While the food in Antequera was literally taking my breath away with its awesomeness, I also got to check out some of the amazing things you can visit here as well.
How does a bit of hiking sound to get you ready for a good spanish feast? Well the Torcal de Antequera with its stunning array of karst landscapes (hows that for a fancy word) sure was an amazing view. Especially as we were hitting it late in the evening and were surrounded by a few local goats that call the lofty peak home.
If hiking isn’t your thing then perhaps some flamingo watching might be more your pace. Laguna de Fuente de Piedra is the second largest colony of flamingo’s in Europe and is home to some 170 difference species of birds. The onsite visitors centre has a great little video presentation documenting the amazing work of the experts and volunteers as well. A train station nearby can get you there from Antequera allowing for a cheap spot of bird watching.
Some attractions allow you to retreat indoors and escape the burning Andalucia sun. One such place is the Hojiblanca Museum (Museum of Oil). It’s main attraction is a 17th century beam press that even after 3 centuries of being insect eaten and dried out, still weights in at a lofty 3000 kilos. It’s not the oldest item onsite though, there is a reproduction of a 1st century Roman Mill (with original stone weight) which really goes to show people have loved Olive Oil since way back in the day.
And just when you think little old Antequera, the place you haven’t heard of until now couldn’t surprise you anymore. There is a megalithic burial mound dating back to the 3rd millennium BC to be explored. Watching the video presentation document how they believe it all came to be was interesting, but once you actually get to the sight and walk inside… well then it really becomes an engineering feat. With massive stones that make up the walls and roof I was seriously amazed that these rocks ever moved.
Oh and lets not forget there is also the Alcazaba of Antequera to stop off at. A Moorish fortress dating back to the 14th century that sits above the town and offers amazing views. And just next door is the Collegiate Church of Santa María where I was to experience perhaps the most amazing event of my entire stay in Antequera.
Invited to the Paladares en la Colegiata (Palate Seduction at the Royal Collegiate Church) by the lovely folk from Tu Historia I was unsure of what to expect. I’ll take an excerpt from the Tu Historia’s website to better explain the event before attempting it myself.
Can you envisage going on a journey with your imagination? Where it is difficult to distinguish between reality and fantasy? Get swept away on a journey with the poet Pedro Espinosa from the Golden Age to a place where anything is possible, such as meeting the Infante Don Fernando in the final battle of the conquest or work on the actual construction building of the Royal Colligate Church.
With this experience, participants can discover through smell, taste, touch and sound a magical place hidden away from sight…Are you ready?
In short I sat through a 2 hour play while eating blindfolded as people danced past me, traded blows with swords and finally built the great church that we were dining in at that very moment. It was a strange sensation to eat with my hands while blindfolded, especially when people came to wash my hands and whisper things in my ear. I just wish I had understood all the spanish that was spoken throughout the event so I could have taken in the whole experience.
Having never heard of this hidden gem of Spain before I was completely amazed at how much was going on. If anybody is considering stopping off after I’ve got your appetite going for Antequera then be sure to track down Antonio from Destination Antequera for everything to see and do there.