Antequera

Antequera

Antequera is a city located in the province of Malaga, halfway between Seville, Cordoba, Granada and Malaga itself. Due to its location in the centre of Andalusia, it is an important hub for overland transport in the whole of southern Spain.

Just 45km from Malaga, on the way to Alameda, it is full of places to see, and if you want to eat, it has some of the best restaurants on the Costa del Sol. A complete experience that we tell you about below.

History of Antequera

The first traces of settlement date back to the Bronze Age, the period from which the famous Antequera Dolmens date. The origin of the name comes from the ancient Roman colony of Antecaria, which this civilisation turned into an important centre of trade in the region. Roman baths and the famous sculpture of the Efebo de Antequera remain from this period.

Dolmen of Menga in Antequera
Dolmen of Menga in Antequera

Later, the Moors renamed the city Medina Antakira, to which they added defensive structures, such as a wall and the Alcazaba de Antequera, which is still in perfect condition. In 1410 the city was retaken by Ferdinand I of Aragon, also known as Ferdinand of Antequera thanks to his victory at the Taking of Antequera, when the Arabs retreated to the nearby town of Archidona.

After epidemics in the 19th century devastated the city, it did not recover until it became a powerful centre of the textile industry in southern Spain.

What to see in Antequera

Monuments

Due to its long history and the strategic importance it has had over the years, Antequera has a multitude of monuments of great importance. Among them, one of the most outstanding is the Alcazaba of Antequera.

It is known to date back to the beginning of the 11th century, although it is believed that its structure dates back to Roman times. It is in excellent condition and offers super views from its walls over the whole of the Vega de Antequera. Inside are the keep, the Torre del Homenaje (Homage Tower), the Torre Blanca (White Tower) and the Torre Torcida (Twisted Tower).

The Alcazaba of Antequera, preserved in a perfect state of conservation
The Alcazaba of Antequera, preserved in a perfect state of conservation

Next to this structure is the Royal Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor, the first Renaissance building in Andalusia. Taking a break from sightseeing in Antequera by sitting on its low walls overlooking the surrounding Antequera countryside is a must if you visit the town.

Also don’t miss the opportunity to visit the many convents and churches that fill the city, such as the Church of the Convent of San Agustín, the Convent of Madre de Dios de Monteagudo or the Royal Collegiate Church of San Sebastián. And if you prefer sites from Roman times, the thermal baths in the city or the Roman city of Singilia Barba, taking the road towards Campillos.

Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor in Antequera
Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor in Antequera

Another monument worth visiting is the Arco de los Gigantes, which hides Latin inscriptions from the Roman settlements of Singilia Barba and Nescania, among others.

Finally, and perhaps the most important of all, is the archaeological site of the Dolmens of Antequera. Comprising the Dolmen of Menga, the Dolmen of Viera and the tholos of El Romeral, they make up a complex of megalithic dolmens that is unique in the whole of Spain and a point of reference in southern Europe. The most important of these is the Dolmen of Menga, considered a National Monument and an Asset of Cultural Interest due to its size and structure.

Other places of interest

Be sure to visit the Antequera Municipal Museum. It is not as big as the other important museums in Malaga, but its rooms show the history of the city, with remains found in the different archaeological sites and a 360º virtual reality room.

Gate of Estepa next to the bullring
Gate of Estepa next to the bullring

If you are a fan of animals and like to see them in their natural environment while interacting with them, the Lobo Park is the place for you. Located halfway between Antequera and Valle de Abdalajís, it is a natural space where you can see Iberian wolves up close for only 11.50 euros per person.

Opening hours for guided visits: Thursday to Sunday, at the following times: 11.00h, 13.00h, 15.00h and 16.30h.

Things to do in Antequera

Looking for things to do in Antequera? You’re in luck! This charming town is home to a wide variety of activities and things to do that will appeal to everyone. Whether you are a tourist looking for things to do during your stay in the town, or a local looking for things to do with your friends, there is something for everyone in Antequera.

Activities and parties

If you are looking for partying and fun, the Real Feria de Agosto is the event for you. With concerts and activities, it brings together all the locals and neighbours from nearby towns. The Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Antequera is also well known, due to the tradition of “correr la vega”, in which religious images are carried on the shoulders.

Beautiful streets of Antequera
Beautiful streets of Antequera

If you are a golf enthusiast, you can also visit the Antequera Golf course, just a few kilometres from the city. As for its typical dishes, you must try the “porra antequerana”, also known in other areas as salmorejo, a cold soup very similar to gazpacho, but with the addition of fried bread. The mollete de Antequera is a bread known throughout Spain, which is spongy and especially tasty with olive oil from the region.

Also, if your visit coincides with Christmas time, don’t miss the city’s famous mantecados and Christmas sweets, which were traditionally made in the various convents in the area.

Natural surroundings

Although there are no mountain ranges nearby, the region offers several hiking trails and natural environments worth visiting. The natural area of El Torcal de Antequera is a beautiful setting for a day’s walk along its various hiking trails.

Its origins date back to the Jurassic period, formed on the seabed by the aggregation of sediments and sea salts, although they did not become visible until the Cenozoic Era. Near the town of Villanueva de Algaidas, the Peña de los Enamorados can be seen from its highest points.

Spectacular film scenery in El Torcal de Antequera
Spectacular film scenery in El Torcal de Antequera

The latter, considered a landscape of cultural interest, is a mountain 874 metres above sea level. The curiosity of this elevation is that it resembles the face of a lying Indian and, on the other hand, because of the legend of the Peña de los Enamorados.

Legend has it that the Moors, after winning a battle, captured a Christian commander. The Moorish king’s daughter visited the Christian, they fell in love and fled together to this rock where, seeing themselves cornered, they decided to jump into the void embraced, to remain together forever. After this unusual event, the Christian and Moorish kings signed a peace agreement.

How to get to Antequera

Bus

Train

Car

Time

40min.

Between 22min and 1h10min

40min.

Cost

6-8 euros

7,60-10,90

6 euros

Frecuency

3-5 routes per day

15-20 routes per day

Free mobility

These prices, journey times and frequency are estimates and may vary depending on the date and time of transport.

How to get to Antequera by bus

Buses depart daily to Antequera from different parts of the city of Malaga. Depending on the day, there are usually between 3 and 5 buses with a journey time of approximately 40 minutes and a cost of between 6 and 8 euros.

How to get to Antequera by train

Antequera, thanks to its central location in Andalusia, is also an important railway junction, so access by train is very convenient from many destinations, not only from Malaga.

The journey time varies between 22 minutes on the AVE and just over 1 hour on medium distance trains. Consequently, the price also varies, ranging from 7.60 euros to 10.90 euros, although these prices may vary slightly depending on the dates.

How to get to Antequera by car

Although it is close to major cities in southern Spain, the closest airport to Antequera with major connections worldwide is Malaga airport. It is the gateway for most of the tourism in Andalusia. Therefore, the best option is to hire a cheap car at Malaga airport, and in just over 40 minutes you will be at your destination.

From here you only have to take the MA-23, which will take you to the MA-20, and then to the A-7 for a short stretch, until you take exit 241, to take the A-45 towards Cordoba, Granada or Seville. This road will take you directly to Antequera.

Map of Antequera

Whether you have decided to go by car or by other means of transport, you will find this map useful as a guide to Antequera, as well as how to get to the town.

For more information about the city you can consult the Antequera Town Hall website: https://www.antequera.es/

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