El Torcal De Antequera, Spain – Hiking In Natural Park Near Malaga

Welcome to El Torcal de Antequera, a surrealistic natural park in which you’ll feel like you’re on another planet. Bizarre rock formations sculpted over millions of years and magnificent views of the surroundings amaze travelers at every turn. Just immerse yourself in one of El Torcal hiking trails, and admire wildlife and the effects of what nature accomplished over millions of years. When you’re near Malaga, you definitely shouldn’t miss El Torcal de Antequera. So pack your hiking boots and let’s go on a hike through this magical land.

One more thing! El Torcal is a great half-day trip from nearby Antequera, or a full-day trip from cities like Malaga, Marbella, Nerja, or Ronda. So if you want to escape one of the buzzing towns and spend peaceful time in nature – a visit to El Torcal de Antequera is the thing you definitely want to do.

Interesting fact. El Torcal de Antequera was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016.

El Torcal De Antequera, Spain - Hiking In Natural Park Near Malaga
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El Torcal de Antequera, Spain FAQ

Where is El Torcal de Antequera located?

El Torcal de Antequera Natural Park is located in Andalucia in the province of Malaga just a few steps from charming Antequera city known as “The Heart of Andalusia” as well as from Malaga, the capital city of the province.

How high is El Torcal de Antequera?

El Torcal de Antequera sits at an altitude of 1300+m a.s.l. Its highest summit, Camorro de las Siete Mesas, has 1336 m.

What type of rock is El Torcal de Antequera?

Rock formations of the Natural Park of El Torcal are characterized by the impressive karstic landscape made of limestone.

How much is a ticket to El Torcal de Antequera?

Entrance to El Torcal de Antequera Natural Park is free and the same goes for the parking lot (December 2023).

What are the opening hours of the Torcal de Antequera?

El Torcal de Antequera Park is open 24/7 so you can visit whenever you want but it’s best to visit it during the day to make the most out of your trip. The visitor Center is open from 10AM to 5PM. Also, you can’t stay overnight within the park grounds (camping/in campers).

How was El Torcal de Antequera formed?

To understand how El Torcal de Antequera came to life, we need to go back in time. It all started around 150 million years ago, in the Mesozoic age, when limestones were safely tucked under the sea waters. During the Tertiary era, two tectonic plates collided and the seabed was uplifted to an elevation of over 1300 meters! Over the next millions of years, a series of cracks, fractures, and faults were shaped by erosion caused by wind, rain, freezing temperatures, etc. And this is how nature sculpted the surrealistic landscape we can admire today during a hike in El Torcal.

Hiking In El Torcal De Antequera Near Malaga
El Torcal De Antequera, Spain - Hiking In Natural Park Near Malaga

Hiking in El Torcal de Antequera Natural Park near Malaga

El Torcal de Antequera can offer you 3 walking trails – green, yellow, and orange which vary in length and difficulty. All of them are well-marked and aren’t very demanding so are great even for beginners. But be sure to watch out for slippery stones after the rain!

Hiking El Torcal – Green trail

The green trail is the easiest and shortest, but no less beautiful. It’ll give you a taste of what El Torcal de Antequera has to offer. Things you need to know about El Torcal green trail:

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 1.5 km
  • Time: 45 min
  • Route: Round trip
  • Starting point: Upper car park  
  • Ending point: Visitor Centre

Hiking El Torcal – Yellow trail

The yellow trail will take you to what is known as ‘Las Ventanillas’ (The Windows), providing some stunning panoramic views of the valley from 1200m a.s.l. Yellow and green trails share the same route from the upper car park until the fork crossing, and also a short part of the last section leading back to the Visitors Centre. Things you need to know about El Torcal yellow trail:

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 2.8 km
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Route: Round trip
  • Starting point: Upper car park
  • Ending point: Visitor Centre

Yellow and green trails share the same route from the upper car park until the fork crossing, and also a short part of the last section leading to the Visitors Centre. 

Hiking in El Torcal de Antequera near Malaga
El Torcal De Antequera, Spain - Everything You Need To Know

Hiking El Torcal – Orange trail

Orange trail, the route to “Torcal Alto”, is the most demanding out of all trails available, as the first part of the trail is more rocky and irregular. Unlike the previous two trails, it starts from the lower car park and thanks to that it will take you through even more surrealistic landscapes until you reach the upper car park. From it, follow the yellow trail and after completing it head to the path leading back to the lower car park (or use a shuttle bus). Things you need to know about El Torcal orange trail:

  • Difficulty: Medium 
  • Length: 3.6 (one way) / 7km (back and forth)
  • Time: 4 hours (back and forth)
  • Route: One way
  • Starting point: Lower car park
  • Ending point: Upper car park / Lower car park

For more details check out hiking route maps on the official El Torcal de Antequera website

Also, keep your eyes wide open when hiking. Chances are high that you’ll spot various animals. Look for species like mountain goats, griffon vultures, ocellated lizards, foxes, badgers, or weasels.

