Antequera, a city of the Málaga province, is located in the main crossroad of Andalucía and, thus, it has been, and it is, a compulsory passage for all time travellers. Due to this strategic location it is known as “the heart of Andalucía”.
Thanks to its natural features, Antequera has turned into a place of passage and settlement for the several communities that, since the Palaeolithic period, settled down in the Iberian Peninsula. However, it is from the Bronze Age where we find the most important prehistoric remains, such as the Dolmen Complex of Menga, Viera and El Romeral which, in 2016, were awarded as UNESCO Worldwide Heritage together with the El Torcal Natural Landscape and the Peña de los Enamorados (the Lovers’ Rock).
Also, the magnificent Monumental Complex declared as Cultural Interest Asset is the result of an uninterrupted history of more than 4.500 years expressed in more than fifty buildings of religious and civil architecture. They are the traces left after many centuries of history: dolmens, collegiate churches, churches, convents, palaces, arches, gates, citadel, chapels, hermitages, manor houses and manors.
In addition, the Antequera’s natural attractions, such as the fertile Vega (low land), the Peña de los Enamorados (Lovers’ Rock), the Caminito del Rey (King’s Little path) in El Chorro, the El Torcal -a karst landscape of first level- plus the city’s typical gastronomy turn Antequera into a “right into your heart” destination where visitors will live unique experiences thanks to Tu Historia mark in the Recinto Monumental Alcazaba-Real Colegiata (Citadel-Royal Collegiate Church Monumental enclosure).
Antequera is currently going through a strong and progressive increase of the tourist activity due to being an essential communication link and an outstanding distribution and tourist centre – “Kilometer cero of Andalucía”- just a few kilometres away from Málaga, Granada, Córdoba and Seville.
Antequera, European City of Sport 2018
Antequera throws itself into sport. It has the best covered athletics facility in Andalucía – The Athletics Centre- with a fix track where the most important championships of the region, and some others nationals ones, are held. The city also hosts championships of golf, handball (The Kings’ Cup), Indoor Football, U-21 Football, table tennis… and it has been the stage start line and the final stage of the Tour of Spain.
Antequera, in the Malaga province, is one of the cities of Andalucía with more Historical Heritage.
It is crowned by the Citadel and by the Santa María La Mayor Royal Collegiate Church; besides, all around the historical centre you will find several collegiate churches, churches, convents, palaces, arches, gates and hermitages. On the outskirts, there are important archaeological sites, such as the Dolmens of Menga, Viera and El Romeral which were declared as UNESCO Worldwide Heritage in 2016 together with the El Torcal Natural Landscape and the La Peña de los Enamorados (The Lovers’ Rock).
The city also offers a historical and monumental tour where you will be surprised by the about thirty existing religious buildings which have given Antequera the acknowledgement of “City of the Churches”. The San Sebastian Church, with the façade in Renaissance style and its tower in Baroque style, or the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios Church, in Mannerism-Baroque style, with its High Altarpiece from 18th century and the niche of the Virgen de los Remedios -the patron saint of Antequera- are an excellent proof of that.
Just all along the Infante Don Fernando street, you can visit the San Agustin Church, the Municipal Palace and the San Juan de Dios Church.
Others outstanding places of great interest are the Convento de la Encarnación in front of the Plaza del Coso Viejo square where it is the Museum of the Antequera Town and the Convento de Santa Catalina de Siena; the Plaza de las Descalzas square with the Convento de San José; and the Cuesta de los Rojas hill which leads to the El Carmen Church placed in the square of the same name and where there is a very valuable woodcarving altarpiece without polychrome.
The High Velocity Train (AVE) Antequera-Santa Ana Station is placed 15 km away from the urban centre. It is the point of departure and arrival of trains from and to Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga, Granada, Seville, Córdoba and Algeciras. The building station is of modern design, with quartz-crystal walls and plain roofs.
There are two Fairs considered as “Festivities of Tourist Interest in Andalucía”: the Royal Fair of August whose origin comes from 1748 when the king Fernando VI awarded the privilege of holding an annual fair to Antequera. The start of the Royal Fair is marked by the switching on of the official lighting and, from that evening on and during a whole week, the city becomes a multiple event of leisure, art and fun for all ages. The other Fair is the Spring Fair which is held at the same time than AGROGANT (Farming & Livestock Fair) where many different events are carried out, such as the agro-food fair, the tendering-auction of the Malaga goat, a photographic marathon and several activities to promote the tourism in the city.
However, if you are looking for night fun during all year, in Antequera you can find many nightlife establishments, most of them placed in Calzada street and Alameda de Andalucía street.
We also must point out the several activities organized in different places during the summer, such as “Antequera, Moonlight” (from middle of June until middle of September), the Blues Festival or the Nájera Jazz also held in summer.
Finally, you cannot miss the Antequera Holy Week: a festivity with peculiar and distinguishing elements as “Correr La Vega” (people running in front of the Throne up to a hill): a tradition declared as Provincial Tourist Uniqueness.
Gastronomy is a complementary attraction of the Antequera tourist offer. In our borough, gastronomy is determined by geography, by the products harvested in La Vega (low land) -mainly cereals, vegetables and olive oil- and by the people’s idiosyncrasy.
One of the most famous dishes of the Antequera cuisine is the porra, which is a kind of cream made basically of bread, oil, garlic and tomatoes. Others typical first courses are: ajoblanco, pimentón, gazpachuelo, migas and some salads such as the pío antequerano. Others typical products are the cold meats, goat cheese, olive oil and the canned food. Within the local patisserie we have the alfajor, mantecado or the angelorum, being the bienmesabe our most famous dessert without forgetting the pestiño, torrija and roscos which are typical of our Holy Week.
And we cannot close this section without talking about the mollete, which very soon will be awarded as Geographical Indication.
There is no single area where you will find the tapas bars and restaurants. They are spread out throughout the city, making it easy to combine a day of sightseeing with gastronomic tourism. Don’t forget to visit the enclosed convents and their bakeries, such as the Convents of Belen or San Jose, to buy the traditional bienmesabe. At Christmas, these bakeries also sell mantecado shortbread, another of the typical sweets of Antequera, together with others typical of the Easter week, such as pestiños (deep-fried dough with honey), torrijas (bread fried with milk and honey) and roscos (fried dough rings).