Tour Guide El Torcal Natural Park
If you love rock formations, then El Torcal Natural Park is where you should be. This reserve is one of the most unique in Spain and the whole of Europe. Its fascinating landscapes have made it reckoned as a place where everyone needs to visit.
If you are planning to go on a vacation with your family, we can proudly suggest that you include this location in your list. But, are there some things to know before you visit this natural park? Well, in this article, we have provided a tour guide to El Torcal Natural Park. This guide will help make your trip a successful and interesting one.
When guests can visit El Torcal Natural Park – Opening hours
One of the best news that you can hear is that this natural park opens 24 hours every day, even at night. Another thing is that the park does not have a gate, so it is always open for anyone to enter. But, you should know that nighttime visits are not encouraged!
A critical piece of information that you need to know is that El Torcal Natural Park is usually less crowded in the winter season. But when it is summer, you can see a large crowd there. So, if you want to enjoy your time in this natural park, it would be better to go very early. You can still go in the evening, but avoid going when it is very late.
Another thing to take note of is that a barrier will be used to block the entrance to the visitor’s center when there is much crowd. They do this to prevent the park from being overcrowded.
How much would you need to pay to gain access to El Torcal Natural Park?
You would be pleased to know that it does not cost a dime to enter El Torcal Natural Park. Entering the entire park and touring around is entirely free, and no permit is required to gain access.
If you want to go on guided tours, then you will have to pay some amount of money. For example, a guided tour for 3 hours costs about €10, while you will pay about €35 to go on a tour, have dinner, and also visit the observatory. These kinds of tours help the park to develop, and it also supports its maintenance. So, you may need to consider paying for the guided tours to help the natural park keep developing.
What to expect in this natural park?
If you want to visit a natural park, you would need to prepare beforehand, and this also applies to El Torcal Natural Park. Most people who have visited this park unprepared claimed that they did not fully enjoy their trip because there were a lot of things that they would have done. But, lack of preparation hindered them. In this park, there are three main things that you can do, and they are:
- Walking and Hiking
- Watching Wildlife
- Enjoying a picnic or local food
- Going to the Visitor’s Centre
Walking and Hiking
One of the best ways that you can enjoy and explore El Torcal de Antequera is by passing its walking routes. The authorities have warned visitors not to go away from the trains because the terrain might be slippery and very rocky. This park has many walking routes. Some are 10 minutes, some 3 hours, while some are up to 5 hours.
The three main walking routes
- Green Route (45 minutes | 1.5 km). This route is shorter than the rest. It starts from the visitor’s center and also ends there, going in a sphere.
- Yellow Route (2 hours | 3 km). This is also a circular route that starts and ends at the visitor’s center. Walking on this route gives you the opportunity to see amazing trees and exciting rock figures/formations.
- Orange Route (3/5 hours | 7 km). The only thing that makes this route different from the first two is that it starts at the upper or lower car park and ends there as well. You can still enjoy a break while passing this Orange route.
You can log on to the official website of this natural park to download incredibly informative and detailed itineraries.
Watching Wildlife in El Torcal Natural Park
There is incredible wildlife in this natural park, but you will not be able to spot them easily within the caves and shades of the rocks. You will see so many birds no matter where you are in the park. Some of them usually migrate yearly.
During summer, you may likely see some reptiles, including lizards. There are also several rabbits and foxes in El Torcal Natural Park. During summer, you may not see these animals.
Enjoying a picnic or local food
There is a restaurant very close to the visitor’s center where you can enjoy a nice lunch. They will serve you different kinds of delicious local dishes. If you do not want to eat their food, you can come along with your own and you can also some recreational areas, like a picnic.
Going to the visitor’s centre
The El Torcal, Natural Park visitor’s center, is worth going to. There is a small interpretative and exhibition area close to the souvenir and toilets. It is excellent if you want to know more about El Torcal de Antequera and the wildlife and geography. While it is true that you will enjoy walking around the park, you will also have a great time when you go to the visitor’s center. If you already have some knowledge about El Torcal Natural Park’s background, you will definitely enjoy the limestone formations and views.
This area (visitor’s center) is always open for people to visit, except on Christmas day, New Year Day, and January 6th). The opening hour of the visitor’s center is 10 am. If you are looking for a great place to spend your holiday with your family, then you can come to El Torcal Natural Park. We hope that this tour guide to El Torcal will get you prepared for your next vacation.