Ardales Lakes of ANTEQUERA

Just a 40 minute drive from Antequera, off the road to Campillos, lie the stunningly beautiful Ardales Lakes. The surrounding olive farms of Antequera, and agricultural plains, give way to the aromatic pine forest of the Ardales Lakes.

The lakes can also be visited using an alternative route via the small town of Valle de Abdalajais, and through El Chorro. See the section on El Chorro here. This route leaves Antequera on the road to the Torcal Mountains (see more about El Torcal  Mountains here). This route is very windy in parts but scenic.

Things to do in Ardales Lakes

There are four Venta’s (restaurant/café’s) and a quaint hotel within the area. We highly recommend the Mirador (viewpoint) venta, situated on top of a short rock tunnel (for traffic) and designed in rustic chiringuito style, with great panoramic views over the lakes and forestry.  To get directions to the Venta El Mirador click here.

The venta’s are open all year round.

The area offers camping in Parque Ardales, which has accommodation for 1000, canoeing, pedalos, fresh water swimming, fishing, hiking, birdwatching, or plain sunbathing at the edge of the lakes. You can check out the Parque Ardales website here, although the website is in Spanish.

Information About Ardales Lakes

There are three lakes: El Conde de GuadalhorceEl Guadalteba and El Guadalhorce.

Collectively they are referred to as Los Embalses (the reservoirs, which indeed they are).

El Conde de Guadalhorce falls within the municipality of Ardales, whereas the other two are shared by the municipalities of Antequera, Campillos, and nearby Teba.

There is an impressive dam, known as La Presa del Chorro, which was constructed between 1914 – 1921, to create the El Conde de Guadalhorce and El Guadalhorce. The architect of the dam was Rafael Benjumea, Count of Guadalhorce and later the minister for public works (1925-1930). Facing the dam visitors will see the Casa del Ingenerio (house of the engineer), which is a photograph in itself (left hand side).

Guadalhorce is fed by the river Turón. The El Guadalteba and El Guadalhorce reservoirs were constructed to regulate the Guadalteba and Guadalhorce rivers.

This area is the main source of drinking water and irrigation for much of the province of Málaga.

To see more about the nearby town of Ardales  – click here.