Antequera is a city and municipality in the province of Málaga, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. People call it “the heart of Andalusia” because it lies in the center of Málaga, Granada, Córdoba, and Seville. More than 40,000 inhabitants live in its area of 749 km2. It has a population of more than 40,000 inhabitants and an area of 749 km2.
Antequera has a rich history that dates back to prehistoric times. It has a remarkable architectural heritage that reflects its diverse past. Some of its most emblematic monuments are the Dolmens of Antequera, the Alcazaba and the churches and convents.
It is also a city that offers a variety of attractions for visitors who want to enjoy nature, culture and gastronomy. Some of its main attractions are the Torcal de Antequera, the Peña de los Enamorados, the festivals and events and the cuisine.
Antequera is a city with a long and rich history that dates back to prehistoric times. Different cultures such as the Iberians, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs and Christians have inhabited it. It has witnessed important historical events and has played a significant role in the development of Andalusia.
Prehistory and Antiquity
The natural features of Antequera have made it a place of transit and settlement for the different communities that established themselves in the Iberian Peninsula since the Paleolithic era. The Dolmens of Antequera are the most remarkable evidence of this period: megalithic constructions that rank among the most important examples of European prehistory and have UNESCO’s World Heritage Site status. They consist of three dolmens: Menga, Viera and El Romeral.
The Romans founded the city under the name of Antikaria. It was an important commercial center that connected with other Roman cities such as Corduba (Córdoba), Malaca (Málaga) or Hispalis (Sevilla). The Roman baths, located near the Alcazaba, or some archaeological remains exhibited in the Municipal Museum show some traces of this period.
In the 8th century, Antequera was conquered by the Arabs under Tariq ibn-Ziyad. It became part of the Umayyad Caliphate under the name of Medina Antaquira. Antequera was a prosperous city that developed its own culture and art. It was also a strategic point for defending against Christian attacks.
In 1410, Antequera was besieged and captured by Infante Ferdinand, son of King John I of Castile. This event marked the end of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada’s expansion.
Places to visit
Some of its landmarks include the Antequera Dolmens Site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has three megalithic monuments and two natural formations. The Alcazaba de Antequera is a medieval fortress with great views. El Torcal de Antequera is a nature reserve with amazing rocks and wildlife. Other attractions are the Arco de Los Gigantes, a 16th-century arch; the Fuente de Piedra, a lagoon with flamingos; and the Colegiata de Santa Maria la Mayor, a Renaissance church with a beautiful altarpiece. Antequera is a city that offers culture, nature and history for its visitors.
Peña de los Enamorados
“La Peña de los Enamorados” (declared National Monument), at the entrance to the city, tells us of stories of impossible love affairs between lovers fleeing from their respective families (his Christian, and hers Arabic), throwing themselves off the highest peak of this big and beautiful elevation, surrounded by the Guadalhorce River.
Antequera maintains valuable remains that show the importance it has had throughout the centuries as a privileged settlement in Andalucía. The three combined Dolmens, which still exist next to the city: “El Romeral”, “Viera” and, above all, “Menga”, are evidence that, in prehistoric times, this was a monumental and mythical place. But, progressing through history, we can appreciate that the Roman Antikaria is not left behind in importance.
The Alcazaba is a fortress located in the town of Antequera, Spain. It was built by the Muslims over ancient Roman and Visigothic buildings1. It was declared a Cultural Heritage Site in 19851. The most important tower of the complex is the Homage Tower, which has a bell tower from the 16th century.
The Alcazaba is located at Plaza de los Escribanos, s/n and it is open every day from 10:00 to 18:00
Arco de Los Gigantes
The municipal initiative made the Arco de los Gigantes in 1585 within the humanist ideas, with the aim of replacing a curved access of the Muslim wall. Its large semicircular arch evokes the triumphal arches of the classical world.
It is located at Plaza de los Escribanos, s/n2 and it is open 24 hours a day. It has a total height of 7 meters and a span of 4 meters.
Torcal de Antequera
Torcal de Antequera is a natural park of 1171 hectares located in the municipality of Antequera, in the province of Malaga. It is known for the whimsical shapes that various erosive agents have shaped in its limestone rocks, forming a remarkable example of karst landscape1. It was recognized as a Site of National Interest in 19292 and it is also a Special Protection Area for Birds (ZEPA).
