Torcal de Antequera, a unique karstic landscape in the world

Located north of the province of Málaga and a few kilometers from the capital, the Torcal de Antequera is one of the most spectacular natural areas and best reflects the karstic landscape of Europe. The Torcal de Antequera is located between the Sierra de Chimeneas to the west and the Sierra de las Cabras to the east, between the towns of Villanueva de la Concepción to the south and Antequera to the north, extended through the municipality that has its name and occupying an area of 12,000 hectares.

The name of the Torcal de Antequera is due to the most common forms that can be found in the territory, torcas or sinkholes. It is precisely these formations that have emerged as a product of the erosive activity of water, which have made the Torcal de Antequera has been converted over thousands of years into an impressive lunar landscape, unique in the whole world. Reason for which it was declared a Site of National Interest in 1929.

But also, the Torcal de Antequera is a great attraction due to the existence of plant communities that grow between fissures and cracks in the rocks and the great variety of trees among which the elder, maple, gall oak, hawthorn, sloe and oak, with an undergrowth formed by numerous species of bushes.

Vegetation of the Torcal de Antequera

Within the Torcal de Antequera there is a series of trees that, by their dimensions, are considered as Singular Trees of Andalusia by the Ministry of Environment of the Junta de Andalucía, and include:

Maple of the Green Route: It has a perimeter in the trunk of more than 1.5 meters and a height of more than 9.

Ivy of the Agrasol: It stands out because, anchored in a rock of the Torcal de Antequera, the perimeter of its trunk measures more than 1 meter and reaches a height of 14.

Ivy of the Boat and the Macetón: They also stand out because, being bushes and anchored in rocks of the Torcal de Antequera, they present a trunk of 1 meter of perimeter and a height of 4.

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Fauna of the Torcal de Antequera

As for the fauna, the Torcal de Antequera also has a great ornithological richness. Species such as the griffon vulture, the black wheatear, the eagle owl, the little owl, the common kestrel or the piquijorra chough have their habitat in this area. More than 90 species of birds live in this Torcal de Antequera Natural Reserva, which is why it has been declared a Special Protection Area for Birds. It is also possible to find reptiles such as horseshoe snakes, southern snakes, ladder snakesbastard snakes, blind snakes, skinks, snakes, ocellated lizards and lizards. Among the mammals we can find mountain goats, hedgehogs, rabbits, hares, wild cats, genets, weasels, martens, badgers or foxes, among others.

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What to visit in the Torcal de Antequera

Within the Torcal de Antequera we can make a stop at the Visitor Center, where you can learn interactively how this natural area was originated and know more about the natural and ethnographic resources it has. If you come as a family, the youngest can also enjoy the for children where some activities are carried out for them. You can also receive personalized information on the most interesting hiking routes and activities organized in the environment of the Torcal de Antequera, among them are:

Viewpoint of the Ventanillas: It is accessed from the Visitor Center following the signposted path of about 100 meters. From here we can get beautiful views to the Torcal de AntequeraVillanueva de la Concepción and the Campanillas River basin.

Green Route signposted: It is a pedestrian path that starts from the parking lot next to the Visitor Center, runs through the Torcal Alto. It has about 50 minutes of duration, in it we can observe the vegetation, the geological formations and the fauna of the Torcal de Antequera, in addition to obtaining wonderful views.

Yellow Route signposted: About 3 km long. There are no other authorized trails within the Torcal de Antequera that are different from this and the previous one.

Hole of the Turca: It is a free camping area located on the southern slope, on the road between Villanueva de la Concepción and Torcal de Antequera. It is very well equipped as a picnic area, as well as protected from the wind.

Viewpoint of Diego Monea: Located halfway between the junction and the area of public use of the Torcal Alto. It is an ideal place to rest and observe beautiful landscapes, as well as the surroundings of the massif and some huts and cabins built in the area near of the Torcal de Antequera.

The Escaleruelas: Located outside the protected area and in the western part of the Torcal de Antequera. It is an ancient roman road located at 1,000 meters high and where the caves of shepherds abound. The route links the southern area of Torcal de Antequera with the town of Antequera and is located within the cattle trails.

Finally, the Classroom of the Sky and the Astronomical Observatory of Torcal de Antequera offer astronomy activities, at a glance and with powerful telescopes, that seek to bring this exciting science to all audiences, taking advantage of an environment as impressive, privileged and dark as the Torcal de Antequera is, at an altitude of 1,200 meters.

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