Antequera is a much more substantial and important town than a lot of first time visitors realise. Historically (see the Historical Insight section) Antequera was deemed a city, and at one time considered as candidate for the capital of Andalusia because of it’s cultural significance, commercial wealth, and strategic military importance due to location. La Comarca (the region or county) of Antequera contains 21 pueblos (villages), the second largest Comarca in Spain. Antequera is also an important centre of commerce for Andalucia and Spain due to it’s direct motorway and rail links to cities such as Seville, Córdoba, Granada, and Madrid. It is a distribution centre for some top brand names such as Mercadona, the giant supermarket chain, and Bimbo, a major brand in bread products. It is also just 50 kilometers north of Malaga airport and thus an excellent base for tourists seeking a genuinely Spanish holiday experience in a culturally and socially rich environment.
The historic monumental wealth in Antequera resulted in some wonderful architectural developments which are such a prominent feature throughout the town. There are over 30 churches and convents – more per head of population than anywhere in Spain – and several palacios (mansion houses) built during the 16 -18th centuries when the town was largely governed by a small collection of immensely rich aristocratic families. Some of the grand internal courtyards can be viewed through the open gates of these mansions. These days they are likely surrounded by cafés or shops. Sometimes even now called a mini city, Antequera is a wonderful town to stay in and stroll around with a camera.
Many visitors on holiday choose Antequera as their base, not just because of it’s architectural beauty and social facilities, but additionally for the plentiful places to visit in the surrounding area such as the Ardales Lakes, the Flamingo Lagoon, El Chorro gorge, the Torcal Mountain Nature Reserve, the Wolf Park etc (see Around Antequera page), and easy access to the larger cities. Many professional people working in Malaga and elsewhere, choose to live in Antequera for the quality of life here and the surrounds, plus the motorway links.
The town is surrounded by vast scenic olive groves, being a renowned source of high grade olive oil and olive varieties for consumption locally, distribution throughout Spain, and exportation. Historically too, Antequera was a centre for Weaving, and although this era has passed, as you enter the town peripheray you will drive around an artfully reconstructed water wheel, symbolic of the town’s prowess in the weaving industry.
There are several supermarkets (see Supermarket section below), a large shopping centre on the edge of town, and numerous independent fruit and vegetable stores, bakeries, butchers and fishmongers within the town, plus a splendid indoor food market in the centre with a lovely fresh fish section. Cafés, bars and restaurants abound, and the street life in the warm months is a joy.
There is plenty of accommodation in Antequera at all budget levels, and this is covered in detail in the Accommodation section of the website.
How to Get to Antequera
Please refer on to the How to Get Here section, which provides information for Road and Train travel.
Most of the Spanish banks are represented in Antequera, with on street PIN facilities. Bank names are: Unicaja, Santander, Bank of Andalucia, BBVA, Cajasur, Cajamar, CajaGranada, La Caixa, CamBank, Sabadell, Barclays. They are largely distributed on the main high street (Calle Don Infante), in the adjoining shopping areas, and there are two banks (Santander, and Sabadell) with facilties on the Poligono (industrial estate on the outskirts of Antequera).
Unicaja has more branches than any other.
Banking hours are 08.30 – 13.30, Monday to Friday. For payment of service bills most banks restrict this to Tuesday and Thursday between 08.00 – 10.30, although this rule can vary slightly according to the individual bank. On street PIN machines are obviously 24 hour.
Currency conversion rates can vary from bank to bank, and if requesting a currency exchange over the counter it is worth asking before exchanging. Pin machines will indicate the rate prior to acceptance of Euros.
Most banks have an English speaking representative, although this is not always the case.
There are numerous supermarkets in Antequera, most with parking facilities.
Carrefour is on the main street (free parking), and there are various Mercadona stores (the main branded supermarket) around the town, most with free parking. Día (budget supermarket) has two stores in the town.
Entering Antequera from the Seville road you will see a large shopping centre called La Veronica on your left. This contains a very large Eroski supermarket, and plentiful enclosed (airconditioned) shopping opportunities: clothes, shoes, furniture, opticians, mobile phone centres, etc. There is two level free underground parking.
Just beyond La Veronica there is a Lidl store (on the left as you enter the town), again with free partially covered off street parking.
Aldi, and another Día supermarket, are on the road to the Dolmens and the Poligono (retail and industrial centre) as you leave the town centre. Both have large free parking forecourts.
There is an indoor market in the centre of town in Plaza San Francisco, featuring independent stalls for meat, vegetables, spices, and fresh fish.
There are many independent shops around the town for fruit &veg, meats, and fish.