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El Caminito del Rey Málaga - The King's Path

El Caminito del Rey is a walkway pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge called El Chorro, in the Spanish province of Malaga. Known as the King's path, this death-defying hiking trail was once among the most dangerous in the world.


The killer path no longer claims lives: the route was reopened in 2015 with a new, safe walkway tracking the 100-meter tall cliffside. But it doesn't make Caminito del Rey any less thrilling.

The amazing gorge is truly worth pushing your boundaries (and your vertigo) for. In this post, we'll round up everything you need to know about Caminito del Rey before you go.


Blick auf Málaga, Andalusien, Spanien mit den Sehenswürdigkeiten Plaza de Toros und Hafen

The History of Caminito del Rey


Rafael Benjumea y Burín, an engineer, had the vision to use the water in the Guadalhorce river to generate energy. He had two dams and hydroelectric power plants built solely for this purpose. But, getting building materials to impassable places in the gorge of Desfiladero de los Gaitanes proved to be anything but easy.


The Gargante del Chorro gorge is 200 meters deep, extremely steep, and narrow in places. A walkway was built to provide workers at the hydroelectric power plants with a means to cross between them, to allow them to transport materials, and facilitate maintenance of the channel.


King Alfonso XIII walked the path in 1921 to inaugurate the Conde de Guadalhorce dam; thus, the King's Path, el Caminito del Rey came to be. If the King can hike, you can too.


Key Details about El Caminito del Rey


The original path was made of concrete and steel piers resting on supports set 45 degrees off the rock. Sounds a little scary, right? 1 metre wide and rising over 100 metres above the river below, the Caminito del Rey was considered the most dangerous path in the world for a long time.


It deteriorated over time, with a number of adventurers losing their lives to the trail, but continued to gain popularity among adrenaline junkies seeking a thrill. Between the years 2009 and 2013 alone - despite the closure of the path - four people fell into the abyss of the gorges. Now over 100 years old, nobody knows exactly how many people actually lost their lives on the Caminito del Rey.


In 2011 the government of Andalucia and local Malaga decided to share the cost of the restoration. Much like how it was originally built, the restoration saw engineers hanging from ropes installing parts of the footpath in steel and wood. Luckily, modern advancements meant helicopters were used to bring supplies to the building sites instead of donkeys.


The construction work lasted three years before the Caminito del Rey was declared safe. On March 29, 2015, the 7.7-kilometre path opened its doors again to the public. You'll be glad to know, there have been no accidents on the Caminito Del Rey since.


Caminito del Rey - How to Get There & Tickets


There is an entrance fee for the Caminito del Rey. You have two options:

  • Guided tour (from 18€) - this includes entrance, a mandatory helmet and a guided tour in either Spanish or English.

  • Experience on your own (from 10€) - this includes entrance and a mandatory helmet.

You need to book tickets to El Caminito del Rey in advance and bring a printed copy of the ticket to the control station before you can access the hike. As you might expect, this is a popular attraction with tourists and locals alike, especially during the slightly cooler months of May, June, September and October.


You can purchase the tickets via the official website of the Caminito del Rey, in case you speak Spanish, or via GetYourGuide. The latter also offer tours from Malaga and other major Andalusian cities that often include the Caminito Del Rey entry fee. Alternatively, some accommodations can reserve tickets for you on request.


Accommodations Near Caminito del Rey


What to Expect on Your Caminito del Rey Tour


When you visit Caminito del Rey, expect thrills, dizzying heights and a bridge unlike any other you'll find in Spain (and the world). If you choose the southern entrance, you will arrive at a large inviting lake. Take a dip in the beautiful water, and see the beautiful Casa de Conde de Guadalhorce - unfortunately, it can't be visited. However, parking is available nearby and you'll also find a popular restaurant called Kiosko. Follow the signs and go through a tunnel. Now comes a small trail that will take you through a forest until you arrive at the entrance of the Caminito del Rey.


Here you will be asked to show your ticket and be given your mandatory helmet. Safety first, after all. One of the attractions is the landscape that first leads you through another forest until you discover the gorge. The Caminito del Rey is safe, but you should still have a head for heights. Spectacular views are offered to you from a height of 100 meters and the area has even more surprises in store.


Not for the faint-hearted, you'll cross the narrow walkway that clings to the rock face high above the river, to the point where the gorge empties into the El Churro dam. Here, you'll find a glass floor, so there is no way of escaping the water below. Not thrilling enough? At the end of the path, there’s a suspension bridge that leads you across the gorge at a death-defying height.


Walking el Caminito del Rey will take 2 to 3 hours, and it'll be worth every minute. As soon as you have left the Caminito del Rey in the south, there is the possibility to return to your starting point. Take the shuttle bus - these depart every few minutes.


FAQ


How long is the walk in Caminito del Rey?

You will walk the route on foot and it takes about 2 to 3 hours. You do have the option of joining a guided tour or exploring what was once the most dangerous path in the world on your own.


How much does it cost to walk the Caminito del Rey?

It costs €18 (or more depending on your starting point) to take a guided trip of Caminito del Rey, and includes entrance, a mandatory helmet and a tour in either Spanish or English. You can walk the gorge yourself for as little as €10.


How do I get to the Caminito del Rey?

You can either drive your own car (passing the city of Ardales) or book a tour, which often includes services such as bus transfer and admission. These are increasingly offered from Málaga and the Costa del Sol. Unfortunately, el Caminito del Rey is difficult to reach by public transport.

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