Here at Málaga Flow we like to do things a little differently from the norm and today we are going to keep you out of the tour bus and help you explore one of the coolest things to do in the beautiful area of Málaga. But first…
A Little History Lesson…
Located in El Chorro Málaga, The King’s Pathway or Caminito Del Rey has been known as “the world’s most dangerous walkway” or “el camino de la muerte” meaning path of death in Spanish.
Constructed in 1905 to allow hydro-electric power plant workers to quickly access the construction of El Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls power plants.
However, in 1921 King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway to help inaugurate the new Conde del Guadalhorce dam. Thus the 1 meter wide, 100 meter high walkway became known as the King’s Pathway (Caminito Del Rey).
Following five deaths in 1999 and 2000, the camino was closed due to these fatal accidents as well as the crumbling infrastructure that was deemed un-repairable.
The original structure was a narrow concrete walkway, which rested upon steel rails. The rails were supported by stanchions anchored to the high rock walls at a 45º angle. A steel safety wire ran the entire length of the rock face for hand support.
Throughout years of wear from weather and the intense high winds that are forced through the narrower sections of the route, the concrete path eroded and eventually started falling off the steel rails.
The local government closed both entrances in 2000 and demolished the initial section to prevent passage.
A 6000 € fine was imposed for hiking on the path but thrill seekers ignored the closures and continued to illegally traverse the camino. By 2013 four more people had died in the attempt…
Junta de Andalucía, the local government in charge of the Spanish province had plans for the restoration since the early 2000’s but due to lack of funding the plans was postponed until 2014. In March of 2014 the renovation started and finish roughly ten months later with an estimated 2.2 million euro price tag.
El Caminito Del Rey – What You Need To Know.
El Balconcillo de los Gaitanes and new hanging bridge
First, you need to buy your tickets! If you have not done so already, please visit the link below and follow the steps: Buy Tickets Here
Second, you need to figure out how to get there no? Well dont trust Google maps on this one as they are completely wrong! (I hope this does not affect our SEO Score, we still love you Google!). But instead you need to drive and park right by El Kiosko (a restaurant in El Chorro) from there you can hike down to the start of the caminito. We will get to more of that in a minute. It sounds weird, but Google maps sends you to the end of the route, not the start…
What to Bring & What To Expect
Bring your normal essentials for hiking (I.E. food, water, & jacket) but also make sure you bring cash for the required bus ride back. It only costs a few euros per person but would be terrible to have to walk or hitch hike back to your car.
The infamous path has become known as “the most dangerous path in the world” at the expense of many lives. But with the modern renovation, the nickname might soon disappear. The fear factor of life or death has been removed completely and restored to a safe but still scary must do bucket list activity.
Not wheelchair compatible, but if able to walk 7.7 km in distance with some uphill/downhill & stair climbing, anyone can now successfully complete the “walk of death”! We personally saw quite a few adorable Spanish grandmas enjoying the caminito while on our adventure. I hope to be able to do stuff like this at their age.
100m drop below us as we traversed El Caminito del Rey
A Rainy Day at Caminito Del Rey
Looking towards the Garganta del Chorro (throat of the jet)
Once parked at El Kiosko, a 15 minute walk to the start of El Caminito Del Rey, thankfuly trails signs were everywhere to lead us along the way. So make sure you get there early as the entrance is over 1 Km away.
Once at the entrance, ID’s and tickets are checked, hard hats and hair nets are handed out and a short safety debrief in either Spanish or English is given and then you are off on your way. Minimal supervision past that point!
Dont rush through the first part like we did; take your time and enjoy! There are two sections of high and narrow parts on the caminito. The first section is right away after the beginning of the entrance and the second section is at the end.
Next you reach the Balconcillo de los Gaitanes and the newly created hanging bridge.
A 30m long steel suspension bridge that sways left and right in the high winds and wobbles up and down while walking across.
Definitely one of my favorite parts of the journey even though everyone packs up around the bridge because they need to have a picture (I am guilty myself of needing one).
The End is Near
After exiting the bridge, the caminito is almost over followed by a few kilometer walk to a small little town. Followed by the modern hydro electric plant and the bus stop which will take you back to the trail head area.
At the bus stop there is a small store for a well deserved beer or snack incase you need a quick fix while you wait. With how hot it gets in the summer, I would definitely be spending a euro or two on some icecream!
The modern Hydro-electric plant of El Chorro
If you live here or are just visiting, the Caminito del Rey is one of the coolest things to do and see here in Málaga. Easily accessable by car or bus and many local companies offering guided tours, but if you want to skip that, save a few bucks and enjoy an amazing day, look no further.
Also, if you do have the means of personal transporation, we highly recommend checking out the area of El Chorro and everything it has to offer. A beautiful place to explore for the day and if you didn’t make sandwiches for lunch, drive to the top of the mesa and enjoy a lunch with a view at: Restaurante Bar La Mesa. You won’t regret it!
What did you think about our guide, what did we miss, how was your adventure to El Caminito Del Rey? Rate below, leave us a comment and share it with all of your friend if you think they need to know. We would love to here from you!
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But until next time, happy adventuring from all of us here,
The Málaga Flow Team
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