Costa del Sol News

The El Torcal Natural Area, the most impressive karstic landscape in Europe, is located in the centre of the province just 12 kilometres from Antequera. Its fantasy-like rock formations cover an area of 12 square kilometres.
This impressive limestone complex was thrust upward from the bed of the sea about 150 million years ago as the result of a geological folding. The softness of the exposed rocks and the horizontal lay of some of the formations—especially in Cuaternario, according to scientists—assisted the actions of the wind and rain in sculpting in these rocks a sort of “natural museum” that the popular imagination has baptised with suggestive names relating to the shapes that the whim of nature gave to the stone.

The territory comprises four distinct zones: Sierra Pelada, Torcal Alto, Torcal Bajo, Tajos and Laderas. The second of these is the best to visit and is the site of the Las Ventanillas scenic overlook, which affords an impressive panoramic view of part of the province of Málaga and even, on clear days, the coast of Africa. The itinerary called the “Green Route” allows visitors to observe a variety of vegetation, geological formations and wildlife. This tour can be made in an hour or less and is the best for people who are not very athletically inclined since it is of only low to medium difficulty and thus accessible to practically everyone.

This unusual geological mass contains a rich and varied flora. Experts have catalogued almost 700 plant species distributed among 100 families. As for wildlife, it is notable for the large population of invertebrate species that inhabit the place and its no less remarkable wealth of birds, whether year round residents or migratory species that use El Torcal as a nesting area. For these reasons this area has been declared a Special Zone For Bird Protection. The place’s most compelling feature, nevertheless, is its awesome rocky configuration that astonishes even those who have been told ahead of time what they will see in these natural surroundings.

Road Directions

When leaving from Málaga, you must take highway N-331 (A-45) towards Antequera. After entering the area of the Antequera plain, you
must turn onto the A-354; this will take you to the town centre of Antequera after little more than two kilometres. In Antequera, you should look for La Puerta de Estepa; here, signs can be found indicating the way to El Torcal on the C-3310 regional highway in the direction of Villanueva de la Concepción. 12 kilometres further on - after traversing "La Boca del Asno" (Donkey's Mouth) pass (anticlinal termination of the structure of El Torcal) - you will come to the crossroads which leads to El Torcal.

Right at this intersection, there is a small building with a sign reading "Punto de Información" (Information Point); this is a good place to stop and ask for more detailed information before visiting the area.

Full graphical path: EL Torcal Antequera Map

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