Antequera is a little-known town of Andalusia and a beautiful day trip from Malaga. Go off-the-beaten-path and discover a small city that will surprise you.
One of the most fascinating regions of Spain, Andalusia is a little gem for those who are wild about history, excellent food, dramatic landscapes, and contrasts.
Malaga, Sevilla, Granada, and Cordoba are, no doubt, the three most famous cities in Andalusia. However, there are offbeat spots that are well worth a stay for a few days. Antequera is one of them.
You might never have heard about this place before. I had neither until I recently got the opportunity to visit the area. And to discover its beauty.
Why visit Antequera as a day trip from Malaga?
1. The heart of Andalusia
Ideally located, Antequera is at the heart of Andalusia. From there, you can easily reach Granada, Sevilla and Cordoba, have a hike in the Sierras or spend a day at sea in the Costa del Sol.
Antequera is also an easy day trip from Malaga, only about 60 km (37 mi) from the seaside resort.
2. Awesome historical heritage
Antequera and the surrounding area is fascinating and full of history.
The Moors dominated the city from 716 A.D. until 1410, when Ferdinand I – who would be crowned Kind of Aragon in 1412 – conquered Antequera. Following his victory, Ferdinand I took possession of the Alcazaba, the castle built by the Moors to defend themselves from the Spanish Catholic Army
After the ‘Reconquista,’ Antequera became a relevant outpost of Spanish Catholicism. The result was the destruction of many Moorish mosques, replaced by churches.
But Antequera’s historical heritage is much more remote and goes back to the Bronze Age. The Dolmen de Menga and the Dolmen de Viera are the most extensive remains in Europe. Furthermore, they are an almost unique occasion to visit a burial mound dating around the year 3000 B.C.
3. Excellent food
Spain is well-known for its great food and for being a country hosting some of the most famous chefs worldwide.
However, as in many other places flooded by tourists, choosing the right restaurant in Granada, Sevilla or Cordoba can be a challenge.
Foodies won’t be disappointed in Antequera and its surroundings, where lovely and typical restaurants serve local food prepared wonderfully.
4. The stunning Torcal de Antequera
A walk in the Natural Reserve El Torcal de Antequera is a must. The landscape is stunning, with its karst rock formations among the most important in Europe. El Torcal is home of a large number of Spanish Ibex, and you have good chances to spot them on the rocks.
The three hiking trails (1.5 km, 2.5 km, and 4.5 km ) are pleasant and quite easy, provided you wear a pair of closed walking shoes. If you have the chance, pay a visit to El Torcal at sunset, when the rocks get pink.
5. Magic nights
One place struck my heart: the Plaza de Escribanos, in front of the wonderful Real Colegiata de Santa Maria La Mayor. This beautiful church was built between 1514 and 1550, and its style is halfway between late Gothic and early Renaissance.
Also, since it’s a fully pedestrian area, the Plaza (square) is a lovely promenade especially at sunset and durinf the night.
Dinner at the excellent Restaurant El Escribano is an unmissable experience. You’ll have delicious food and a marvelous view on the illuminated cathedral, thus experiencing an enchanting night you will remember for a long time.
Antequera is an easy, and beautiful, day trip from Malaga. However, there are so many things to do in Antequera that if you have the chance, you should spend there one night.
Looking for a guided day tour to Antequera from Malaga or Marbella?
Private tour to Antequera (from Malaga or Marbella)
How to get to Antequera
The closest airport is Malaga, served by several low-cost airlines. The best way to reach Antequera and explore its surroundings is to rent a car. Alternatively, you can reach Antequera both by bus or by train (check here timetables and prices).
Where to stay in Antequera
Hotel Infante Antequera is a small modern hotel in the center, making it easy to walk everywhere.
Hotel Convento La Magdalena is a beautifully renovated monastery inside the Torcal de Antequera Natural Park. The hotel features an indoor swimming pool, a spa, and views of the charming countryside.
Parador de Antequera is a modern and elegant hotel featuring a swimming pool, a big garden, and a restaurant serving local food.
Hotel Finca Eslava: with its 18th Century typical Andalusian patio, the large garden and its adjacent fitness and wellness club (including a swimming pool) is another option to stay in Antequera.
Where to eat
Hotel Posada El Tempranillo: dedicated to the famous bandit Jose Maria El Tempranillo, this typical restaurant in the outskirts of Antequera offers excellent local dishes and a warm ambiance.
Hotel Convento La Magdalena: in a beautiful old convent with a lovely view of the olive trees, this restaurant offers excellent revisited local dishes in a sophisticated environment.
Restaurante El Escribano: excellent food with a wonderful view of the church of Santa Maria La Mayor.
Special thanks to Antonio Ramírez from Destino Antequera and Victoria Garcia Clemente of SondyTour, who guided us through Antequera. Please note that although this was a sponsored trip, all opinions are exclusively mine.
This post contains a few affiliates links. If you make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost for you.
16 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Visit Antequera, a Lovely Day Trip from Malaga”
I first visited Antequera two years ago and instantly loved the town. My partner and I are very lucky to have been able to buy a small home here , just near to the Alcazaba. This will be our first stay during Christmas .
I think it will take me the rest of my life to explore this intricate town.
Oh… It must be lovely to live in Antequera. I still remember the magic atmosphere of such a beautiful town. I was there in Summer and wonder how it is in Winter.
Antequera is one of Andalucia’s many gems. Such an interesting town and fabulous surroundings too. So much to see and do and after 20 years I’m still discovering and exploring Andalucia.
I was really surprised by Antequera and Andalucia is a beautiful region. I should explore more of it as well!
Great, this is firmly on my list. Good to know!
My husband and I have lived in a small hamlet near Antequera for the last 12 years; we chose the area because we found Antequera so different to the other towns and cities. With lots of interest to tourists it is just the right size and until now has not perceived itself as a tourist destination, and we continue to be amazed at just how wonderful Antequera is. Also the people in the city are very welcoming.
Spent two weeks in Andalusia and never heard of this “gem.” And after two I know I want to go back, and this post gives me reason and a new destination. Merci
stay adventurous, Craig
This looks like a great spot. A great addition to the usual places people go. Thank you for sharing.
Wow this place is such a hidden gem!
@Andi @Jim Indeed Antequera is lovely. And I recently found out that I am far more attracted by smaller, off-beaten places. Glad you liked it!
I lived in Antequera for almost a year. It’s the most charming, atmospheric town you could wish to visit.
Must be really nice living in Antequera. People were so warm and welcoming!
I can’t wait to visit Spain. I only heard good thing about it!
Thanks for sharing, it would be great to get back to Andalusia sometime soon, some great imagery but yet more food!
Yup… Definitely food and wine are a fabulous part of a trip to Andalusia. I still have so many photos to edit, and half of them are of… food!!!