Excursion to Antequera, discover El Torcal in one day
If you plan to spend a few days at the beach and relax on Costa del Sol we have a plan you will love. In addition to resting in front of the seaside, the province of Malaga hides beautiful cities you should not miss. A mixture of the tranquillity of the coast and a cultural tour is the best option for your holiday in this destination. For this reason we suggest a day trip to Antequera, a place of enormous heritage and a landscape that will surprise you. Pay attention and do not miss a thing of this unique trip. Observe the distances from our hotels and come to discover the city of El Torcal.
Excursion to Antequera
We advise you to get up early to make the most of the day ahead of you. A good time to arrive to Antequera is 9:30. From then on just enjoy everything offered by this city with all your senses. Do not forget to bring your camera! You will definitely need it.
9:30 EL TORCAL
Before reaching the city it is essential to stop at one of the most important natural areas of the province of Málaga: Torcal de Antequera. It is better to go in the morning if you want to take a hiking trail. There is a trail, described simply with by colour green which you can do in an hour. It is for you to do it without any hurry, getting used to the place and enjoying the landscape. El Torcal is one of the most significant examples of karst landscape in Spain. The limestone rocks have been changing over the years and taking curious shapes that stand out from any other landscape. Because of being originated as seabed, we can find numerous prehistoric fossils of great value in the area. Its mushroom-shaped rock formations and its most famous rock “the screw” add to the spectacular environment.
11:30 LOS DOLMENES
In full support campaign to become World Heritage Site by Unesco, the next stop is Dolmenes de Antequera. The monuments of Menga, Viera and El Romeral are one of the best-known exponents of European megaliths. Dated from the Neolithic period, they were a symbol of one of the earliest farming communities of the continent. Being used as burial chambers, some megaliths are true repositories of cultural identity related to nature’s fertility and ancestors. A place where you can travel to the origins of our species. To get there you’ll have to make two stops because they are not located in the same area. First you can travel to El Romeral, located further and then visit Menga and Viera which have are located in a more central position, which is good for you to continue with the excursion.
Dólmenes de Menga and Viera
Dólmen de El Romeral
13:00 CITY MUSEUM
In the Palace of Najera, located in the Plaza del Coso Viejo, we find Antequera Museum. You can park very close to the building, there is a field where parking is free. Before closing its doors at 14:00, you can take a stunning journey through history through the works of art it keeps. Examples of Prehistory, Rome, Visigoth and Moorish art, baroque iconography and silver objects typical of the area are just some of the gems that can be found in this cultural area, one of the largest in the province of Malaga.
When you finish your visit to the Museum of Antequera you can search for a place to take a break and replenish your strength with superb local cuisine. At Coso Viejo square itself there are several restaurants where you can taste the typical food of the city. Do not miss the Antequera porra, a cold tomato soup which is known throughout Andalusia. If instead of going to a restaurant you fancy something more casual, you can choose La Antequera, which has the best molletes of the area. This type of bread is native to Antequera and filled with all kinds of ingredients. As from September you can also purchase shortbread (Christmas sweets) in this establishment, which were born in Antequera, as well as bienmesabe, a local recipe to sweeten your palate.
15:30 CITY TOUR
What can we expect to see in Antequera? The truth is that the city has many places to visit. It is a city with a lot of history and monuments in the province of Malaga. Besides, you will find a unique square, a fountain or a nook full of flower pots on every corner. What’s most unique in this town is the fact that it has 33 religious temples. There is a saying that states that if all people from Antequera wanted to attend church at the same time, they actually could.
During your visit through Antequera you will find many streets which have a stately architecture. Mansions built by the aristocracy who settled in this location in the centre of Andalusia and who owned lands and large textile companies. A fantastic blend of urban and religious design.
For this reason you cannot miss the church of Los Remedios located on the main road, on Estepa street. This is the resting place of Blessed Maria Alonso. Legend has it that if you make a question and knock on the coffin three times, she will answer; if the answer is yes you’ll hear one knock, if the answer is no, you’ll hear two knocks.
It will not be difficult to move around Antequera because it is not very big and all the monuments are near each other. Everywhere you look you will see the perfect place to take a picture. But undoubtedly the most beautiful city space is at the top. Don’t miss a thing because we are going up to the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Portichuelo.
18:30 CONVENT OF THE DISCALCED CARMELITES
Before going up the Portichuelo, we recommend visiting the Convent of the Discalced Carmelites. Cloistered nuns live there who prepare excellent sweets you can buy. The nuns have a museum with huge artistic wealth where you will understand, with the company of a guide, the importance these spaces had in the history of the city.
19:30 THE PORTICHUELO
Portichuelo is the most picturesque district of Antequera and is located in the upper part of the city. If you leave the convent on the left you have a steep street. Go up to San Judas Tadeo Street and from there you ascend while discovering the beauty of the houses until you find the famous fountain of the bull. This monument is the protagonist of a curious legend. One one written document about this fountain, it mentions that “under the bull you will find the treasure.” After much time trying to understand what the reward was, the riddle was solved: the treasure is none other than the beautiful city of Antequera at his feet.
From here you will have a panoramic view that won’t leave you indifferent. Walk some more steps and you’ll see one of the most important jewels of the province: the Royal Collegiate of Santa Maria.
20:00 COLLEGIATE CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA LA MAYOR
Built between 1514 and 1550 at the initiative of the Bishop of Málaga, the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria La Mayor is the first building that was designed in the Renaissance style in Andalusia, an exceptional work due to its proportions and the quality of its design.
In the Collegiate Church of St. Maria la Mayor, both late Gothic and Renaissance style elements coexist and highlight its great façade, certainly the most monumental of Antequera, entirely made in stone. Here we can also find the remains.
21:00 THE LOVERS ROCK AND DINNER
Finally we suggest you enjoy the sunset before the town’s symbol: the lovers rock. From this high area where we are, the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria La Mayor, you can observe this natural stone monument which looks like a woman lying down. As you will have noticed during our journey, Antequera is a city of legends, and the rock could not be the exception. During the Reconquest, Antequera was the border line between Christian Spain and the Moorish Spain. A Christian young man and a beautiful Moorish girl fell deeply in love in a time couples of different faiths were not allowed to get married. Therefore they fled together and when they saw they were chased and cornered, they climbed the rock. Seeing that there was no escape, the two hugged and jumped into the void. Hence the name of the place.
Here you also have an elegant restaurant where you can taste the typical products of the area and end a spectacular day.
Hotel Fuerte Marbella – Antequera – (one hour and a twenty minutes by car)
Olee Nerja Holiday Rentals – Antequera – (one hour and 11 minutes by car)
WHERE TO STAY
If you decide to come to Marbella do not hesitate in staying in Fuerte Hoteles. Fuerte Marbella is a symbol for the city with more than 60 years experience at your service. The hotel has 263 rooms, all soundproofed and equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV, wireless Internet access and private bathroom with free amenities and hair-dryer, among other services. It is also surrounded by gardens, with superb sea views and 2 outdoor pools.