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Routes through the Province which Allow you to Learn about the Origins of Málaga and its Past

Diputación de Málaga
Portada folleto Ruta por los orígenes de Málaga

Routes through the Province which Allow you to Learn about the Origins of Málaga and its Past

Málaga, a paradise for humans since prehistory for more than half a million years.

The Province of Málaga has kept an extraordinary complex of prehistoric caves and megalithic necropoli which can be visited today. First Homo erectus were followed by Neanderthals and then Homo sapiens sapiens since 40,000 years ago, which shows how appealing this land has always been for humans.

You can learn about our history on location or through big archaeological museums, which bring together the information about the history of different groups which inhabited this province. We encourage you to visit the towns and villages with these unique sites and discover its recent history, its cultural heritage, fabulous nature, and wonderful food, all at the same time.

In order to start this voyage through the province properly, we recommend using our brochure about the Route to Discover the History of Málaga. The route goes to:
- Sites which can be visited;
- Landscapes related to the prehistory of Málaga;
- Prehistory in museums in the province.

Sites that can be visited

The Province of Málaga has kept an extraordinary complex of prehistoric caves and megalithic necropoli which can be visited. During this voyage that goes from the Palaeolithic period to the Metal Age, visitors can admire cave art, learn about archaeology, first architecture, anthropology and death rituals and burials by seeing unique kind of sites with cultural heritage of international importance. Deep caves of Pileta, in Ardales, Victoria and Nerja are full of prehistoric paintings, while Araña Caves have Neanderthal archaeological sites are also exceptional places with traces of last Neanderthals and first Homo sapiens sapiens. Climate change transformed the way of living these groups used to have, and the first settlements were created, as well as impressive burial constructions made of large stones (megaliths). In Málaga, you can visit two large necropoli which are built between the Neolithic period and the Metal Age - the extraordinary complex of three tombs, dolmens, in Antequera: Menga, Viera and Romeral, which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a unique megalithic necropolis of Corominas in Estepona.

You can organize your visit and enjoy these important landmarks from Málaga’s Prehistory starting from these pages, through QR codes and links which will lead you to all these prehistoric sites that can be visited.

Many of them have a Visitor Centre and museums, where you can go on a cultural tour.

Prehistoric Landscapes

Málaga was a prehistoric paradise for humans for more than half a million years due to its terrain, microclimate, diverse ecosystems in the mountain and many small valleys. First Homo erectus were followed by Neanderthals and Homo sapiens sapiens since 40,000 years ago. All of them left their traces and ruins not only in large sites but also in the rest of the land, like in the prehistoric landscape in Málaga.

You can walk along these places and get to know that they are linked to the first hunters from the Palaeolithic Period or the first farmers from the Neolithic Period, who settled in what is today the Province of Málaga. These lines will inform you about each of the routes, so you could admire prehistoric landscape in a responsible way.

Recommended prehistoric landscapes in Málaga are:  Gato Cave (Benaoján); prehistoric huts in Acinipo and the Giant Dolmen in Ronda; Viento [Wind] Pass (Ronda);  Jorox Precipice (Alozaina); Necropolis of Hacho (Pizarra); Necropolis in Las Aguilillas (Campillos); Palomas [Doves] Cave and the Mill Precipice (Teba); Toro [Bull] Cave in Torcal de Antequera (Antequera);  the Sierra de la Camorra and Porquero Cave (Mollina); Grajas Cave (Archidona); Stones of Cabrera [Peñas de Cabrera] (Casabermeja) and Boquete de Zafarraya Cave and mountain pass (Alcaucín).

As these are places in nature with little tourist arrangements, we recommend wearing comfortable clothes adapted to the season and mountain area during the tour. Check the weather forecast and do not set off if the weather is unstable. You mustn’t go alone and should use mountain or trekking boots. You should bring water with you. Each of these areas has rules to be followed in order to protect nature and they can affect mobility and accessibility of the trails. Please, follow these regulations. Thank you.

Prehistory in Museums

There is a large network of archaeological museums in Málaga which gather data about the history of different human groups which lived here. We chose six of these museum in different areas which are part of this territory settled by humans throughout history and display prehistoric objects: The Museum of Málaga in Málaga Bay, placed in the old ‘Palacio de Aduana’ [Customs Building] in the Old Town of the city; the Museum of Antequera in the meadow; the Museum of Vélez-Málaga in La Axarquía; Ronda Museum in the Serranía de Ronda; the Museum of Estepona on the western coast and the Museum of Nerja on the eastern coast.

The extraordinary archaeological collection which is displayed in these six museums will give you the pleasure of a peaceful visit during which you can grasp the great impact that old settlers at the westernmost point of the Mediterranean had had since the Palaeolithic Period.

Remember that the above museums are closed on Sunday afternoons and on Mondays, except when are bank holidays.