HomeAttractions in SpainInteresting places in SpainEl Caminito del Rey - A walking trail in Andalusia

El Caminito del Rey – A walking trail in Andalusia

What the Verdon Canyon is to French Provence, the Caminito del Rey is to Andalusia. To find it out for yourself, put on a helmet and join me on to the tour!

El Caminito del Rey is considered to be the most picturesque walkway in the Malaga area. Due to past incidents, it became infamous. Today its reputation has changed, and walking it is not a problem even for novice hikers. However, to fully appreciate the phenomenal nature of this place, it is worth getting to know its history and some interesting facts related to it.

INTERESTING FACT: At the bottom of the gorge where Caminito del Rey is located, the Guadalhorce River flows. On both sides of it, there are rock walls several hundred meters high.

History of Caminito del Rey

The name El Caminito del Rey (trans. King’s Path, King’s Road) is associated with the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII. The ruler was supposed to walk it during the opening of the Conde del Guadalhorce dam in 1921. The trail itself was built several years earlier, in 1905, and its purpose was to enable the transport of materials and people during the construction of the dam.

There are several legends about who allegedly built El Caminito del Rey. One of the versions tells us about sailors who were used to ropes and dangers, which meant that the construction of the trail was not a particular challenge for them. According to another theory, those were prisoners sentenced to death who were responsible for creating the Caminito del Rey route, because they were also used for other dangerous work of this type.

El Caminito del Rey - an extreme attraction near Malaga (Costa del Sol) in the area of ​​the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes nature reserve.
El Caminito del Rey – an extreme attraction near Malaga (Costa del Sol) in the area of ​​the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes nature reserve.

One of the most dangerous routes in the world

Although the name King’s Path might suggest that this trail is just a walking trail for amateurs, reality has shown something else … Caminito has long been considered one of the most dangerous trails not only in Europe, but also in the world!

Over the years, the route deteriorated and it became more and more difficult to walk it. Tourists without experience or equipment found it almost impossible to walk the King’s Path. Despite the imminent danger, many inexperienced and unprepared daredevils tried to walk this trail, which unfortunately often ended in a tragedy. After several people died trying to cross El Caminito del Rey in 1999-2000, local authorities decided to close the trail to tourists.

New Trail

It wasn’t until 2015 that the trail was reopened and it was immediately dubbed the hottest attraction of the year (Lonely Planet). The reconstruction and modernization cost the local authorities about 7 million euros, of which approximately 2.2 million euros was spent on the trail renovation. The rest was spent on access roads, parking lots, etc. Thanks to the renewal of the trail and the application a number of security measures, the King’s Path was reopened. It quickly became one of the greatest attractions in the region and attracts more and more tourists and hikers.

The total length of the new Caminito del Rey is 7.7 km. We can walk the route starting from the south (from El Chorro / Alora) or from the north (from Ardales).

Entering the Caminito del Rey from the north

If we choose the latter option, we will get here by car on the MA-444 road. The El Mirador Restaurant and the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes Nature Reserve are nearby. Behind the restaurant you will notice a small tunnel that leads towards the river and the hydroelectric plant. Soon we will notice that the path is becoming narrower and the walls of the gorge are becoming almost vertical.

Probably the most spectacular place on the entire Caminito del Rey route is the Balconcillo de los Gaitanes bridge that connects both sides of the gorge. Suspended at a height of about 100 meters, it guarantees beautiful views and a good rush of adrenaline!

INTERESTING FACT: In the vicinity of Caminito del Rey, the restaurant El Kiosko awaits hungry adventurers, where you can taste local specialties.

El Caminito del Rey on-line

And if you’re not on your way to get on the trail or you just want to take a closer look at it, Google is of course here to help! Thanks to the interactive map and Street View, we can safely walk along the trail without risking our lives. While the effect will of course not be the same as during the live tour, some of the shots can really give you a little thrill…

First steps

What should you know before hitting the trail? First of all: to get to Caminito, it is best to come by car from Malaga to the neighboring town of El Chorro (approx. 80 km). You can also book a tour with transportation. Choosin this option means that you do not have to worry about travel and any other organizational issues.

Secondly, you must wear a helmet at all times when you are on the route. People with fear of heights should not hit the trail. It is also worth taking something to eat and drink, and having sunscreen and sunglasses with you. Children under the age of 8 are not allowed to get on the King’s Path. It is also worth remembering that you will not find any bathrooms or toilets along the trail.

