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El Caminito del Rey (Map, recommendations and how to get there)

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El Caminito del Rey, in Malaga, has become one of the most visited places in Spain and it is not pure chance. The adaptation of this place to tourism together with the landscape beauty They make this gorge a unique place. In addition, its walkways through theGorge of the Gaitanes They have become a real attraction for both the vertiginous views and their almost unreal location whose origin dates back to the early twentieth century.

El Caminito del Rey

A little history

At the beginning of the 20th century the Chorro Hydroelectric Society he needed to facilitate access to his workers among the Gaitanejo jump and that of Jet, both separated by a vertiginous canyon. To do this, he built a series of walkways, currently out of use due to lack of security measures, and inaugurated by the King Alfonso XIII, that is why it is called the Caminito del Rey, since the king then walked through this unique place.


Caminito del Rey

At the beginning of the 21st century He became famous for his danger by lacking railings, something that made the current project come to light and give access to all types of public and with guaranteed security.

Currently the walkways have been replaced by new and safer wooden ones of more than 3km and 105m high, attached to the wall of the impressive canyon of the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes.

Before leaving

Although we explain it at the end of this article, the first and most important thing is buy tickets in advance to the Caminito del Rey. You cannot arrive and buy them at the box office.


Caminito del Rey

Once you know the visit schedule you have to arrive in time, at least an hour or more in advance, since it is usually up to the flag and parking is not an easy task. In addition, from the parking lot to the admission entrance they are between 30 or 45 minutes walking, depending on the path what do you drink

In the end we tell you tricks, tips and how to get tickets for the Caminito del Rey

Access to Caminito del Rey

You have to know that from the north there is two pedestrian tunnels that give access to the paths of the main entrance. The longest 2.7km trail is next to the Kiosko Restaurant, and the shortest (the best option), about 200m away from it. Do not mess, access for the shortest if you go with just the right time. They are very close to each other.


Caminito del Rey
Caminito del Rey

Once through the tunnels, walk along a wide path, with the river always on the left, until you reach the entrance and the booths that give access to the Gaitanes Gorge, where the entrance is delivered and provided with a protective helmet To each visitor.

The visits, even if they are free, give access to some 50 persons in each schedule. Do not suffer, there is always room to take pictures 🙂

Walking the Caminito del Rey

The route of the Caminito del Rey it is not a circular route, is linear, and the only way back is to take a bus It leaves every few minutes from the trail exit. Knowing this and once experienced the route of about 7km (1.7km + 5km), this can be divided into several sections, sections that we tell you below and that could be the following:
  • Section 1 (Entrance) - North Access Trail
  • Section 2 - Gateway area
  • Section 3 - Path along the river
  • Section 4 - Gateway area to the Balconcillo de los Gaitanes
  • Section 5 (Departure) - Trail to El Chorro and return by bus

Section 1 (Entrance) - North Access Trail

As soon as we leave the car in the northern access we cross a tunnel, the shortest, and a fairly simple path that is surrounded by trees. After 1.7km, counting the tunnel, you reach the access control where the turn has to wait until the group in which you are assigned leaves. Eye there are many people, so you have no loss.


Access to Caminito del Rey
Caminito del Rey

 

There are bathrooms and a locker where they provide you with a helmet to be able to protect you in case of falling of some stone in the gorges

Section 2 - Gateway area

When going free, although with an assigned schedule, we left about 40 people on the 11 am shift. After access control we begin the first section of walkways of Caminito del Rey with a series of waterfalls formed by the Gaitanejo reservoir in the river Guadalhorce.


Caminito del Rey

From the first moment we experience the vertigo and the height of the canyon, the Gorge of the Gaitanejos, that not yet being in the highest section, the sensations are already incredible. You just have to see the number of selfies in the first 100m :), and this just started ...


Caminito del Rey

After a good stretch of walkways, some very close to the Guadalhorce River, at the end of the section you can see the train tracks which goes from Malaga to Seville, a sign that this second section ends to begin a walk along a long path.

Section 3 - Path along the river

In summer this section can be very hot, so it is really necessary to carry water. Many people choose this place to rest or have a mini picnic in the many shaded areas. Past this stretch and a small bat shelter, the most imposing catwalks of Caminito del Rey begin


Caminito del Rey
Caminito del Rey

Section 4 - Gateway Area

This section is undoubtedly the most spectacular route. There are the highest areas, of more than 100m, narrower and curved walkways that face the walkways and give a more picturesque and spectacular perspective.


Caminito del Rey
Caminito del Rey

At the end of the catwalks is the famous Balcony of the Gaitanes, a bridge that joins the two sides of the gorge and that has been built next to it a walkway that gives some vertigo.

Section 5 (Exit) - Trail to El Chorro

The end of the route ends up going through on the train tracks and going down a path, very exposed to the sun in summer, to El Chorro, where there is a campsite, restaurants and some hotel. The helmet is delivered right there and you can take the bus to return to the north access and pick up the car in which you have come.


Caminito del Rey

Practical data

How to get?

By car from Malaga

You can take the A-357 to Ardales and then the MA-5403. Keep in mind that from the parking lot to the entrance where the ticket is validated it can take between 25 and 35 minutes depending on the path that has been taken.

By train from Malaga or Seville

  • Malaga. He leaves for El Chorro at 10am and arrives at 10:47 am. The return is at 6pm
  • Seville. He leaves for El Chorro about 8 and the return depends on the day

Where to park?

There are four areas to park in the Caminito del Rey. It can leave the car in the north access, where are the three main car parks, or in the southern access, with fewer cars, but having to take the park bus (€ 1.55). In the north access is the Interpretation Center, away from the entrance, and the parking lot of Camping Ardales Park and that of the El Chorro Dam, the closest to the entrance.

How to get tickets?

Clearly the Caminito del Rey and the tickets is a meaningless or a "mafia." Is very difficult to get tickets, unless you do it months in advance. Tickets are usually purchased by agencies or restaurants in the area, among others, so It is very complex to buy tickets from the official website. From this the normal visit costs € 10 and the guided € 18. There are other ways to get tickets, something more expensive, but they give you the possibility to access the Caminito del Rey with less time:
  • Through Civitatis, from € 25
  • Calling the restaurants in the area. Kiosk or the Gorge among others. From € 35 (includes food in the restaurant)
  • ConRenfe, buying a combined ticket to go to Caminito del Rey

How long it takes?

It takes as long between 2h and 3h maximum, it all depends on what you stop and if you stop at the stretch of the path between the main walkways.

With guide or without guide?

The Caminito del Rey can be done with and without a guide. With guide you go in groups of about 30 or 40 people or with more personalized guides, where they explain the history and the most showy points of the Gaitanes Gorge. With a guide the road becomes much slower, about 3 hours, so if you want to go to your own air and do it in about 2 hours, better without a guide.

Children in the way of the King

The children children under 8 cannot access to Caminito del Rey, since you have to be very careful with the railings.

What clothes to wear?

It is best to carry light clothing, mostly in summer. T-shirt and shorts, and a small backpack with water and some food, such as snacks. It is not allowed to carry very large backpacks.

Any type of camera can be carried, since the walkways are wide and do not carry any type of danger.

Where to sleep?

Some of the mentioned accommodations manage tickets even if they are available on the official website.

  • La Garganta complex. Located at the exit of Caminito, with pool. They can manage your tickets 🙂
  • El Arpa Apartments. Next to the Guadalhorce reservoir

Travel insurance

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