I’ve visited Andalusia a lot of times since my parents emigrated over 10 years ago and visited at various times of the year. We’ve travelled near and far, enjoying the sights of Cordoba and Granada, seen the apes in Gibraltar and walked up the Giralda in one of my favourite cities – Sevilla. But in all the years I’ve visited the area I’d never been to El Torcal de Antequera. I figured it was time to change that on our recent visit.
El Torcal de Antequera is approximately 30km north of Malaga and can be found close to Villanueva de la Concepción. It’s a wonderful limestone (karst) nature park, free to enter, with plenty of parking, a museum, toilets and cafe.
Monkey is a good walker and we set off early to enjoy the park pretty much as soon as it opened at 10am. It was averaging temperatures of 30 degrees whilst we were in Spain, and I could imagine it getting even hotter in El Torcal de Antequera by the middle of the day.
There are a number of different trails available to follow. I wish a map had been available as it would have been nice to visual each path before heading off. Granny doesn’t cope too well in the heat so we settled for the shortest trail and off we set, with water bottles to hand.
We couldn’t have picked a better day to enjoy the scenery, the karst outcrops were unlike anything Monkey had seen before. They reminded me of an area just south of Santander that Daddy P and I had driven through when Monkey was a baby.
El Torcal de Antequera is popular with school parties and we got overtaken by a horde of youngsters, but it wasn’t long before we were enjoying our peaceful surroundings again.
Guru Gramps was in his element hunting for bugs, and Monkey was having a great time working out which rock to climb over as we navigated the trail.
This is not the place for a buggy, if you have younger children you will need a baby carrier and toddlers would need a lot of assistance.
But a 5 and half year old Monkey was up for the challenge, and really the route wasn’t strenuous.
We did need to stop quite often, we were so conscious of checking our footings that it was easy not to look up and soak in our surroundings. Pitstops for water and snacks were the ideal times to just stop and enjoy.
Our walk took us about an hour and half, with stops, and I think if we went again by ourselves in the future we would try one of the longer trails. But it was a good taster and Monkey coped with the terrain well. He certainly deserved the ice cream that was waiting for him.
We’d all worked up an appetite so decided to eat in the cafe, I can thoroughly recommend the Gazpacho, it was excellent. The staff were friendly and attentive and menus were available in English if needed. (We normally prefer to read the Spanish ones but it’s nice to know they are available if you get stuck).
We were joined for lunch by one of the locals, not often you can get this close to a fox, Monkey was fascinated.
Close to the cafe complex there is a wonderful Mirador viewing area with information about how El Torcal de Antequera came to be formed. Yes Monkey, once all this was under the sea!
We all agreed that El Torcal de Antequera was definitely worth the visit and that we would return again. You need good footwear, water supplies, especially at this time of year and most importantly, remember to look up!