El Caminito del Rey
Attention! This is perhaps one of the most beautiful places of Andalusia and that’s why we definitely recommend walking the Caminito del Rey.
North of Álora is the famous el Chorro nature reserve, named after a small village in these mountains. The highest point you can climb on foot is the Sierra de Huma (1191 m). In the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, you will find the famous Caminito del Rey (so named because it was inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII in 1921). A wooden hiking trail against the rock walls built in the early 20th century and completely renovated in 2015. The path runs through the famous Garganta del Chorro mountain gorge. The Guadalhorce River winds through it and is surrounded by beautiful nature and beautiful landscapes. Top activity!
The Caminito was built between 1901 and 1905 and was used to transport people and equipment between two power stations that lay on both sides of the El Chorro gorge. However, it took a lot of years until the path was officially opened: in 1920 King Alfonso XIII walked the route and that gave it its current name.
The El Chorro gorge (La Garganta del Chorro) is a beautiful place, with gigantic cliffs of up to 400 meters high, along the full length (3 kilometres). ̈El Chorro ̈ can be translated as “the stream ̈, which the water did when it went along the narrow gorge. The height difference between the reservoirs at both ends of the gorges offered a unique ability to generate water energy; at that time an almost revolutionary concept.
The path was constructed with sand and cement and then reinforced with metal brackets. A simple iron railing was attached to the wall for support. However, the Caminito has fallen into decline over the years and was officially closed in the year 2000 after several people fell to death. The dangerous route attracted adrenaline junkies from all over the world, making many referred to the route as the world’s most dangerous path.
The renovation of the Camino had been a point of discussion for years, but in 2013 the government finally gave the starting shot. The local authorities of Málaga spent up to 5.5 million euros for this project. In the end, 2.2 million euros were spent on the construction of the new Caminito, the rest has been used for surrounding facilities such as roads, parking and bus stops. It was estimated that as many as 250,000 people would visit the Caminito in the first year, which would create 180 jobs and a turnover of 20 million euros. It is one of the biggest attractions of Andalusia.
The walk is linear. This means that the walk starts in Ardales (entrada norte) and ends at El Chorro-Álora (salida sur). There is a shuttlebus that goes between the entrance and the exit.
You can park you car in Ardales and after the exit in El Chorro you take the bus back to Ardales. Or you park your car in El Chorro and take first the bus to Ardales to start the walk.
2 footpaths starting from the main road through a tunnel lead to the entrance of the Caminito del Rey.
The first path through the biggest tunnel is just next to the restaurant El Kiosko and is about 2,5 km, the narrow tunnel is a bit further away but this way is shorter, about 1,5 km.
At the entrance you find the visitors centre where you give your tickets and get a safety helmet. For the guided tour you ‘ll meet the guide there and you ‘ll receive a receiver with plug-in ears so you can always hear your guide.
The caminito del Rey path is 2,9 km.
The total length, starting from the street in Ardales till the exit in El Chorro is 7,7 km
Tickets must be reserved in advance on the Caminito del Rey website: www.caminitodelrey.info
You need to choose the date and the time that you want to make the walk
Note: this walk is very successfull and it is advisable to book your admission tickets long time in advance. It might be sold out weeks in advance.
- If you were not be able to book entries on the website you can go early in the morning (8 – 8.30 a.m.) to entry of Caminito del Rey and hope you are can get one of the 50 daily tickets that are sold at the entrance for the first walks.
- Every day 100 combi tickets (train + shuttlebus + entrance of Caminto del Rey) are sold in the ticket machines at the train station (30 with guide, 70 without guide)
These ticket are available in the Álora train station (1 minute walk from El Cielo Azul) in the morning between 6.15 a.m. and 9.15 a.m.
The tickets include the train to El Chorro (12 minutes from here), however you are not obligated to use the train, you can also go to the Caminito del Rey by car.
The train leaves from Álora at 10.34 a.m. and returns from El Chorro at 15.50 p.m.
The guided tour starts at 12.45 p.m. or 13.00 p.m. Entrance without a guide starts from 11 a.m.
Note: The Caminito del Rey is closed on Mondays (except for some Mondays in July and August). No access to children under 8 years.