The MalagaCar Top 10 archaeological sites in Málaga

Acinipo, Ronda Photo Juanlu Ep

The province of Malaga offers us a rich and deep historical heritage thanks to its vast past.

Many of our Top Ten sites presented here were discovered by chance in recent years due to excavation and construction work and have now seen the light of day again after being buried and forgotten for hundreds of years.

Interactive map of our Top Archaeological Sites in Malaga

La Hedionda Roman Baths, Casares

About 5 km from Sabinillas on the westernmost Costa del Sol are the Roman baths of La Hedonia.

Unlike other archaeological sites, these baths also have the pleasant advantage of being able to bathe in them.

Located next to the river of Manilva is this bath of medicinal sulphurous waters that dates back to Roman times. There are different legends referring to its origin and even attributing a visit by Julius Caesar to cure his ailments. What is certain is that the water is very beneficial for skin conditions.

The water also has a constant temperature of 21 degrees throughout the year and therefore we can enjoy a healthy bath in any season of the year.

During the Arab period a proper spa was built with a spherical vault to protect the bathers from the weather.

Very close to the baths there is also a small hermitage and two trails, Charco del Infierno and Canuto de Utrera, located in a nature reserve area of limestone formations very similar to El Torcal. So, it is ideal to combine a hiking route with a soak in the baths of La Hedonia.

The baths of La Hedionda are an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) and receive especially in summer a huge influx of visitors. Therefore, during the months of July, August and September, during the peak hours between 12 and 7 pm, access is regulated to protect the environment and there is a lifeguard and surveillance service.

On the official tourism website of Casares you will find links where you can get your free reservation during the busiest months (July/August and September).

More information at the Tourist Office of the Casa Natal de Blas Infante (Tel. 952895521) and at the tourist information point set up in the area of the Baths.

How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/VDrWgMFAmMokne6e6

 

Paleo-Christian Basilica of Vega del Mar, Marbella

A few metres from the coast of San Pedro Alcántara in Marbella we can visit this early Christian Basilica of Visigothic origin from the 6th century. Discovered in 1915, the Vega del Mar Basilica preserves a surprising baptismal font.

Many funerary objects from the necropolis can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Malaga in the Palacio de la Aduana.

A few metres from the Basilica, next to the mouth of the river Guadalmina, are the Roman Baths of Las Bóvedas built in the 3rd century, one of the most unique and best-preserved examples of Roman architecture in Spain.

Free entrance.
Opening hours: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 11.15 am to 2 pm. Except on 24, 25 and 31 December.

How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/Qpr7Q9mC1ChfJ8xu8

 

Roman Thermal Baths Las Bóvedas, Marbella

Roman Baths Las Bovedas Photo Beata Cisek

Located next to the mouth of the Guadalmina River and surrounded by luxury developments is hidden this jewel, the Roman Baths of Las Bóvedas built in the 3rd century, one of the most unique and best-preserved examples of Roman architecture in Spain. They were discovered in 1926.

Open Thursday to Sunday from 9 am to 11 am.

If you are in the area, you can combine a visit to the baths and the basilica, as they are within walking distance.

How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/gCwL8FgeFm11CiuA8

 

Ruins of Bobastro, Ardales

In an impressive natural setting we find some of the most unique archaeological sites in Spain, the town of Bobastro, one of the key places in the Middle Ages in Al-Andalus.

Bobastro was the home of the legendary rebel Omar Ibn Hafsun and a strategic location par excellence as a natural watchtower. Under his command, the fortress became a great city that brought together numerous towns in the surrounding area.

In Bobastro we find an impressive Mozarabic basilica excavated from the rock, which was built when Omar Ibn Hafsún converted to Christianity in 899.

As we said, the ruins of Bobastro are located in the privileged natural surroundings of the Guadalhorce reservoirs, the Gaitanes Gorge and the famous Caminito del Rey, many excellent reasons to visit this spectacular natural site.

Opening hours: Wednesday and Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm and Friday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The price of the guided tour is 3 €.

How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/6cLgXhkBL5VaH7Cj9

 

Dolmens of Antequera

In the north of the province of Malaga, in Antequera we can find a surprising historical legacy and vestiges of cultures from the Bronze Age (3000 BC). The Dolmens of Antequera take us back to prehistoric times with their impressive megalithic constructions.

The Menga Dolmen, which is about 6000 years old, is extraordinary for the size of the rocks used in its construction: some of them weigh up to 150 tons. About 28 metres long, it is part of a megalithic complex that was declared a World Heritage Site in 2016.

