Maple from Monpellier, Antequera (Unique Site)
Recommended month to visit it: November.
Immersed in an oneiric and labyrinthine landscape where rocky shapes stir our imagination, we find a magic tree that offers us its sheltering shade. We are at El Torcal of Antequera, Natural Site since 1989. El Torcal is one of the most impressive examples of a karstic landscape in Europe. It is named after the sinkholes or cenotes [torca in Spanish], peculiar circular depressions surrounded by a rocky ring.
It is here, in this enigmatic place that the Maple of Montpellier, with its more than nine meters of hight, kindly casts 107 meters of relief against the sun. This species (Acer monspessulanum) is very vulnerable and is included in the “Red Book of Threatened Wild Flora” of Andalusia. Apart from its beauty, the importance of this specimen resides in its ecological value and its rarity.
- Parking: 362473 / 4090776
- Arce de Montpellier: 362091 / 4090685
El Tornillo, el Sombrerillo, la Esfinge, el Camello, la Jarra, la Aguja, los Binoculares, el Macetón, el Tótem, etc. (the Screw, Cap, Sphinx, Camel, Jar, Needle, Binoculars, Big Flowerpot, Totem) are some of the figures you can observe in the rocky forest of the nature reserve Torcal de Antequera, not a memory game. The environment is so extraordinary that it seems to be taken from another planet, and it was proclaimed Natural Beauty Spot in 1989.
The Maple form Monpellier appears among a natural huddle that lives on 20 square kilometres. There are more than 664 species of plants, such as: ferns, holm oaks, gall oaks, maples, honeysuckles, blackberries, wild roses, orchids, etc., and 116 animal classes like mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and among them foxes, wild goats, rabbits, weasels, griffon vultures, eagle owls, little owls, lizards, small lizards, snakes and adders.
The Torcal Mountains soak up water. When it is raining, the ground absorbs the water that feeds animals and plant life and gets inside it up to thirteen natural spouts.
Among many rocky figures that rise proudly from the Torcal, there is the Sphinx in the higher part of the mountain that looks like a woman’s profile.
Furthermore, on the right side of a so-called Green Route, there is maybe the only shelter from the burning sun in Torcal de Antequera. This is Maple from Montpellier, which is nine metres high and a metre and a half wide, and its top creates a shadow for more than grateful hikers, which is a hundred metres square.
Geologists, specialists, visitors and the maple tree enthusiasts recognize its genuine and unique features and admire its dimensions and its exceptional trunk.