Top free things to do and great family day outings in Andalusia. There are numerous day trips and sightings that everybody can enjoy whilst visiting one of the most beautiful parts of Spain. There is much more to Andalusia than just its beaches and cities.
El Torcal de Antequera
Known famously for its unique limestone rock formations, El Torcal is a must see for first time visitors. Located only 45 mins drive from Malaga, it consists of 17 square km of some of the most beautiful and impressive limestone landscapes in Europe.
This part of Spain was originally emerged from below the Sea and over millions of years has risen to 1.300 meters above sea level. Over the years the wind, rain and weather have chipped away at the rocks to form some fantastic shapes.
The visitors center has a cafe, souvenir shop and a small museum. Not only are the rocks the main attraction. Griffin Vultures have found these rocks to be perfect habitat for their breeding spots and you are pretty much guaranteed to see them.
Fuente de la Piedra
Only a half hour drive from Antequera is Fuente de la Piedra, also known as the pink lagoon. Believed to be one of Spain's largest natural lagoons.
At over 6 kilometers long and 3 kilometers wide it provides the ideal breeding spot for the very elegant Pink Flamingo. Many passing birds use this spot as a rest place before migrating to Africa for the winter.
Other species that you may see are Black-winged Stilt, Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta, Ringed Plover and Green Sandpipers. The visitors center on the Lagoon edge offers a cafe and a souvenir shop.
Midway between Malaga and Granada is the village of Riofrío. A hotspot for those that like nature, fishing and pretty scenery. Ducks and other river wildlife can be spotted. Trout swims freely down the river and on warm days they can be seen Baskin in the sun. They come that close you can tickle them.
But it is famously known by locals for the Trout farming. All of the 10 restaurants in the village offer fresh trout on the menus. Trout is actually the backbone of this villages economy and the farming methods have been developed organically. It is thought to be the first organic certified sturgeon farm in the world.
El Chorro village is small and pretty with picturesque views of the hills, the dam and the famous Gorge of the “Camino Del Rey". Now this one is not for the faint hearted. The Camino Del Rey is one of the World most scariest and intimidating climbing route is.
The old path which has nearly disappeared has been there for over 80 years. This walkway goes right around the length of the gorge and is suspended 100m above the floor. Sadly for those adrenaline junkies that come here to take the challenge will soon be disappointed when the path is to be reconstructed to allow visitors to enter the gorge easily.
There is also a railway which runs along the side of the gorge which runs from Malaga to Seville and stops off at the El Chorro train station just as you enter the village.
Doñana National Park
Doñana is famously know for been one of Europe's most important wetland reserves for the migrating birds that stop off here on their way to Africa. The park has over 1,300 square meters in which birds from all over Europe come here in Summer. One of the resident bird species here is the great Spanish imperial eagle.
The park hosts an incredible amount of vegetation in a variety of habitats. Inland are large expanses of stone pines, as well as Mediterranean scrub lands, with narrow leafed cistus heather, rosemary, glasswort, red lavender, rosemary and thyme.
Other wildlife that can resident in the park are reptiles, amphibians and fish. There are 28 species of mammals including the endangered lynx and the Egyptian mongoose. Foxes, badgers, rabbits and otters also roam the park. Game is also plentiful, with red deer, fallow deer and wild boar.
Whilst visiting this beautiful part of Spain, Andalusia offers some great holiday rental choices including self catering apartments and private villas. Andalusia really does have something for everyone.