At the dawn of the summer solstice Menga becomes a magical place, as direct sunlight enters right to the bottom of the tomb. On this day, every year, the doors of the site open exceptionally at 6.45 am so that the public can observe the phenomenon (booking in advance is essential as capacity is limited).

Nearby is the famous Peña de los Enamorados, as well as the popular El Torcal for hiking routes some 11 kilometres to the south.

And of course, Antequera itself is worth a thorough visit with its enormous monumental legacy.

Entrance price 1.5 euros

Free: for accredited citizens of the European Union and members of ICOM and ICOMOS.

Email: dolmenesdeantequera.ccul@juntadeandalucia.es

Opening hours:
21 March to 20 June
Tuesday to Saturday: 9 am to 9 pm. Sundays, public holidays and Mondays before public holidays, from 9 am to 3 pm. Mondays closed.

From 21 June to 20 September
Tuesday to Saturday, from 9 am to 3 pm and from 8 pm to 10 pm. Sundays, public holidays and Mondays before public holidays, from 9 am to 3 pm. Mondays closed.

From 21 September to 20 March
Tuesday to Saturday, from 9 am to 6 pm. Sundays, public holidays and Mondays before public holidays, from 9 am to 3 pm. Mondays closed.

Opening holidays

1 March / 1 April / 2 April / 16 August / 20 August (local holiday) / 8 September (local holiday) / 12 October / 1 November / 6 December / 8 December.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cadolmenesdeantequera/

How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/uXbHQGRUHEKbJ5dp8

 

Roman Baths of Santa Maria, Antequera

As we said, Antequera is a marvel of monumental, cultural and historical legacies. In this ancient city we can also visit the Roman Baths from the 1st century, located at the foot of the Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor of Antequera, which were discovered in 1988.


In the baths there are some very well preserved polychromatic mosaics.

The thermal baths are located in the historic centre of Antequera.

How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/oX4N9DQy6sjgyksK9

Dolmens of Corominas, Estepona

This 5,000-year-old archaeological site, known as the dolmen necropolis of Corominas, was discovered by chance in 2000 as a result of work on the Costa del Sol motorway.

It is located in the San Isidro Labrador Park, better known as Los Pedregales, in Estepona. Corominas is made up of five dolmens and is the most southerly of the megalithic necropolises in Andalusia where have been found dozens of burials, ceramic vessels, stone tools, arrowheads, axes and personal ornaments.

A modern interpretation centre has been built around the necropolis, which also offers workshops and periodically hosts concerts.

Visits are currently by appointment only. Info: +34 675 942 975

Email: info@dolmenesestepona.com

Website: https://dolmenesestepona.com/

How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/QpfSxffGEJe79j6X6

 

Roman Theatre of Malaga

The Roman Theatre of Malaga was also found by chance in 1951. Located in the heart of the city at the foot of the Alcazaba, it is almost impossible to miss it after it has been buried for centuries.

Its interesting history can be discovered in the interpretative centre, admission is free.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Sundays and public holidays from 10 am to 4 pm. Closed: 1 and 6 January, 1 May, 24, 25 and 31 December. National, regional and/or local public holidays, please consult by telephone or e-mail. For guided tours, reservations are recommended by telephone on 951 501 115 or by email TRomanoMalaga.aaiicc@juntadeandalucia.es.

How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/4kF1vRwujySCCvkt7

 

Acinipo, Ronda

The Acinipo Archaeological Site is located at an altitude of almost a thousand metres, 20 kilometres from Ronda, surrounded by fertile land and with views so wide that you can see the provinces of Malaga, Cadiz and Seville.

Acinipo is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the province. It has a large amphitheatre in very good condition, a villa and thermal baths, together with the remains of ancient buildings from the Bronze Age.

A visit not to be missed if you go to Ronda or the surrounding area.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/acinipoenclavearqueologico

How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/g9moTqXFCHY69s9a8

 

Fortress of Cártama

Fortress of Cártama Photo Derwin Pérez

The fortress of Cártama is completely in ruins, but from its position you have a spectacular panoramic view. Moreover, the walk up to the ruins is very pleasant.

It is well worth the climb up the cobbled path past the hermitage to the ruins of this castle. Remains of an old wall and some towers are preserved.

We recommend it for its beautiful views and a place to enjoy a picnic in the middle of nature.

How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/JBGVeen8NxBMk9cP7

These are by no means all the archaeological sites in the province of Malaga, there are many more such as the Roman Villa Caviclum in Torrox, the Cerro del Villar in Malaga city, the Islamic Necropolis of Jabal Faruh or the Roman salting factories in Malaga or the Finca del Secretario in Fuengirola to name but a few.

Have you already visited any of them with your MalagaCar?