El Torcal de Antequera
Nestled among the Sierra del Torcal Mountains of the Province of Malaga in Andalusia, Spain are some of the most unique limestone rock formations in Europe. El Torcal de Antequera is a Spanish Nature Reserve containing karst landscapes formed from thousands of years of erosion. The site features a restaurant and visitor centre along with hiking loops throughout the formations.
I flew into Malaga on an early Sunday morning in mid September. The southern Spanish sun welcomed me as I made my way from the airport to my central AirBnB via cercania train with a ticket that cost under 3 Euros. This was a quick reminder of one reason that made me happy to be back in Spain - cheap and comprehensive public transportation. And communicating in a language I could somewhat understand was nice too. My host greeted me and showed me my room and then I got in contact with my friend Theresa who lived closer to the edge of town. She drove in to meet me and we set out through the surrounding foothills and into the mountains.
Unfortunately for most tourists, the only way to access El Torcal is by car. The main parking lot was full by the time we arrived so we parked a little ways down the mountain and paid a couple euros to take a shuttle up to the welcome centre. There we sat down for a nice light lunch - and my first glass of true tinto de verano in years - before hitting the trails.
Theresa is originally from Montana but we met in Madrid in 2012 when we attended the same church. She was in the capital for a short time working and studying Spanish before returning to the South of Spain where she also spends time in Morocco. It was wonderful getting to connect with an old friend again and as a fellow photographer it was great to hear about her latest projects and adventures in the creative industry.
We hiked through the rocky landscape for a few hours, stopping for photos and spotting a couple mountain goats along the way. It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon away from the crowded beaches and terraces of downtown Malaga and this location has definitely been added to my list of favourite spots in Spain.