El Torcal de Antequera is a unique place where surrealistic rock formations will leave you breathless. This natural reserve is unique not only in Spain but in Europe because of the impressive krast landscapes.
It can be easily declared one of the most peculiar places in the whole Andalusia. If you want to escape the city for while the trip to El Torcal de Antequera is a perfect opportunity!
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It is located around 50 kilometers and 1 hour drive from Malaga in the municipality of Antequera and Villanueva de la Concepción. The only way to get there is by car or with an organised trip. Check our website for our trips to El Torcal. The area has plenty of parking spots around the Visitors Center.
You can visit the nature reserve with pets although they must remain on the leash.
The entry to the Natural Park is free of charge, it is open all the time.
The Visitors Centre of El Torcal offers a range of services including free and guided tours, Interpretation Center, Astronomical Observatory, restaurant, giftshop and more.
A day trip for El Torcal is a great idea for both adults and children, the area offers many attractions and surely it will make your Andalusian adventure unforgettable. Especially for you we have prepared a list of things to do in El Torcal. We are sure you will find someting for yourself! Scroll down for our top choices.
The area of El Torcal de Antequerra is a stunning example of a karst landscape with limestone rock formations. The area where El Torcal is today has been below the sea level for over 200 million years. It lays on the verge of two tectonic plates which collided causing the land to emerge from the sea. This slow process elevated limestone rocks with many valuable fossils hidden within. Subsequently the weather factors such as wind, rain and ice have shaped the rock into the surrealistic forms we see today. Because of its shape they are often called “mushrooms” – wider at the top and thinner at the bottom.
The result of the work of nature is breathtaking and it attracts tourists from all around the world. Make sure to have your cameras ready!
The nature reserve of El Torcal offers multiple hiking trails of varied lenght and difficulty avaliable to all visitors. The treck can take from 45 mins up to 3 hours depending on the trail you choose. To get more information about the hiking trails make sure to pay a visit to the Visitors Centre of El Torcal.
Hiking shoes are a must for the area as there are many loose rocks and slippery passages. Make sure to bring suitable clothes since the weather in El Torcal can be very different from the cities located on the coast. It’s usually much colder with higher humidity.
Hiking is a great opportunity to admire the Karst landscape and the most interesting limestone figures including The Bold, Sombreito and Cofre. If you’re lucky you also might have a change to spot some wildlife including griffon vultures, ocellated lizards, foxes, badgers, weasels and rabbits.
The Visitors Centre of El Torcal offers an interesting Interpretive Area with exhibition about the history and geology of El Torcal. It also hosts regular displays of fossils – Ammonites and Belemnites as well as fossilized animal footprints preserved in the limestone. So if you want to immerse yourself in history the Visitors Centre of El Torcal is a must-see!
The entrance to the Centre is free of charge, the opening hours are:
10:00 – 17:00 (November-March)
10:00 – 19:00 (April-October)
Closed on 25th of December, 1st and 6th of January.
Apart from exhibitions The Visitors Center has a reading room, gift shop and a restaurant serving local cuisine.
There is no better place to watch the stars than El Torcal – at the height of 1200 meters and far from the light pollution of the big cities. The Astronomical Observatory, apart from conducting research prepares special acctivities for the visitors, schools and organized groups. The offer includes both nocturnal and diurnal visits. For more information and the scheadule of planned activities visit Observatory’s website.
The Visitor’s Centre offers a wide choice of private guided tours through unmarked trails. They can be adapted according to the needs and requirements of the clients so older or disabled visitors can also enjoy their visit to El Torcal. The most popular guided tours include Route of the Ammonites or Route through the Karstic Labyrinth. Since you have to book in advance check here before your visit.
Antequera is one of the most beautiful cities in the Malaga province. It’s a great idea to combine the trip to El Torcal with a visit in Antequera.
The city is famous primarily for the 5000 years old dolmens, one of the most important prehistoric monuments in Europe, now belongig to UNESCO World Heritage. These prehistoric burial chambers are located just outside of town. The complex includes 3 dolmens: Menga Dolmen (the largest discovered in Europe), Viera Dolmen and El Romeral Dolmen.
The city of Antequera bears many features of typical medieval town with rich architecture, churches, stately homes and convents. One of the most important landmarks of the city is a Moorish Alcazaba.
You can’t consider yourself a true foodie if you haven’t tired the cuisine from the Antequera region! There are some treats you can try at a local restaurant.
The most typical and famous dish from the region is undoubtedly Porra Antequerana – a cold thick gazpacho-style soup made with tomatoes, olive oil and bread, always served with a boiled egg, some jamón serrano and sometimes tuna. It’s very often served as a tapa. Another popular local dish is Migas made with fried breadcrumbs.
Molletes de Antequera are famous throughtout Andalusia – they are a type of round bread, perfect for breakfast toasts.
We hope that you will enjoy your trip to El Torcal. If you want to join one of our adventures and discover Málaga City, book our Free walking tour in Málaga. Let’s discover Málaga together!