Antequera is a medium sized stylish town about 40 miles inland from the coast at Malaga. As you drive down from the Montes de Malaga on your way from the airport, it is a wonderful sight as the vega (plain) of Antequera opens up before your eyes, a wide, lush, green plain sprinkled with little white farmhouses shimmering in the sunshine.
Antequera has a long history - its prehistoric burial sites or 'Dolmens' testify to that. Its varied and beautiful architecture bears the mark of the many different overlords of this ancient town. The Romans called it Antikaria (meaning 'ancient') and Roman treasures can be seen in the town's museum. The town was renamed Medina Anticaria by Spain's Arab invaders, who ruled the town until 1410, when the Moorish castle that still dominates the town fell to the Christian armies of the Reconquest. The tourist office in the Plaza San Sebastian will supply all the information you need for a delightful day's sightseeing.
The initial arrival in Antequera's modern outskirts can give little idea of the beauty of this historic town. One of the first things the visitor will see is the nineteenth-century Plaza de Toros (bullring), where during the Ferias of May and August you can see the most famous bullfighters in Spain. Close to the Plaza de Toros is the beautiful tree-lined promenade of the Paseo Real, which finishes in a large children's playgound where the town's smaller inhabitants play on the warm summer nights. Here the locals like to meet, walk and relax in the shade of the giant trees lining the park.
The visitor then usually turns south from the bullring up to the Infante don Fernando (named for the leader of the conquering Christian army that retook the town in 1410), the main street of the town which leads up to the historic area. Leading off from the Infante are any number of streets with wonderful shops. Do not miss the covered market with its array of fresh seafood, and be sure to pick up some delicious pastries handmade by nuns from the local convent.
The Infante brings you up the historic part of town where the original part of Antequera stretches up the hill from the Plaza de San Sebastian to the Castle. Just a short walk and you find yourself in a different world of narrow, whitewashed streets, flower-decked patios and even older churches. Climb up higher and you can see right over the red roofs and bell towers to the rolling Andalucian countryside beyond. Wherever you walk there is another beautiful old building or ancient church and always the smell of something delicious cooking as you pass the bars.