Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dólmenes de Antequera

The town of Antequera will take you aback with its great wealth of historic and cultural heritage. Indeed, the municipality is home to not one, but two of the most popular tourist attractions in the Costa del Sol: El Torcal and Dólmenes de Antequera, also known as Antequera Dolmens Site, which we will discuss in more detail in this post. Situated in the heart of Andalusia and just 35 minutes from Malaga city, the area is certainly well worth a visit. 

The site’s heritage became better known when Dólmenes de Antequera was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2016. The Antequera Dolmens Sites is comprised by the dolmens plus two additional natural areas, Peña de los Enamorados and El Torcal de Antequera. The Menga Dolmen is the largest megalithic site in Europe. Stones weighing up to 180 tonnes create a corridor that leads into a sepulchral chamber, a vast space used for funeral purposes. The dolmen was covered with earth, forming an artificial mound over 50m in diameter, which is larger than Stonehenge. 

The Antequera Dolmens Site comprises two areas: the reception area and the Menga and Viera Dolmens; and Tholos of El Romeral. The site is one of the most important examples of European Megalithism. Evidence suggests that the monuments date back to the Neolithic Age, some 6,500 years ago. 

visit Dólmenes de Antequera


The legend of Peña de los Enamorados

The orientations of the monuments make Dólmenes de Antequera a truly unique Megalithic site. Instead of facing the sun, which is common in these types of historic sites, the dolmens are oriented towards nearby natural monuments. The Viera Dolmen is the only monument that maintains its orientation to the sun. Tholos of El Romeral, on the other hand, is oriented towards El Torcal de Antequera, a truly unique karstic landscape that evokes an enchanted town and affords some of the most breath-taking views in the province of Malaga. Last but by no means least, the Menga Dolmen is oriented towards Peña de los Enamorados.

This rugged mountain has a unique shape that evokes the profile of a human face. Meaning ‘the crag of the lovers’, Peña de los Enamorados is named after a legend. It is said that in Medieval times, a young Christian was seized in Granada and sent to serve in a rich Moorish family. Here he fell in love with the daughter, who also loved him back. Tired of keeping their amour secret, the lovers decided to run away together. However, the young woman’s father and his entourage followed them, catching up with them at Peña de los Enamorados. To avoid giving themselves in, the two young lovers ended their lives by jumping off the top of the mountain embraced in each other's arms. 


 Peña de los Enamorados


Visit Dólmenes de Antequera at any time of year

You can visit the Antequera Dolmen Site at any time of the year. There is an information centre which explains in detail how the dolmens were built as well as free guided tours: please make sure you book your place in advance. 

It is free to visit El Torcal de Antequera. There is another information centre here, in addition to two circular hiking routes that will lead you through the spectacular landscape. Free guided tours are available when booked in advance. 


Antequera: a town steeped in history

visit Antequera


As if El Torcal and Dólmenes de Antequera were not enough, Antequera also offers a whole host of sights for lovers of culture and history to visit, in addition to delicious gastronomy. Boasting a rich historic and cultural heritage, Antequera has over fifty important monuments and archaeological sites. As you walk through the town’s streets, you will be immersed in its past. An illustrious history that has left behind a legacy of palaces, churches and convents showcasing a variety of different styles, as well as an imposing 11th century Muslim fortress. Antequera is therefore a must-visit if you are looking to soak up some history and culture in the province of Malaga. So what are you waiting for? Come along to be seduced by the heart of the Costa del Sol.

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