A Guide to El Caminito Del Rey

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Day trip to the Caminito del Rey

The Caminito Del Rey, known as the “Little King’s Path” finds its way onto the bucket list of many adventurous hikers. It’s an absolute must visit for thrill seekers and those that appreciate incredible natural beauty. 

Established in 1905, the path was built for workers at the hydroelectric plants of Gaitanejo Falls and Chorro Falls a means to cross between them and to transport materials.The walkway, studded into the gorge, stands over 100 metres above the Guadalhorce river below and is just 1 metre (3 ft) wide, winding around sheer cliffs and jagged rocks.

Up until 2015, the route was dangerous with no railings and collapased sections, resulting in several deqhts. The path earned its nickname as “The world’s most dangerous path”.
Luckily today, the The Caminito Del Rey has been re-developed with a new walkway with wood paneling, and is maintained and managed by a private company.

Quick Facts & Information

Gorge: Desfiladero de Los Gaitanes Length: 7,7 km Time: 2 hours walking (3.5-4 hours loop including bus ride) Route: Linear Difficulty: Easy Tickets & Entrance fee: €10 unguided or €18 guided. The tickets must be booked in advance on the official website here. Hiking with dogs: It’s not allowed to hike with dogs on the Caminito del Rey. Getting to the entrance: You must arrive 30 minutes before your ticket time for a safety brief.

Where is Caminito Del Rey

Caminito del Rey is situated in the province of Málaga, which is a part of the Andalusia region in southern Spain. The exact location is within the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes Natural Park, which encompasses a rugged terrain characterized by deep gorges, cliffs, and a river.

Geographically, Caminito del Rey is located in the El Chorro area, which is about 60 kilometers (37 miles) northwest of the city of Málaga. The walkway is perched along the walls of the Gaitanes Gorge, which has been carved out by the Guadalhorce River over millions of years. The walkway itself runs between the towns of Ardales, Álora, and Antequera, offering spectacular views of the surrounding landscape

How to get To El Caminito Del Rey

The easiest way to get there is by car but it is easy to get there via the train and possible via a bus from Malaga but it is a lot of hassle.

Driving to Caminito del Rey

The easiest way to get to Caminito del Rey is by car since you can just park the car near El Kiosk restaurant and begin the hike from there. Use your GPS to get to El Kiosko in El Churro.

Train to Caminito del Rey

Renfe operates a train service to El Chorro from Malaga Maria Zambrano which takes approximately 40 minutes and can be booked here. From Granada or Seville you must change at Antequera-Santa Ana and take the train to El Chorro. From El Chorro you must take the bus or walk to the entrance/visitor centre to gain access. It is recommended to take the train 1:30hrs before your ticket time.

parking

Caminito del Rey has designated parking areas for visitors, making it relatively convenient for those arriving by car. There are parking lots available at both the northern and southern entrances of the trail. The southern entrance is located near the town of Álora, and the northern entrance is closer to the town of Ardales.

The fee is €2 for the day.  Parking spots can fill up quickly, especially during peak tourist seasons or weekends. It’s advisable to arrive early to secure a parking spot.

We recommend booking a parking spot in advance along with your Caminito del Rey tickets. 

parking shuttle bus

There is a shuttle bus that goes back from the end of the hike to the parking. The cost is €2.50, but note they only take coins so pack some change! You can find more information here. The bus fills up fast and it comes every 30 minutes.

El Caminito Del Rey Trails

Route 1. Trail of Gaitanejo

(2,7 Km. Route, 50 Minutes)

Park near El Kiosko restaurant and make your way through the large tunnel on the right hand side of the restaurant. When you leave the tunnel follow the narrow forested path enveloped by pine trees until you reach a sign for Camanito Del Rey.

Route 2. Pedestrian tunnel and Gaitanejo´s track

(1.5km. route)

This route is the shorter route which will reduce the trek time by approximately 20-25 minutes. From El Kiosko restaurant, walk up the road to the right of the restaurant for 200 metres. From the restaurant El Mirador the tunnel is just in front of you.

Walk through the narrow pedestrian tunnel until you reach the Gaitanejo track which goes up until the viewpoint of Los Embalses and descends until the El Gaitanejo dam.

What to bring

Depending on the time of year that you go you will need sun cream, a jumper, water and some snacks. In the warm months you can stop for a swim at the lake after your hike where you could also enjoy a packed lunch or you could stop at El Kiosko restaurant at the end of the trail. 

You are not allowed to bring dogs, hiking poles or large backpacks on this trail.

When to visit

For nature lovers, the best time to visit is March and April to appreciate the flora. You can hike the trail all year round, but July-mid September can be terribly hot in the parts out of the shade. If you are visiting between May – September pack lots of water, sunscreen and snacks to keep your energy up! 

Is it scary?

El Caminito del Rey is no longer “The Most Dangerous Walk in the World,” but if you have a fear of heights then this adventure probably isn’t for you. 

Nature & Bird Spotting

You’ll see and smell Aleppo pines, Juniper trees, Eucalyptus trees, willow trees and ash trees. The birds you can spot include the peregrine falcon, the Bonelli’s eagle or the vulture (you’ll see many circling overhead as the park ranger feeds them), the Kingfisher and the Cormoran. Later in the day you may see Iberian ibex, a fox or wild boar.

Where to stay

If you fancy spending the night nearby El Churro is the end point of the trail and the perfect destination with a  If you stay in El Churro you will only be a bus ride to El Kiosko. 
We recommend Complejo Turístico La Garganta, they have stunning views of the Guadalhorce reservoir, free parking and operate an airport shuttle service if you aren’t driving.

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