The Undiscovered Jewel of Andalusia
Antequera is less well known than higher profile Ronda, Seville, Cordoba and Granada, which for decades have been much visited by tourists.
Yet for those who are aquainted with Antequera, it is regarded as the hidden jewel of Andalusia.
And, relative to the better known destinations: undiscovered by tourists or tour operators.
The Crossroads of Andalusia
Antequera was historically dubbed ‘the crossroads of Andalusia’, being the more or less central point to Seville, Cordoba, Granada and Malaga.
It lies 50 kilometres north of Malaga, and is commonly chosen as a holiday base purely because of this proximity to Malaga airport, and easy access to these other destinations.
Certainly there is good modern public transport, by bus or train, and the motorway connections are excellent.
Yet, Antequera offers not just a convenient base for touring, but a rich cultural and social inland Spanish holiday experience in itself.
Antequera is architecturally beautiful, has an important role in Spanish history, and offers a wealth of things to absorb and enjoy.
It has 33 churches, a magnificent Alcazaba (Moor fortress), museums, art exhibitions, and over 100 restaurants and bars scattered over it’s pretty plazas and atmospheric streets.
It also offers all grades of accommodation for holidaying.
Antequera is officially deemed a city, despite a population of only 50,000, and at one time was considered as candidate for the capital of Andalusia due to it’s cultural significance, commercial wealth, and strategic military importance as a location.
La comarca (the region or county) of Antequera contains 21 pueblos (villages), and is the second largest comarca in Spain.
Antequera is also an important centre of commerce for Andalucia, and Spain as a whole, due to it’s direct motorway and rail links to commercially important cities such as Seville, Córdoba, Granada, and Madrid.
It is a commercial distribution centre for some top brand names such as Mercadona, the giant supermarket chain, and Bimbo, a major brand in bread products.
The substance of Antequera as a quality holiday destination is increasingly, and deservedly, dawning on foreign visitors and package tour operators.
The variety of things to do and see, both within the city and in the surrounding areas, come as a surprise to first time visitors.
As mentioned above, there are over 30 churches and convents – more per head of population than anywhere in Spain. There are stunning interiors and artworks to be admired.
The impressive Alcazabar, which was an historically important military stronghold, peers down over the town as a magnificent symbol of Antequera’s Moorish and Christian heritage.
A guided tour, or self exploration with an audio guide, should not be missed.
A 16th century bullring (Plaza del Torros), is still active during the heady fiesta periods of May and August. It has it’s own museum, and a restaurant sited under the ringside seating. You can even dine inside the ring during the warm months.
The UNESCO awarded Dolmens – three ancient tomb sites dating back nearly 6000 years – are a ‘must see’. Two of the tombs you can walk to from the centre of Antequera.
Open Air Market
Annual Tapas Tour
Starting in the last week of February there is a two week Tapas Ruta ( tapas route) in which virtually all the restaurants and tapas bars in Antequera compete for the Best Tapa Award.
(Please see the Eating Out in Antequera section for a full description and history of the tapa).
Each restaurant prepares a home designed tapa, served with a caña (small glass) of beer or cider. Visitors attempting to tour as many of the bars as doable in their holiday, get a stamp at each restaurant stop on a card collected at the first restaurant visited. This is proof of endurance!
Whether you wish to relax over a coffee, sip a beer, or enjoy an al fresco meal, the options in Antequera are many. Again, see the Eating Out in Antequera pages.
Surrounding Areas near ANTEQUERA
Caminito Del Rey
Flamingo breeding ground
ANTEQUERA in Summary
Inevitably, the profile of Antequera is rising within the tourism industry, as befits the holiday experience it offers. Repeat visiting too is on the increase.
It is unpretentious, and offers an insight to inland Spain living at it’s best.
It is a self contained city, with plenty of infrastructure.
It has a hospital which has been rated as one of the best in Andalucia.
There is virtually no crime in Antequera.
There are plenty of places to stay (see Places to Stay in Antequera), with various levels of good value accommodation on offer.
Any visitor will find the indigenous population welcoming. Antequeranos are famed for their friendliness.
Antequera really is the undiscovered jewel of Andalucia, and now is a good time to experience it.
Stroll, pause for a drink, and carry a camera!