El Torcal Nature Reserve

El Torcal is of outstanding geological importance, and attracts over 100,000 visitors a year.

It comprises a wonderful and striking range of limestone forms, known as Torcas (hence the name of the site), carved out of the rock by erosive agents, starting some 200 million years ago.

In many cases these forms resemble animals, people or objects, and the locals gave them imaginative names, the most famous being:

  • Los Bollos (the buns)
  • La Copa (the glass)
  • El Rincón del Asa (handle corner)
  • La Esfinge (the sphinx)
  • El Camello (the camel)
  • El Sombrero (the hat)
  • Los Tornillos (the screws)
  • Los Prismáticos (the binoculars)
  • La Pera (the pear)
  • El Aguilucho (the eaglet).

The range rises to some 1,300 meters in parts, and is a labyrinthine of walkways.

El Torcal covers an area of 17 square kilometres.

It is a hikers and photographers paradise.

How to Get to El Torcal ANTEQUERA

El Torcal Antequera is part of the Sierra (mountain range) Torcal, and is a short drive from Antequera off the C-3310 (around 10 kilometres).

Some taxis will do a ‘drop and collect’ service from Antequera by prior arrangement. See also below for privately organised guided tours including transport from Antequera.

El Torcal Flora and Fauna

In addition to the geological fascinations, there are important flora and fauna which inhabit this awesome landscape.

Amongst the flora are holm-oak, gall-oak, maple, hawthorn, blackthorn, honeysuckle, ivy, lilies, wild rose, peonies, and over twenty varieties of colourful orchids.

Mountain goats, fox, badgers, rabbits, weasels, mole and dormice populate the area. It is also a birdwatchers delight, including Griffon vultures, the wheatear, martins, tawny owl, the eagle owl, kestrel, woodlarks, goldfinch, redstarts, buntings, coal tits, and many others depending upon the seasons and the area.

The 19th century saw a period of deforestation here with the holm-oak wood almost disappearing.

It was as late as the 20th century before ecological awareness arose. In 1929 the Torcal was deemed a Natural Site of National Interest, with, at last, protections.

Walking El Torcal

Fog settles quickly in the area and it is recommended to stick to the proposed routes created by the Nature Reserve organisation. They are of varying difficulty, length, and rock shape characters en route.

There are three routes nominated by different colours: the green route takes around forty five minutes; the yellow just under two hours; the red around three and a half hours.

Guided tours are available, starting from the Visitor Centre there – see below.

The ideal time to visit if intending to walk the landscape is Spring and Autumn, as weather in Winter can be a bit severe at times, and a lengthy walk in the Summer is not for the fair skinned!

Guided Tours in the Torcal

For a guided tour you can contact the Visitors Centre of Torcal on (+34) 952 243 324 or Email: cvtorcalalto@reservatuvisita.es

At time of writing guided tour rates are as follows, including transport from Antequera to El Torcal:

  • 2 people: 40 € per person
  • 3 – 5 people: 30 € per person
  • 6 – 8 people: 25 € per person

For more information on guided tours with transport from Antequera contact Sendero Sur Adventura on senderosuraventura.com or facebook.com/senderosuraventura/.

Tel: +34 951 080 841 / +34 665 662 178 / +34 635 378 824

If staying in Antequera a visit to El Torcal is a must. Don’t forget to take a bottle of water!

If you have enjoyed visiting El Torcal we highly recommend a short trip to El Caminito del Rey, located in El Chorro.