Yesterday, after some weather related Googling, we decided it was an ideal day to head up to El Torcal Natural Park and treat ourselves to some beautiful views. We were right! The weather was perfect; warm, but not too hot once up the mountain, and the sky was clear, the absolute perfect weather for a trip to such a stunning place.
El Torcal is a nature reserve that boasts amazing limestone rock formations and equally amazing views from the top. You can drive up to the visitor’s center and park there, there are picnic tables if you want to take your own food, or there’s a café which serves hot meals too, along with the standard gift shop. Once you’ve made a trip to the loo after the journey up the mountain, it’s time to get those walking boots on and go!
Entry to the park is free, dogs are allowed (but pick up after your pooch), and it is well worth a visit. Apparently the whole area, all 17 square km of it, was underwater until 1 hundred million years ago. At that point, movements in the Earth’s crust forced it upwards to 1,300 m, exposing the limestone to the weather, and, over time, creating the beautiful shapes in the rock that we see today.
You can wander aimlessly around the park, snapping photos, admiring the flowers and spotting Ibex, or you can follow one of the three trails that lead you around different areas of the park. We chose the shortest route, but it was still about an hour and a half and included a lot of climbing, squeezing and leaping over water!
Though the visitor’s center is wheelchair friendly, the rest of the park is not. There is a viewing platform that is accessible from the car park, but you really need to be fairly fit and healthy, and armed with a bottle of water and sensible shoes, if you want to explore deeper into the park itself.
If you are in the area, Aldalucia, Spain, then I would absolutely recommend you stop by El Torcal for an explore. Its stonking views and beautiful, naturally sculptured rocks make it worth the trek. It felt to me like I was walking through Jurassic Park: At every turn I expected to see a herd of Brachiosaurus feeding, or a Triceratops ambling past!
While we were there we did spot a few Ibex, from a great distance!. We also, rather worryingly, saw some vultures circling overhead! I’m pretty sure there were some lizards knocking around too, as I kept seeing movement on the floor between rocks and hearing that lizardy sound!
It was a really interesting day out, and the dogs enjoyed it too! If you decide to go then I would definitely make sure you’ve checked the weather around Antequera because the first time I went it was so foggy you couldn’t see anything, you really need a sunny, clear day to make the most of it.