One of the best examples of a karst landscape in Europe.
El Torcal is located between the city of Antequera and the municipality of Villanueva de la Concepción. Its main feature is its impressive landscape formed over 200 million years ago, and its abundant fauna and flora.
Strolling around El Torcal is like taking a journey into the past, as its rock formations are the result of processes that took place several hundred million years ago. This nature area is populated with abundant vegetation and is home to valuable wildlife such as golden eagles and foxes. It is also ideal for hiking or sports activities like cycling and climbing.
What you need to know
Human presence in El Torcal dates back to prehistoric times. Some of the archaeological sites are the caves of La Cuerda, Marinaleda and Sima del Hoyo, and others on the surface such as Hoyo del Francés, Hoyo del Tambor and Fuente de la Higuera. Remains of Roman and Arab origin have also been found. The last known settlement was Las Sepulturas, in the last century.The Dolmens of Antequera lay close to this nature area. They are one of the most important prehistoric architectural ensembles in Europe and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The main plant communities in the nature area –according to their botanical classification– are rock plants, grasslands and scrub. One of the most widespread species is ivy, which grows abundantly in El Torcal Alto.The fauna features numerous birds. Griffin vultures are among the most commonly sighted species in El Torcal, along with black and black-eared wheatears, eagles and other owls, kestrels and a number of smaller birds. Among the reptiles to be found here are the ocellated lizard, the large psammodromus, the Iberian lizard, the ladder snake, the Montpellier snake and the snub-nosed viper. The most representative species of mammals include the common vole, the fox, the badger, the weasel and the rabbit.