When you think of Andalucia, which places spring to mind? Seville, Cordoba, Cadiz, Malaga and Granada no doubt, but Antequera really should be added to that list of famous places. This beautiful town sits at the very heart of Andalucia. It is more or less the geographical centre of the entire region, yet few people ever think to visit.
It is a spectacular town in a spectacular setting. Head up to the Alcazaba, the castle, for an amazing view. From there you will see the stunning whitewashed town in all its glory with the incredible Peña de los Enamorados (the setting of a Moorish Romeo and Juliet story) standing proud in the background. Even better, take the €4 audio guide which will tell you all about the history of the town’s fortifications as you stroll around the battlements.
If climbing up to the castle is too much like hard work, look for the car park in the centre of town (on Calle Diego Ponce) which has a mirador on top. Entry is free with your parking ticket. Pedestrians will just have to hassle the staff on duty to let them go up! You’ll get a full 360° view of the town in all its glory, with informative plaques to tell you all about what you are seeing.
Antequera is blessed with 30-odd churches! You’d be foolhardy to try to see them all in one go but Iglesia Santo Domingo is easy to get to and very interesting inside. It was built first constructed in 1546 so you really will be stepping back in time. Don’t miss the painting on the wall depicting the town several centuries ago or the stunning decoration inside the cupola.
What Andaluz town would be complete without its bull ring. The Plaza de Toro is very traditional and dates back to 1848. If you are lucky, the gates might be open for you to have a peep inside. There is a bullfighting museum but, in keeping with Spanish tradition, it was closed on the Monday I was there!
Also closed on a Monday, and much to my annoyance, are the UNESCO World Heritage nominated Dolmens. These ancient burial grounds are the must-see thing in Antequera so plan your journey well and make sure it is open. You can read a detailed account of their nomination at UNESCO’s website. Be warned – it is incredibly in depth.