Torcal de Antequera offers visitors a unique opportunity to admire the beauty and diversity of nature. You can enjoy hiking trails of different levels of difficulty, guided tours, astronomical observations, educational workshops and more2. You can also discover the rich flora and fauna of the park, which includes endemic species such as the Andalusian mountain goat, the Spanish ibex, the griffon vulture and the orchid Ophrys lutea.
Torcal de Antequera is located at A 70-745 road, Km 423 and it is open 24 hours a day. If you are looking for an unforgettable experience in nature, Torcal de Antequera is a must-see destination that you can reach easily by car.
Colegiata de Santa Maria la Mayor
At the top of the city, “La Real Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor”, a Renaissance building with harmonious façade, which conjures up Roman architecture, and great interior aisles separated by austere, ionic columns. Nearby, we find “El Arco de los Gigantes”, with a marked mannerist style and the enclosure of “La Alcazaba”, with outstanding towers like “La Estrella” and “El Agua”.
Other places to visit
Entering the lower part of the city, we find the great baroque churches and the palaces. There, we find “La del Carmen”, with its wide, singular aisle, mudejar, coffered ceiling and beautiful, baroque alterpieces, “San Sebastián”, situated next to “El Arco del Nazareno” in one of its most pleasant corners and the Renaissance fountain in the square which bears the same name as the church.
There are other countless places of genuine, Andalucian flavour, which can only be possibly appreciated by losing oneself through the beautiful side- streets. “La Plaza de Santiago” or “La Plaza del Portichuelo”, the church of “Santa María de Jesús”, spacious palaces like the one that presently houses the town hall, beautiful temples like the Renaissance of “San Pedro”, the baroque of “La Trinidad”,”San Agustín” or the attractive façade of the church of “San Juan de Dios”.
Events and festivities
The festive calendar of Antequera has its zenith during Easter. The fervour of its residents and the majesty of its processions during Holy week, the majority of which originate from the baroque era, make it one of the most interesting in the whole of Andalucía. Just as attractive are its Spring Fair, held between end of May and beginning of June, with Andalucian stalls and its “Feria Agrícola y Ganadera” (Agrogant), Agricultural and Cattle Fair. Bullfighting fans will delight with important bullfights in which the top names at national level in bullfighting take part.
Antequera is a city in southern Spain that offers a rich and varied gastronomy. Some of its most famous dishes are based on bread, oil, garlic, tomatoes and peppers, such as the porra antequerana, a thick cold soup; the ajoblanco, a white garlic soup; and the pimentón, a spicy tomato sauce. Other typical dishes are the gazpachuelo, a fish soup with mayonnaise; the migas, fried bread crumbs with meat or vegetables; and some salads, like the pío antequerana, made with cod and oranges. Antequera is also known for its molletes, soft bread rolls that can be eaten with butter, jam or ham; and its mantecados, crumbly cookies with different flavors. Antequera’s gastronomy is a delight for any palate.
Getting to Antequera
There are different ways to get to Antequera from Malaga airport, depending on your preference and budget. Here are some options:
- By train: You can take a train from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Antequera via Malaga C.a and Malaga Maria Zambrano in around 1h 46m1. The train tickets cost between €10 and €15 per person.
- By bus: You can take a bus from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Antequera via Estación Autobuses and Malaga in around 2h 7m. The bus tickets cost between €6 and €10 per person.
- By taxi: You can take a taxi from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Antequera in around 43 minutes. The taxi fare is around €80.
- By car: You can rent a car at Malaga Airport (AGP) and drive to Antequera in around 40 minutes. The car rental prices vary depending on the type of car and the duration of the rental.
There are different possible routes for getting to Antequera from Malaga airport:
- The first one is via AP-46 and A-45. It is about 66 km long and takes around 54 minutes without traffic. You need to pay a toll on this route.
- The second one is via A-7052 and AP-46. It is about 65 km long and takes around an hour without traffic. You also need to pay a toll on this route.
- The cheapest route is to take the A-45 and then the A-92 to Antequera. This route has an estimated fuel cost of €7.30 and does not pass through any toll roads.
Finally as you can read in this article, a car hire in Malaga will make you able to get the most from your visit to Antequera.