Nature lovers will be drawn here by the fact that the property is located on the southern slopes of El Torcal, a magnificent 1,100 hectare National Park of massive, Mars-like mountains of eroded rock formations. Here the imagination plays tricks as giants, monsters and castles seem to appear before your eyes.
Unique in Europe, this dreamy, surrealistic landscape has inspired generations of artists and film makers as well as climbers, walkers and nature lovers. Rare birds of prey, Spanish ibex and wild orchids are just some of the attractions. The sunsets are a bit special too.
To the south-west lies an area of mountains, pine and eucalyptus forests cut by wide river valleys, of which the Río Guadalhorce is the most well known, a land of small farms, fertile fields and rural villages. This is the region known as El Chorro and the Lake District of Ardales.
The scenery in the higher reaches of the valley, just to the north of Álora, is dramatic. Garganta del Chorro is a huge natural gorge, 180 metres high, three kilometres long, spanned by an ancient iron bridge. It offers some very challenging rock climbing, walking and hang-gliding and is a favourite place for the extreme sport set.
A dam at the head of the gorge has created Andalucía’s very own Lake District, three turquoise blue lakes bordered by pine forests. This is an altogether more tranquil retreat, a place to swim, fish and canoe or just to picnic by the lake shore or enjoy a glass of wine and a bite to eat at a local taverna.
Wonderful terrain for walkers, too, with shaded paths through oak forests and olive groves and gentler, scenic routes along the shores of the lakes.
To the north west of Antequera, the flat agricultural lands yield up to Andalucia’s largest natural lake, Laguna de Fuente de Piedra, also know as “The Pink Lagoon” because it is the only inland breeding ground of pink flamingos outside of Africa.
To the south and west of Antequera, La Sierra de las Nives (literally, the mountains of the snows) is, some would argue, the most beautiful National Park in all Andalucía. It is certainly one of Spain’s richest natural enclaves, now protected by UNESCO with Biosphere Reserve status.
It’s most prized treasure is the Spanish fir tree, an almost extinct relic of the Ice Age. It is also famous for its potholes, including the third deepest in the world, a mere 1,098 metres! Many are still to be explored.
Immediately beyond Colmenar, take the wonderful road through Las Montes de Málaga which winds through the forested hillsides down to the coast. Remote and peaceful, it’s a gentle, hilly area criss-crossed by streams which have carved small valleys, extensively planted with pine trees and ancient Mediterranean species too, holm oak, corks and carib trees, making it an ideal habitat for the chameleons and other protected species of wildlife and birds of prey which reside here. The lovely scenery, and some great views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea below, can also be enjoyed on any one of numerous walking routes through the Park.
For “civilisation” look no further than Antequera, a very pretty town with an almost medieval air and a history to match. It’s so much more than just another sleepy, sun-soaked ‘pueblo’ of Southern Spain.
For seaside destinations you are spoiled for choice. To the east of Málaga there’s Torre del Mar, still very Spanish in character, and Nerja a little further along the coast offering 16 kilometres of beaches with powdery sand and sparkling clear water.
To the west of Málaga, try the resort towns of Estepona and Marbella. Estepona is a little quieter than most of the Mediterranean resorts and still retains some of its old, fishing village character. The same cannot be said of Marbella, but if you want to check out what the beautiful people are doing, with their designer shops and jet-set marinas, or just enjoy the sparkling sun, sand and sea, this is the place to be.
Granada is, of course, a must-see city. Soaring high above is the spectacular back drop of the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains. And what a city lies below, a city of classical beauty, the jewel in the Spanish Crown.
You are not far from the motorway network which links Sevilla, Málaga, Granada and Córdoba so all the great cities of Andalucía are easy to get to from here. Ronda too.
The world is your oyster!
An extra offered at this property is the opportunity to make use of the facilities of an associated spa hotel some five minutes’ drive away. By paying for what you wish, as if you were a hotel guest, you can play tennis, arrange horse riding and enjoy the spa baths and treatments. They sometimes have bicycles for hire, too.
Horse riding is available nearby. For walkers and all nature lovers you have some of the most varied and beautiful terrain in all Europe on your doorstep. See above.
Very challenging rock climbing, walking, hang-gliding and other extreme sports are available at El Chorro.
For golf enthusiasts, many speak very highly of the course at Antequera (just 20 minutes away).
All major water sports are also available on the Costa del Sol including water skiing, scuba diving, snorkelling and sailing.