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El Torcal de Antequera National Park

This place is great for catching the mountain breeze away from the crowded city and to observe an incredible scenery

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About 30 km north of Málaga, near the village of Villanueva de la Concepción, lies the majestic El Torcal de Antequera Natural Park. It is known for its unusual limestone rock formations.

A hundred million years ago, the entirety of this 17 sq. km park was under the sea. The movement of the Earth's crust forced it upwards into the hills and mountains. It took another million years for heavy rain and wind to shape these mountains into the incredible forms that exist today. Nowadays, El Torcal de Antequera has been included as a landmark within the Antequera Dolmens Site on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Of course, this place has its own legends. The captain of the local guerrillas used El Torcal as a hiding place for his treasure which has never been found. Whether this is true or not, this provides one more reason to visit the magical El Torcal de Antequera.

It is easy to find a place to hide from the crowded city. Go to the village of Villanueva de la Concepcion and you will find the sign to El Torcal within a km. Upon arrival at the park, you will notice three possible routes. The green route is the shortest and easiest, taking only 30 minutes to complete and has been designed for those who don't like long walks. The yellow route is longer and will take you to the panoramic views of the valley of Málaga. The red route is the one intended for fans of adventure. It takes three hours to complete and offers views of the whole El Torcal Park and the African Coastline.

This unique place has a large array of flora and fauna, and hosts over 30 species of orchids that have been identified so far. You will also find many wild roses and evergreen oak here. The park is home to numerous reptiles such as the Montpelier Snake, which can grow up to two metres in length, and the Eyed Lizard. Bird lovers have a chance to see golden eagles, griffon vultures, and blackbirds.

Although the area is open to visitors all year round, and Visitors Center operates daily, except December 25, January 1 and 6, the best season to enjoy this unbelievable location is spring (March–May) and autumn (September–November). The colours of nature and the array of flowers will make your time here unforgettable. Summer and winter are less favourable due to temperature extremes. Still, winter sceneries are quite competitive if you're ready to put up with chilblains.

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