A little bit about El Caminito del Rey
The Caminito was built between 1901 and 1905 and was used to transport materials and people between the two power plants that were built on either side of the El Chorro Gorge. The official opening did not take place until the early 1920s.
King Alfonso XIII of Spain attended the opening ceremony and walked the trail, giving it his name: the King's Path. Since then the Camino has become one of the wonders of Spain.
El Chorro Gorge: La Garganta del Chorro
La Garganta del Chorro, is an amazing site with huge stone walls 3 km long and 400 metres high. El Chorro can be translated as "the spurt"; it is the most suitable word to describe the way the water flows through the narrow gorges and ravines.
The difference in elevation between the two main man-made reservoirs at different ends of the gorge provides a unique opportunity for hydroelectric development. It was almost a revolutionary concept at the time.
An ingenious construction
But nevertheless, the most attractive part of this construction is precisely the path itself, El Caminito del Rey, which runs along the entire gorge. The original structure is said to have been erected by sailors who had to climb and work suspended over the hollow. Some sources (unconfirmed) state that prisoners sentenced to death also took part in the construction work and carried out the most dangerous tasks.
The trail was built using sand and cement, and is held in place by metal brackets. Railroad rails were also used without any unnecessary frills. Over the years the Caminito slowly but surely fell into decline, and was officially closed in 2000.
Such danger and risk became the stuff of many legends and attracted many climbers and adrenaline-seekers from all over the world. Many people refer to the Caminito as the most dangerous trail in the world, attracting all these adventurers.
The government has been raising the issue of renovating the Camino for years
And at the end of 2013, it finally carried out its designs. The local authority and Malaga shared the cost of the reform - €5.5 million. The €2.2€ was used to build the new Caminito and the rest was used for additional services in the area, roads, parking and everything needed for buses.
It is estimated that around 250,000 people will visit the Caminito in the first year of its opening alone, adding 20€ million to the treasury and creating 180 jobs. It has become the number 1 attraction in all of Andalucía, if not all of Spain.
The route: from Ardales to Alora
The total length of the new trail is 7.7 km. You move from Ardales in the north to Álora in the south. This route goes down the river and takes about 4 hours. It starts close to the MA-444 access road, which goes past the Ardales lakes. From here there are several ways to get to the beginning of Caminito. You need to get to the other side of the mountain first.
Not far from the Kiosk restaurant, right by the Conde de Guadalhorce reservoir, there is a small tunnel. It is short but you need to continue your way, about 2,5 km more. It is a very scenic road, plus it is signposted. Follow the river and you will reach the control post/entrance.
There is also a longer tunnel, which is next to the Mirador restaurant. It's a little longer than the one at Kiosk, but overall you'll save some time. At the time of writing, there are no lights in the tunnels. So if you're not confident in your night-vision abilities, take a torch or lantern with you.
If you're not a big fan of tunnels
If you're not a big fan of tunnels, you can walk through the mountains down to the river. Follow the path behind the Mirador restaurant. You won't miss it.
The control point is next to the old hydropower plant. Once you pass it, the path starts to narrow and becomes like climbing a mountain, which it is, as you approach the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes. And eventually you end up in the Valle del Hoyo valley.
The old Caminito
The old Caminito has been left unchanged as far as possible and the new trail has been built directly over the old one. It is predominantly made of wooden panels with supports drilled into the rock.
The one-metre wide trail offers breathtaking views through a glass floor at several points along the way. And your adventure ends with the beautiful bridge overhanging the Balconcillo de los Gaitanes. The view is not for the faint of heart as the bridge hangs 100m high over the Gaintanes ravine.
How do I get to El Caminito del Rey from Málaga by car?
Rent a car via Rentline Car. You can find the current prices on the car search page, you can make a reservation via the special reservation form or by phone: +34 603 40 41 41.
⭐ THE RENTAL PRICE INCLUDES:
📌 Equal fuel policy
📌 Third party insurance with car passenger insurance
📌 FREE roadside assistance
📌 Free cancellation and change of reservations
📌 Unlimited mileage
The car will be returned with the same fuel level as rented. If it is not returned with the same fuel level, a charge corresponding to the missing fuel will be made. We do not charge for reporting services. Personal service. We are not intermediaries!