Mountain goat spot during hiking at El Torcal de Antequera
Animals of El Torcal de Antequera - Mountain goat

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Mirador Las Ventillas

Sooner or later you’ll arrive at the Torcal Alto Visitor Centre. There you can grab a drink or snack, and use the toilets. Right next to it you’ll find Mirador Las Ventillas, a viewpoint from which you can admire spectacular views over the surrounding areas.

Mirador Las Ventillas in El Torcal de Antequera, Spain
Breathtaking views from Mirador Las Ventillas in El Torcal de Antequera Spain

Bonus – Mirador Diego Monea

On your way to/from El Torcal de Antequera make a short stop at Mirador Diego Monea viewpoint which is located right beside the road that leads to El Torcal. From there you can admire amazing views stretching all the way to the horizon. Stop for a moment and try to imagine how the area must have looked like millions of years ago.

Views from Mirador Diego Monea in El Torcal de Antequera
El Torcal de Antequera view from Mirador Diego Monea

Practical information for El Torcal de Antequera, Spain

To wrap things up, here’s the list of practical information you need to know before visiting El Torcal de Antequera:

  • You can visit El Torcal all year round
  • The park is always open, but it’s recommended to visit it during the day
  • Entry to the park is free & parking is free too
  • Guided tours in El Torcal are available (to learn more visit torcaldeantequera.com website)
  • In Visitor Centre, you’ll find toilets and a restaurant
  • Wear comfortable sturdy footwear, as the terrain is slippery and rocky with many loose rocks
  • At an altitude over 1300m, it’s colder and windier than in the lower parts so don’t forget to take warmer clothes, a raincoat and a windbreaker
  • On sunny and hot days take a cap and suncream
  • Pets are allowed but have to be on a leash all the time
  • Overnight parking isn’t allowed 
  • Drone flying isn’t allowed 
  • Don’t feed wild animals, and don’t scare or chase them
  • Don’t leave any rubbish, and pick up rubbish you find along the trail
Practical information - muddy terrain
El Torcal de Antequera - Practical information Route Signs

How to get to El Torcal de Antequera?

El Torcal de Antequera is located 15km from Antequera, 50km from Malaga, 100km from Ronda or 65km from Caminito del Rey

The best way to reach El Torcal de Antequera is by car or taxi, as there isn’t public transport that will get you to the national park. So if you don’t drive, you’ll have to take the train or bus to Antequera and then a taxi from there, which is a 40-minute drive for around €50–60.

There are two parking lots in the area: upper car park and lower car park. Choose earlier which trail you want to hike, and leave your car in the right parking. For the green or yellow trail choose the upper car park and for the orange one the lower car park.

We recommend going early in the morning, especially on the weekends and holidays, as the parking fills up quickly.

If you don’t want to put too much effort into planning, you can let someone else take care of all the details and take advantage of the guided tours to El Torcal from nearby places like Malaga or Antequera. For a wide selection and well-reviewed tour options visit GetYourGuide or Viator.

El Torcal de Antequera Surrealistic Rock Formations
El Torcal de Antequera Surrealistic Rock Formations

Our opinion about hiking in El Torcal de Antequera near Malaga

We visited El Torcal during our day trip from the Malaga area and during that day we managed to visit both Antequera city and the natural park. Did we like El Torcal? We loved it! It was a great experience, as we’ve never seen surrealistic rock formations like this before. The route was easy and pleasant to walk. We even managed to locate a few local animals! 

The only thing we’d do differently would be to come a bit earlier. We visited El Torcal in the second part of the day in December (when the days are short) and we simply didn’t have enough time to see all we wanted. But nothing is lost! We’ll visit this surrealistic place again someday in the future.

So if you’re looking to do something unique in Andalucia near Malaga, be sure to visit El Torcal de Antequera and reserve enough time to enjoy it.

Happy Little Traveler opinion about El Torcal de Antequera Hike near Malaga

Restaurants, accommodations, and map

Check out various recommended places below.

Where to eat in El Torcal de Antequera? 

There’s only one restaurant available onsite – Restaurante Torcal Alto, located in Torcal Alto Visitor Centre.

Where to sleep near El Torcal de Antequera? 

Your best option is to choose a place in Antequera which is only a 20min drive from El Torcal de Antequera. Check out our post about Antequera and discover our accommodation recommendations.

El Torcal de Antequera, Spain - Map of places

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El Torcal De Antequera, Spain - Hiking In Natural Park Near Malaga

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2 thoughts on “El Torcal De Antequera, Spain – Hiking In Natural Park Near Malaga”

  1. When people say Spain, I instantly think of touristy, unique, and beautiful architecture. At no point did I think about hikes and trails, so this post really got me excited. I’m planning to go to Seville in the next few months. This just convinced me to take a detour to Malaga so I could easily go to El Torcal De Antequera. Do you recommend any other spots to see? Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Hi Dakota! Glad you found this post helpful 🙂 Andalusia is full of beautiful places. Besides El Torcal De Antequera we can recommend Caminito del Rey – it’s another beautiful trail. If you also want to see some towns take a look at Ronda, Frigiliana, Mijas Pueblo, Antequera, Benalmádena Pueblo, or Estepona – you can find a post about each of them on our website. Enjoy your trip! 🙂

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