About 30km north of Málaga (approx. 20-25 minute drive from our hotel) lies the majestic El Torcal de Antequera natural park. There’s only 17 square km of it, and it was under the sea until 100 million years ago – quite recently in geological terms. It’s a special place – a craggy landscape of dramatic limestone formations, and also a good spot to escape the beautiful but crowded towns of Málaga province for some peace.
Entry to the park is free and walkers can explore it by taking one of three routes of varying length and difficulty. The 1.5km green and 3km yellow routes can be done independently by just following the coloured arrows, but the more difficult 4.5km red trail takes about three hours and requires a guide (about €8 per person). Climbing to a height of 1,339 metres, it offers spectacular views.
Standing in this ancient landscape, I felt time had stood still. My moment of solitude came with a gentle musical soundtrack: as the sun dipped in the sky, casting a golden light across the rocky shapes, the sound of bells from a herd of sheep grazing in the hills was carried to me on the breeze.“The Guardian”, 22 April 2015