera is a fortress that was built by the Arabs in the 10th century. It dominates the city and offers a splendid view of the surroundings. You can see its walls, towers, gates and gardens.
Where to eat
In Antequera, there are a variety of great dining options. For Mediterranean and Grill cuisine, you might want to try Meson Adarve. If you’re in the mood for Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine, Recuerdos tapas bodega is a good choice. Another option for Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine is Restaurante Abrasador Bodegas Triana.