Thirdly, tourists are allowed on the trail every half hour. The number of people allowed to enter the trail is limited. A maximum of 400 people can stay here at the same time. Admission to the trail is paid. It is worth buying tickets online as there is no guarantee that they will be available on the spot.

INTERESTING FACT: After a successful trip, it is worth going to the El Kiosko restaurant, where you will taste the specialties of the local cuisine.

How to get to Caminito del Rey?

To get to Caminito del Rey from the Costa del Sol, you can book an organized trip. This way, you will provide yourself with transport, guide assistance and other amenities included in the tour. You can use this option by booking a trip online. It will also allow you to avoid queuing at the entrance or possible communication problems. Below you will find links to excursions from the most popular cities in the area:

How to get to Caminito del Rey by train?

If you prefer to go to Caminito del Rey on your own, you can take the train to El Chorro Train Station. Travelling from Malaga Maria Zambrano station to El Chorro – Caminito del Rey station takes less than an hour and the journey costs around € 6. You can book your train ticket online at www.omio.com

Practical information

  • It’s best to buy tickets for the Caminito del Rey in advance. You will then avoid standing in a long queue and avoid the risk that all tickets have been sold out.
  • Opening hours: from April to the end of October: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10: 00 am- 5:00 am; November to end of March: Tuesday to Sunday from 10: 00 am – 2 pm
  • Buy Tickets on GetYourGuide

Caminito del Rey on a map

Discover Andalusia

Each region of Spain is divided into provinces. Their names often coincide with the names of their main cities. Catalonia is divided into eight provinces, each of which has different tourist attractions and interesting places to offer:
ProvinceTourist attractions and interesting places
AlmeríaTabernas Desert (Desierto de Tabernas), Oasys MiniHollywood Amusement Park, Fort Bravo Amusement Park, Castillo de Tabernas (castle), Cabo de Gata Natural Park, Sierra Alhamilla Mountains. Popular cities: Almería
CádizDoñana National Park. Popular cities: Cádiz, Setenil de las bodegas, Jerez de la Frontera, Arcos de la Frontera
CórdobaLa Mezquita. Popular cities: Córdoba
GranadaAlhambra. Popular cities and regions: Granada, Sierra Nevada
HuelvaDoñana National Park. Popular cities: Huelva
JaénPopular cities: Jaén
MálagaGibralfaro Castle, La Alcazaba, Cathedral in Malaga, Roman Theatre, Picasso Museum, Caminito del Rey, Palacio Episcopal, Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga, Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, Serranía de Ronda Mountains, La Ciudad Romana de Acinipo (ancient ruins), Cueva de la Pileta Cave, Bioparc Fuengirola, Orchidarium Estepona, Parque Acuático Mijas, Reservatauro Ronda Natural Park, Aquarium Sea Life Benalmádena, Selwo Aventura, Castillo de San Luís (castle ruins), Plaza de Toros in Ronda, Museo Lara in Ronda, Alameda del Tajo, Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor in Ronda (church), Iglesia del Espíritu Santo in Ronda (church), Puente Nuevo (New Bridge)  i Puente Viejo (Old Bridge), El Tajo abyss in Ronda, Mondragón Palace, Water Mine and Casa del Rey Moro, La Ermita de la Virgen de la Cabeza, Bandits' Museum (Museo del Bandolero), Beaches in Benalmadena. Popular cities: Málaga, Ronda, Marbella, Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Benalmádena, Estepona, Cuevas del Becerro, Jimera de Líbar, Mijas, Villanueva de Tapia, La Línea de la Concepción, Bahía Dorada Coast, San Pedro de Alcántara
SevilleCathedral in Seville (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede de Sevilla), Alcazar de Sevilla, India Archive, Gold Tower, Barrio de Santa Cruz district, Casa de Pilatos, Museum of Fine Arts, Maria Luisa Park (Parque de María Luisa), Plac Hiszpański (Plaza de España), Metropol Parasol, Itálica (archeological site), Doñana National Park. Amusement Parks: Isla Mágica, Aquopolis Sevilla, Aventura Sevilla. Popular cities: Seville

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Jessica Alvaro
Jessica Alvaro
Travel has always been close to me. For me, it's the air I can't breathe without. The sun, without which I forget what a smile is.