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Caminito del Rey – How to Tackle Spain’s Scariest Aerial Path

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Pinned alongside the steep partitions of a slender canyon in El Chorro, within the province of Málaga, lies one in all Spain most spectacular mountaineering trails: El Caminito del Rey. The 7.7 kilometer lengthy stretch of platforms, slender ledges, and excessive bridges, meanders by way of the stunningly lovely Gorge of the Gaitanes. 

Caminito del Rey mountaineering path

El Caminito del Rey (the King’s Little Path) was as soon as thought of Spain’s most harmful mountaineering path. The trail was even closed for over a decade. However right this moment Caminito del Rey is open and completely protected for anybody prepared to stroll alongside its 100-meter tall vertical cliffside.

View into the stunningly beautiful Gorge of the Gaitanes
View into the stunningly lovely Gorge of the Gaitanes

If mountaineering the scary Caminito del Rey is in your plans, right here is all it’s essential find out about it.

A Temporary Historical past of El Caminito del Rey

In 1901, Chorro Hydroelectric Society determined to construct two hydraulic stations, a dam and an aqueduct throughout the gorge. They wanted a passage to offer entry for workmen and supplies, so that they began the development of a pathway.

Board depicting the history of El Caminito del Rey hydroelectric stations

As a result of the work was tough and harmful, the corporate introduced convicts and sailors from Malaga to do the job. Staff needed to grasp from ropes fastened on the high of the gorge with a view to construct the street, however amazingly sufficient, solely two males died through the development.

The footpath was constructed between 1901 and 1905. Nevertheless, the dam wasn’t completed till a lot later, in 1921. The unique walkway was solely 3 ft huge and had solely skinny metal security wire for cover.

How Did El Caminito del Rey Get its Identify?

The story says that on the opening ceremony, King Alfonso XIII of Spain sat on in his throne above the dam, to log out the works. After the signing ceremony, the King was additionally invited to stroll alongside the trail. It’s unclear how far the king actually walked, contemplating the issue of the passage. Nevertheless, ever since that day the path has been generally known as El Caminito del Rey.

View of the river from the new path
View of the river from the brand new path

The Outdated Caminito del Rey Path

After its use turned redundant, the previous Caminito del Rey pathway was deserted and fell into disrepair. In time, all that was left of it was only a collection of slender concrete and picket planks clinging to the 300-foot practically vertical gorge. The path was formally closed in 1992, however adventurers had been nonetheless heading for it. 

No one is aware of fairly how many individuals died attempting to stroll the previous Caminito del Rei. However the final 4 deadly accidents that came about in 1999 and 2000, decided the native authorities to lastly shut each entrances. 

In 2015, after an intensive reconstruction that costed over 9 million {dollars}, El Caminito del Rey path reopened for the general public. However you’ll be able to nonetheless see thorn fragments of the unique Caminito clinging to the gorge, just under the newly forged path.

View of the old road below the new one
Fragments of the unique Caminito clinging to the gorge

So in case you are nonetheless doubtful whether or not you need to try this hike, relaxation assured that no accidents have been reported on this path since its reopening.

Mountaineering the New Caminito Del Rey Path

The official place to begin of the Camino de Rey begins at Silicon del Rey (the Chair Alfonso XIII) the place the King sat through the signing ceremony. A shorter and extra fashionable different entry street is the one simply south of the small tunnel on the MA-444, close to El Mirador de Ardales restaurant.

Hiking towards the start of the Caminito del Rey trail
Mountaineering in the direction of the beginning of the Caminito del Rey path

When you attain the management cabin, the employees will present you some security gear, together with a helmet. They may even verify in case your footwear are suited to the hike.

people wearing helmets
Prepared for the hike

The overall size of the path is about 8 km. The primary 1.5 km goes by way of a tunnel that results in the principle gate. The following 4.5 km undergo the canyon itself.

tunnel leading to the main entrance of the trail
Tunnel resulting in the principle entrance

The path is primarily straight, taking place from north to south alongside the mountains and throughout some bridges. Lots of the tough locations had been modified through the restoration, so navigation alongside the rocks is way simpler now.

