El Caminito del Rey: (former) perilous hiking trail

The El Caminito del Rey is located in southern Spain. This attraction is also called ‘the King’s Path’. The path had become dilapidated over the years. This made it one of the most dangerous routes in the world. Because many adventurers were killed, the path has been completely restored. As a result, the path is now safe for tourists to walk on. How can I reach this world famous hiking trail? What should I pay attention to and what facilities are there in the area?

El Caminito del Rey

  • What is the story behind the El Caminito del Rey (King’s Path)?
  • Where is El Caminito del Ray located?
  • The walking path seemed unable to withstand the test of time
  • The path has been restored especially for tourists
  • How long is this hiking trail and how long does the average hike take?
  • Other important information

 

What is the story behind the El Caminito del Rey (King’s Path)?

There is a gorge near the Spanish town of El Chorro. Around the year 1900, a dam was placed here to generate electricity. This is some 18 years after the world’s first dam was built to provide electricity. The then king named Alfonso XIII had decided to build a path through the gorge. This made it possible to go from the village of El Chorro to the nearby village of Ardales. The path was designed by the architect named ‘Luis Machuc’.

The path had multiple purposes

The path was ready for use in 1921 and has since been called ‘the King’s Path’. The structure was used by both power station employees and locals. The path was also suitable for the transport of goods by pack mules.

Where is El Caminito del Ray located?

The King’s Path can be walked in the south of Spain. Because the area is close to the Mediterranean Sea, there is a temperate climate. The area is located in the province of Málaga and has the capital of the same name, Málaga. Málaga is one of the eight provinces of Andalusia. El Chorro is the nearest village. The access road to the trail is called El Chorro-Caminito del Rey.
Source: Granonaka, Pixabay The area
The path is located in a beautiful area with reservoirs and forests. Part of this is made of glass so that the visitor has the opportunity to look down more than 100 meters.
How do I get there?
It is important for train passengers to choose the ‘Álora’ side. The King’s Path can be reached by car via both Álora and Ardales. For motorists, the Ardales route is the shortest. At the end of the path one has the option to return to the starting point by bus (depending on which side you started the walk from).

The walking path seemed unable to withstand the test of time

Erosion caused the path to deteriorate. No (or little) maintenance ensured that nature gained the upper hand. Despite the fact that the path became increasingly risky to walk, the path remained very popular among adventurers. Even the beginning of the path was demolished and they would be fined 6,000 euros. However, this did not help. As a result, it was decided in 2006 to completely restore the path.

The path has been restored especially for tourists

The attraction has been completely renovated to ensure the safety of tourists. A budget of 7 million euros had been made available for this. Helicopters and alpinists were used for this purpose. These were experienced mountain climbers. The walking trail was reopened on March 2015. However, due to the fame of the location, the tickets were already sold out for 3 months. This means that no fewer than tens of thousands of tickets have been sold before the reopening. The restoration cost a total of more than 4 million euros. In addition, the access road to the path has been restored so that tourists can easily reach the path.

How long is this hiking trail and how long does the average hike take?

The path consists of two different routes. You will encounter oncoming traffic during the walk who have taken the route from the other side. The path has a total length of 3 kilometers.

Other important information

The walking path is accessible to people aged 8 and over. An ID is required to enter the attraction. Dogs are not allowed. There are no toilet facilities on the walking path. It is also important to bring your own food and drinks. However, there are restaurants in the area. There are no waste bins on the path. It is important to take this into account.

The King’s Path, El Caminito del Rey

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