May 14th, 2012
Last week my daughter went on a field trip with her school to Antequera. The aim of the day was to explore the Karst or Lime formations of the area known as El Torcal – which used to be under the sea. Listening to her rave about her day and viewing the photos she took – I thought it would be a nice addition to your list of things to do with the kids on your next Spanish holiday.
There are a mountain of activities for families in Spain. Apart from kids of all ages being totally welcome when it comes to eating out and staying up late – there are oceans of water parks, every town park will have a kids play area designated, there are animal reserves, family picnic spots, aquariums, and of course the beach life with all of the extras that it has to offer. A host of family friendly accommodation over at Spain Holiday makes choosing a place for the whole gang easy. Kayaking, windsurfing, kite flying, surfing – you name it – when it comes to family friendly destination Spain has got it!
Wild and sometimes free too
Cities and larger towns are great for museums and history - most of them are free too. In Almería you can dress as cowboys and play wild west games at Mini Hollywood. The added bonus of the long sunshine filled days and warm nights make any outdoor activity even better.
So,what´s to see at El Torcal? Where is it?
Given Natural Park status in 1978, the area of less than 20 kms is made up of four different sections known as:
- Torcal Alto
- Torcal Bajo
- Tajos and Laderas
- Sierra Pelada
…with the highest point being Camorro de las Siete Mesas at some 1335 metres. The bed of Limesone was laid down 150 million years ago – when you were more likely to see Dinosaurs than groups of schoolkids roaming this area – mind you – the Dinosaurs were probably less noisy!
From the sea to the land
Originally part of the sea, the beds were lifted up to 1300 metres resulting in the strange shapes which we see today. Often resembling everyday objects, the various rock formations have been given everyday names such as the screw, the camel, the jug etc.
See what you can see in the shapes, a bit like clouds, everyone will see something different!
Explore the Dolmens, you can go right inside…
There are caves too, and the neolithic finds have been cataloged and are on show – kids are encouraged to hold some of them…always more fun when it´s hands on…
There are some easy hiking trails around the park,marked maps are available from the visitor centre. But the terrain is rocky and hard on the foot – walking boots are a must. Also remember it gets very hot out here – my daughter was fairly burnt on her back, so sunscreen and water too..
A park with a view
The views are outstanding, and the Spring flowers are out now, springing up from their rocky beds a little like the Burren in the West of Ireland. You might see an elegant Ibex, you will almost certainly see a slithering snake!
Spring and Autumn are the best times to visit – although you will be more likely to meet with a noisy gaggle of Spanish schoolkids the temperatures in the high Summer months make it really very hot.
So, add El Torcal to the list if you happen to stay for a week or so around the Málaga area – it´ll make a nice change from a day at the beach! Enjoy Isobel´s photographs, she´s no David Bailey – but she really enjoyed the visit and you´ll get the picture! I´ll spare you the video!!