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Antequera

Antequera

Find a place to stay in this charming rural area of Málaga province.

Set in beautiful Andalucian countryside, this historic town is rich in fertile land making it Andalucia's top producers of a number of foods like asparagus, cereals and olives. A stay here offers countryside walks, excursions to world famous historical monuments, namely the Dolmens of Antequera and La Peña de los Enamorados (lover's leap) which can be seen shadowing the town.

Antequera is a very popular tourist destination and, as a result, has a number of high quality hotels dotted in and around the town. Being located just half an hour from Málaga, it is a great place to choose to stay and visit other nearby cities and towns, such as Granada. It has a very ´Spanish´ feel to it and is perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in Andalucian culture.

Thirty kilometres north of Malaga is the 12km² Torcal de Antequera Natural Area, with one of the most dramatic and exceptional karstic landscapes in Europe. This surreal and lunar grey limestone plateau, dating from the Jurassic period, is riven by deep gullies and characterised by its fantastically weathered natural sculptures, like the Tornillo Natural Monument.

The Municipal Museum of Antequera houses artefacts tracing Antequera's archaeological history, many dating back to Roman times, as well as baroque and contemporary art. The museum opened officially in 1972, after a group of local citizens discovered a bronze sculpture named 'The Ephebe of Antequera.

Antequera Santa Ana station is the new Antequera train station on the AVE high speed rail line and is located about 17km to the north west of the town. It is just of the A-384 in the direction of Campillos. When the futuristic station building was opened on 16 December 2007, the station was critised as a white elephant in the middle of nowhere that cost 10m €.

Just outside Antequera you can visit three 5000-year-old dolmens: Menga Dolmen (the largest in Europe) and Viera Dolmen, which are both located just outside the town, while El Romeral Dolmen is a few km away. These three prehistoric burial chambers represent some of the largest and most complete megalithic structures in Europe.

Antequera Cuidad station is the old train station just to the north of the town at the end if the aptly named Avenida Estacion. From here there were regional trains on the following route until the line was closed in 2013 for the construction of the AVE from Antequera to Granada. It may reopen in 2019.

Within the Torcal de Antequera Natural Area is this protected geological feature, the Tornillo del Torcal. Its name - the Screw of Torcal - comes from its distinctive appearance, as its limestone layers have been eroded making them look like the threads twisting around a screw. It is used as a symbol for the Torcal Natural Area.

In the north of Malaga province 19km from Antequera is the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra, a famous beautiful lagoon. The largest natural lake in the Iberian Peninsula at 2.5km wide and 6.5km long, it is a haven for birds with over 170 different species recorded here.

There is only one course in Antequera and that is the aptly named Antequera Golf course. The course at 650 metres above sea level is situated between the Torcal mountains and La Vega de Antequera plains.

In this wildlife park near Antequera, you can see four different species of wolves, including the native Iberian wolf, in a semi-natural habitat. You're taken on a guided walk through the beautiful landscape, while the guide explains these majestic wild beasts. The walk includes stops at observation platforms, where you can come into close contact with the wolves. Feeding time is fascinating, as always with animals; there are also night tours ("Howl Nights"), where you can hear the wolf packs howling along with their keeper.

The enormous 880m-high crag of limestone that overlooks the town and valley of Antequera is known as La Peña de los Enamorados, or "The Lovers' Rock" and it is also called "the Lovers Leap". The name comes from a local legend.

The city of Antequera contains a wealth of fascinating monuments. Visit the recently excavated Roman baths, the magnificent Renaissance church of Santa Marí­a la Mayor Church, the Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, the 19th century bullring, and the Arch of the Giants, built in 1585, which leads up to the 13th century Moorish castle.

Antequera has numerous bars here are some of the most interesting.

Antequera is famous for a dish called "Porra Antequerana", which is a very thick style gazpacho. Also from Antequera are the wonderful, soft, "rustic-style" buns called "molletes". These are sold throughout Andalucia as they are so popular.

El Torcal park and the protected EL Torcal Natural Area is known for it's unusual limestone rock formations. Located about 30 km north of Málaga city in the direction of Antequera near the village of Villanueva de la Concepción, within El Torcal Park's 17 square km are some of the most beautiful and impressive limestone landscapes in Europe. The whole area was under sea until one hundred million years ago.

These are the main annual festivals celebrated in Antequera: Semana Santa, Señor de la Salud y de las Aguas, Spring Fair, Royal Fair of August and Nuestra Señora de los Remedios.