How to visit the Torcal de Antequera?
Visit the Torcal de Antequera?
Many people come to Torcal de Antequera on the recommendation of other people or because they have read it in a guide, but they do not have much idea of what they are going to visit or what to expect from this natural area. So, in this section we try to explain how to visit the Torcal de Antequera.
The first of all is to say that the Torcal de Antequera is a protected natural space within a network of natural spaces in Andalusia called RENPA. Specifically, it is listed as a Natural Site (or Nature Reserve) and there are some rules to comply with for the protection and conservation of nature.
There are some trails and viewpoints, in addition to the Torcal Alto Visitor Center, which is the visitor’s information and reception point and where a series of basic services are offered (exhibition, toilets, restaurant, souvenir sales, etc.).
On the other hand, the Torcal de Antequera is more than 1,200 meters above sea level and is a typical medium-mountain terrain. Therefore, to visit it you must equip yourself properly: hiking boots, warm clothes, comfortable backpack with water, etc.
Where is the Torcal de Antequera?
The Torcal de Antequera Nature Reserve (Paraje Natural Torcal de Antequera in Spanish) is 15km away from the city of Antequera, in the north of the province of Malaga.
Access to the natural area is through a mountain road between the towns of Antequera and Villanueva de la Concepción, taking the detour to the Centro de Visitantes Torcal Alto to reach the heart of the Torcal de Antequera.
When does the Torcal de Antequera open?
The Torcal de Antequera Nature Reserve is always open (24 hours), but it is recommended to visit it with sunlight. It is also important to know the restriction of access to private vehicles on days of many visitors (weekends and holidays).
However, the Torcal Alto Visitor Center (information point, restaurant, toilets…) does have opening hours:
- Winter hours (10/25/20 to 03/27/21): 10am to 5 pm
- Summer hours (03/28/21 to 10/23/21): 10 am to 7 pm
- 24, 31 December and 5 January: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- December 25, January 1 and 6: closed
SPECIAL HOURS FEBRUARY- MARCH 2021 (mobility restrictions) Saturdays and Sundays, from 10am to 6pm
How much does it cost to enter the Torcal de Antequera?
Visiting the Torcal de Antequera Natural Area and the Torcal Alto Visitors Center is free.
You only have to pay the shuttle bus on the days of restricted access (€ 2 / round trip) some weekends or holidays, or if you book any of the guided tours offered for individuals (couples, families, friends) some days of the week, or for large groups (more than 15 people) when the group wants.
But then, how to visit the Torcal de Antequera?
It can be free visit or guided tours.
The free visit is in which the visitor can walk through any of the hiking trails marked by free, any day and at any time (always better with sunlight).
In this type of visit, each person decides what to visit and for how long to stay in the natural setting. We recommend visiting the Torcal Alto Visitor Center first, where the information staff will guide the visitor upon arrival at the natural area.
There are 3 marked hiking trails (stony and uneven terrain), 2 accesses adapted for people with reduced mobility and access to the Torcal Alto Visitor Center is also adapted.
On the other hand, in the guided tours, it will depend on whether they are individuals (families, couples, friends…), organized groups (Travel Agencies, associations …) or school groups, since we offer several options adapted to each group. Guided tours are always in small groups, with an expert guide who explains the whole history and on trails that are outside the public area, where the landscape is best preserved.
And with my car, how far can I go?
It is a good question because it will depend on the day of the visit, time of day, season of the year …
On days with few visitors, such as weekdays or low season, you can get to the very heart of the natural area with your car. There is an access road that reaches the Torcal Alto Visitor Center itself, with parking for cars and buses. From there, it is where the marked hiking trails and guided tours begin. If you come in a large caravan, be aware that the road is somewhat narrow at some points, so it can be scary at times, but there is enough space in one direction.
But on days of many visitors, such as weekends and holidays, in high season, the access road to the Torcal Alto Visitor Center (the last 4km) is closed for a few hours. These days there are staff who give directions on where to leave the car and how to get up to the Torcal Alto Visitor Center, which can be on the uphill path (almost 4km uphill), or on the shuttle bus that costs € 2 / round-trip. More information here.
In any case, buses, taxis / vtc’s and vehicles with a parking card for people with reduced mobility can always access.
If I don’t have a car, how can I get to the Torcal de Antequera?
There is no public transport service to the Torcal de Antequera Natural Area, so the options are the taxi or guided tours that include transportation, such as the one that Visita Antequera offers.
Can I go with my dog?
Yes, access with dogs is allowed, but according to current regulations within protected natural areas in Andalusia, they must always be on a leash and under the guardianship of the owner. We must remember that we are “guests in someone else’s house” and we must disturb the wildlife as little as possible.
Can I fly my drone?
No, the flight of drones or any other object is not allowed. The Torcal de Antequera Natural Area is a Special Protection Area for Birds and the protection of birds within the limits of the natural area is very important.
Authorization can be requested from the Administration in case of professional filming.
Is climbing and caving allowed in the Torcal de Antequera?
Climbing is a sport that is regulated within the natural area, so climbing is allowed on all open routes, except those on the south face, such as the Torcal ferrata.
- More information on regulatory regulations here (only Spanish).
- More information about some of the climbing sectors here.
- Other ferrata allowed near Torcal de Antequera: Camorro Alto, Archidona, Villanueva del Rosario, El Chorro
In the case of caving (speleology), it is an activity for which you must request prior authorization from the Administration.
Can I stay overnight in the Torcal de Antequera?
According to the laws of natural spaces in Andalusia, in the Torcal de Antequera Nature Reserve, “parking for overnight stays for caravans, motorhomes and vehicles of similar characteristics from sunset to sunrise” is not allowed. Camping is also not allowed within the limits of the nature reserve.
In this case, we recommend that you make use of the caravan and motorhome parking area in the city of Antequera.
Recommendations in the fight against COVID-19
In Spain we have had very hard months due to the pandemic, and we are still in the heat of fighting the virus, as well as the rest of the world. Now more than ever, it is everyone’s job to stop this virus and fight to regain normality. Therefore, we ask you to follow the sanitary recommendations whenever you leave home:
- ALWAYS wear face mask. Especially inside buildings (it is mandatory to access the Torcal Alto Visitor Center, toilets, museum, shop, etc.), and outdoors when it is not possible to keep a minimum safety distance of 2 meters. The correct use of a mask is one of the best weapons against spread.
- Wash your hands frequently. It is usual to find sanitizing gels at the entrance of any establishment, where they invite us to use them before going inside. But remember, washing your hands with soap and water frequently, as well as being less damaging to your skin, is more effective than using so many sanitizing gels.
- Keep safety distance of 2 meters. It is easy to do (especially now, in the hot days of Spain), and it can save lives, save your life …
For you, for your family, for the rest of the world, please be responsible.
Any more questions?
If you still have doubts and unanswered questions, we invite you to contact our reporting staff: