5 Reasons to Visit Enchanting Antequera, a Lovely Day Trip from Malaga

Torcal de Antequera, Photo by Agustín Povedano

5 Reasons to Visit Enchanting Antequera, a Lovely Day Trip from Malaga

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.

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Andalusia is mostly identified with Malaga, Sevilla, Granada and Cordoba. However, there are off-the-beaten-track spots that are well worth a stay for a few days: such as Antequera. 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.

So… why visit Antequera?

1. The heart of Andalusia

Ideally located, Antequera can be geographically – and strategically – considered as 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. All in a day trip, if you like.

2. Awesome historical heritage

Antequera is a fascinating area, 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 and took possession of the  Alcazaba, the castle built by the Moors to defend themselves from the Spanish Catholic Army.

After the ‘Reconquista’, Antequera became an important outpost of Spanish Catholicism; many Moorish mosques were destroyed and several churches were built in their place.

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 largest remains in Europe and an almost unique occasion to visit an amazing burial mound dating around the year 3000 B.C.

3. Excellent food

Antequera, A Paradise for Foodies

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 in a wonderful fashion.

4. The stunning Torcal de Antequera

Torcal de AntequeraA 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 that can easily be spotted on the rocks.

The 3 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

AntequeraOne place really struck my heart: the Plaza de Escribanos, in front of the wonderful Real Colegiata de Santa Maria La Mayor, the church built between 1514 and 1550, whose style is half way between late Gothic and early Renaissance.

Completely closed to cars, the Plaza (square) is a lovely promenade and offers its best at night.

A dinner at the excellent Restaurant El Escribano is a unmissable experience: awesome food and a marvelous view on the illuminated cathedral, for an enchanting night you will remember for a long time.




Practical Information:

Antequera, a drink with a view How to reach Antequera
The closest airport is Malaga, served by a number of 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.

Where to stay
Hotel Finca Eslava: with its 18th Century typical Andalusian patio, the large garden and its adjacent fitness and wellness club (including a swimming pool) this cosy 4 stars hotel is an excellent option for a very pleasant 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 ambience.

Hotel Convento La Magdalena: in a wonderful old convent with a lovely view on the olive trees, this restaurant offers excellent revisited local dishes in a refined environment.

Restaurante el Escribano: excellent food with a wonderful view on the church Santa Maria La Mayor.


Note: Special thanks to Antonio Ramírez from Destino Antequera and Victoria Garcia Clemente of  SondyTour, who guided us through Antequera and let us discover its beauties. Gratitude also to all the people in Antequera who warmly welcomed us and sponsored our visit. Please note that although this was a sponsored trip, all opinions and impressions are exclusively mines.

  • Bernadette Mahoney
    Posted at 09:35h, 27 December Reply

    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.

    • Simon
      Posted at 11:41h, 06 February Reply

      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.

  • Rachel Webb
    Posted at 09:45h, 24 June Reply

    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.

    • Simon
      Posted at 11:01h, 11 October Reply

      I was really surprised by Antequera and Andalucia is a beautiful region. I should explore more of it as well!

  • Veryan Gibson
    Posted at 15:03h, 20 October Reply

    Great, this is firmly on my list. Good to know!

  • Anne Sutton
    Posted at 10:12h, 13 November Reply

    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.

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    Posted at 11:32h, 24 October Reply

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  • Craig Zabransky
    Posted at 22:05h, 21 December Reply

    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

  • Jim
    Posted at 21:10h, 18 July Reply

    This looks like a great spot. A great addition to the usual places people go. Thank you for sharing.

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures
    Posted at 16:23h, 16 July Reply

    Wow this place is such a hidden gem!

    • waitinginthedark
      Posted at 19:31h, 20 July Reply

      @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!

  • deb
    Posted at 19:33h, 11 July Reply

    I lived in Antequera for almost a year. It’s the most charming, atmospheric town you could wish to visit.

    • waitinginthedark
      Posted at 19:32h, 20 July Reply

      Must be really nice living in Antequera. People were so warm and welcoming!

  • Vacaxion
    Posted at 16:31h, 11 July Reply

    I can’t wait to visit Spain. I only heard good thing about it!

  • Iain Mallory
    Posted at 00:39h, 11 July Reply

    Thanks for sharing, it would be great to get back to Andalusia sometime soon, some great imagery but yet more food!

    • waitinginthedark
      Posted at 19:33h, 20 July Reply

      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!!!

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