The trek will take you thru the Gaitanejo gorge, the Tajo de las Palomas canyon, then over the Puente del Rey suspension bridge, which is probably the scariest a part of the hike. In the event you can overcome the concern that takes maintain of your physique once you look down, you will notice a spectacular panorama throughout you.

Puente del Rey suspension bridge
Puente del Rey suspension bridge

The hike itself shouldn’t be tough, however it might be just a little spine-chilling. Particularly if in case you have vertigo or acrophobia (concern of heights)! To go from one aspect to the opposite, you’ll must cross a excessive suspension bridge. Though it’s very protected, it’s nonetheless very intimidating to see that dreadful abyss below your ft!

Crossing the Puente del Rey suspension bridge
Crossing the Puente del Rey suspension bridge

After the bridge, you’ll descend just a few hundred ft on a really slender and virtually spiraling stairway that results in the exit. From this level, you’ll have one other 2 km to stroll earlier than you get to the bus that may take you to the north parking zone.

Logistics for Visiting El Caminito del Rey

We did this hike as a part of a press journey to Malaga, however there are guided excursions supplied on the website. You may also do that hike by yourself. Nevertheless, despite the fact that it’s cheaper, when you do the tour by yourself you’ll miss many issues. On the guided tour they offer you quite a lot of details about the historical past of Caminito del Ray.

Ideally, you need to rent a information that may choose you up at your resort and take you again afterwards. It’s much more costly, however it’s price each penny.

Admission price is 10€/individual, or 18€/individual when you rent a guided tour on the gate. The fee for parking is 2€/area. 

Descending the Caminito del Rey trail
Descending the Caminito del Rey path

Visiting on Your Personal

If you wish to take your automotive, there are some issues it’s essential know. To begin with, there are two parking heaps. You may park within the north parking zone, which is nearer to the doorway. Nevertheless, that is often full by 10 -11 am. Otherwise you park within the south parking zone and take the bus again to the north parking zone.

The last stretch of the Caminito trail
The final stretch of the street

From the north parking zone it’s a 1.5 km tunnel that results in the doorway. It’s a protracted option to get right here and also you’ll waste quite a lot of time to search out parking. To get to the doorway and the reserving workplace you’ll must stroll for 1.5 km. The hike goes in a single course solely. Which means you’ll must take a shuttle bus if you wish to return to the place you began.

One factor to bear in mind is that they may refuse you entry on the gate when you don’t have close-toe footwear. Additionally, they may deny you entry if in case you have youngsters below 8 years previous in your get together. There may be a lot wind on this path, that they don’t enable youngsters below 8 on it.

El Caminito del Rey is a one-way path, which signifies that after you end the tour, you’ll have return to the north parking zone. There’s a shuttle bus that runs each half-hour. The fee is 1.55€/individual, however you’ll must have precise change. Drivers don’t at all times have change, and so they don’t settle for playing cards.

Food/refreshment stands at the end of Caminito del Rey trail
Meals/refreshment stands on the finish of Caminito del Rey path

Visiting with a Guided Tour

In the event you select to guide a guided tour, you gained’t remorse it. It’s going to take away all the trouble out of your journey. The guided excursions often choose you up at your resort and drop you off after the tour. The value of the ticket included the information and the shuttle bus.

Viewing platform along the Caminito road
Viewing platform alongside the Caminito del Rey

Ideas for Mountaineering the Caminito del Rey Path

• Even in case you are afraid of heights, don’t let that detract you from coming right here. Caminito del Rey is a beautiful place to see and the expertise may be very rewarding.

• The previous Málaga-Cordoba railway line runs by way of the gorge in a set of tunnels and bridges. In case you are fortunate sufficient, you may even see a prepare passing simply throughout from the walkway, so maintain your eyes open!

Old Málaga-Cordoba railway seen across the trail
Outdated Málaga-Cordoba railway

• Shopping for your tickets prematurely helps quite a bit. They solely promote 50 tickets a day for individuals who purchase the on the gate. So both come very early, or purchase your tickets on-line if you wish to get in.

• Carry heaps and many water! Greater than you suppose you’ll want. This space may be very dry and it doesn’t matter what time of the 12 months you come, you’ll be thirsty.

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