Natural Park El Torcal de Antequera

The human presence in El Torcal stretches back into prehistory, as witnessed by the Neolithic remains found in various archeological excavations here, such as those at the Cueva del Toro and those of Marinaleda I, among others. Equally, more recent discoveries of Roman origin have been made that point to the use of limestone in the construction of villas close to El Torcal: Osqua, Nescania and Antikaria (La Antigua), the ancient name of Antequera, a town of many monuments constructed through many centuries and protected by the Sierra, and equal to those at Villanueva de la Concepción. Numerous church belltowers and famed convents stick out on a horizon of chalk white and Arab tiled roofs in this central Andalucían town, which dominates fertile agricultural lowlands.

It is also linked to the famous legend of the ‘Peña de los Enamorados’ (suffering of the lovers), or the ‘Cabeza del Indio’, a local Romeo and Juliet story of two young star-cross’d lovers, one Christian, the other Muslim, who leapt to their deaths rather than be parted.


The slow and continuous action of the rain, snow and wind on the rocky landscape over hundreds of thousands of years caused a process of partial erosion and dissolving which has produced a shaping of the landscape both peculiar and characteristic, known as karst or karstic landscape.

Torcal de AntequeraEl Torcal encloses in its limited area one of the most impressive examples of karstic rock formations in Europe. For this reason alone, it was the first area of Andalucía to be protected as a Natural Site of National Interest, in the year 1929.

One of the forms that karst produces is the ‘dolina’ or ‘torcal’, both of which refer to a phenomenon in which underground caves collapse, producing sudden chasms in the surface of the terrain. These small subsidences or circular holes with flat floors are filled with a reddish clay, an indissoluble residue called terra rossa, red earth. From this precise geological oddity comes the name of this National Site of National Interest.

formations that the erosion has fashioned into shapes that have been declared a Natural Monument

The emblem of El Torcal is one of the numerous formations that the erosion has fashioned into shapes resembling screws and which, for their singularity, have been declared a Natural Monument.

This environment, of great aesthetic beauty and inhospitable appearance, is the habitat of numerous indigenous species of flora, small carnivores and raptors such as the vulture.


Some of the most representative dishes and specialities of the Antequera region are, apart from its molletes, sweet and light bread rolls, the ajoblanco soup of almond and garlic, porra, a thick vegetable stew similar to gazpacho, embutidos (country sausages) and chanfaina, a paella-like dish largely of lamb and sweetmeats with vegetables and wild herbs. Its repostería, baking and confectionery, is justifiably famous. In its traditional bakeries and enclosed convents (historically, if mysteriously, a font of sinfully sweet delights) the bakers and cooks produce alfajores (a confection of honey, lemon, almonds, eggs, bread and flour ), angelorum (similar to but lighter than alfajores), bienmesabe (eggs, biscuits, sherry, meringue cakes), polvorones (festive biscuits), mantecados (sweet lard breads or rolls) and pastelillos de gloria, a sweetened fruits tartlet also known as pastelillos de paraiso, paradise.

Artisan culture

The great artisan tradition of Antequera, orfebrería, gold, silver and metal work, has been overtaken for the most part by crafts using simpler materials such as wicker, esparto grass, glass, metals and wood, among others.


In the centre of the province of Málaga (8 km south of Antequera). Area: 2,008 hectares. Altitude: between 800 and 1,369 m above sea level. Average monthly temperatures: 8ºC (January) to 26ºC (July). Average annual rainfall: 500 mm. Municipalities: Antequera and Villanueva de la Concepción






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