It’s been described as the world’s scariest – and until recently – most dangerous walkway in the world and it’s reopening to the public on the 28th March 2015. We are, of course, talking about the Caminito del Rey (King’s Walkway) situated in the Gaitanes Gorge, about 1 hour north of Benalmádena.
This breathtaking walkway which, in certain areas, towers 100 metres above the river bed, has been closed to the public since 2001. The 100 year old path was in a precarious condition and local authorities decided to close it after a series of fatal accidents. Although officially closed, it’s remained a favourite attraction for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies looking for the ultimate experience (see video below for proof!).
The stunning landscape surrounding the Caminito del Rey, the breathtaking views visitors can enjoy from its narrow pathways and the area’s undeniable value as a tourist attraction have led local authorities (Andalucian Local Government, Malaga Tourist Board and the Town Halls of Alora, Antequera and Ardales) to invest €2.5 million on the rehabilitation, renovation and repairing of the famous walkway. This work has now been completed and the Caminito is, once again, ready to welcome visitors and the general public, providing an unforgettable experience for all who dare to walk along its newly-laid wooden walkway!
A few interesting, historic facts about the Caminito del Rey…
- It was built between 1901 and 1905 and the construction work was carried out by fishermen! (Yes, you read that right!).
- These brave workers had to work in life threatening conditions which involved hanging over the gorge secured to the top of the rock wall by a mere rope!
- The walkway was commissioned by the Hydroelectric company of El Chorro (Sociedad Hidroeléctrica del Chorro), owner of the areas known as Saltos del Chorro and Gaitanejo.
- The Caminito del Rey owes its name to a visit by King Alfonso XIII. The monarch bravely walked along the whole path on the 21st May 1921 whilst visiting the area to officially open the El Chorro dam, now known as Conde de Guadalhorce.
The Caminito del Rey before the renovation work…
As mentioned earlier, the Caminito has been a popular attraction for daredevil’s looking for an adrenaline-filled experience. At over 100 years of age, the pathway was starting to show serious signs of decay due to rock falls damaging its concrete structure and the wear and tear one would expect after so many years of use.
Before we go on to tell you about the fantastic improvements made to the ‘new’ Caminito, we wanted to share a stunning video taken by an intrepid adventurer last year… In the video you’ll appreciate why it earned its reputation as the world’s most dangerous walk way!
Warning, if you suffer from vertigo, you might want to give it a miss!
Can you believe that the guy actually did the walk 8 times to obtain that stunning footage… brave man. 🙂
The ‘New’ Caminito del Rey
You’ll be pleased to read that work carried out on the Caminito consisted in the construction of a completely new pathway build just above the old path.
As you’ll appreciate in the video below, the new pathway is built using wooden panels and special steel bolts anchored into the rock face. As you walk along the path, you’ll also come across several glass floor sections and a hanging bridge with gobsmacking views to the river bed, meandering 100 metres below you!!!
To give you a taste of what you can expect, we’ve embedded a video of what the new Caminito looks like now. As you’ll see, it’s a lot safer! 🙂
8 things you need to know before starting your Caminito del Rey adventure
- The whole trek is 7.7km in length, 4.8 km of these are access routes and 2.9km from one end of the hanging walkway to the other.
- There are two possible routes, one from Alora (south) and the other from Ardales (north). If you choose the south entrance the route is primarily uphill and takes a little longer to complete (approx. 5 hours). Using the north entrance means you’ll be going downhill most of the way and will take less time to complete the route (approx. 4 hours).
- The 7.7km walk is linear and although there are plans to introduce a shuttle bus service to take you back to the start of your route when you finish, this is not in operation at the moment and you’ll have to make your own way back. If you can get someone to pick you up at the end of the route, that would be your best option at the moment.
- Tickets are available with 30 minute slots between each one.
- The maximum number of people allowed on each of these slots is 50 pax.
- There are no bathroom or restroom facilities on the route… you have been warned!
- Children need to be 8 years and above to walk the Caminito and must be accompanied by an adult.
- The walkway will remained closed when there is bad weather (rain & high winds).
How to get tickets to the Caminito del Rey
For the first 6 months (until the end of the summer) the route is actually free, after that it’ll be €6 per person. The only way to book is through the official website which you’ll find HERE. You’ll need to be patient as demand for tickets has surpassed expectations and more than 30,000 have been reserved already!
Opening Dates & Times
The Caminito is open most of the year from Tuesday to Sunday. It is closed on Mondays and on the following dates: 24th, 25th & 31st December and 1st January.
1st April to 30th October: 10:00am to 5:00pm
1st November to 31st March: 10:00am to 2:00pm
How to get to the Caminito del Rey
Whilst parking areas remain unfinished and shuttle buses between entrances are still not operational, we recommend you travel by train.
You’ll need to get to the María Zambrano station in Málaga to catch the morning train to El Chorro.
The train leaves at 10:05am and gets to El Chorro at approximately 10.47am, so it’s a 40 minute trip.
The last train back to Málaga leaves El Chorro at 6:02pm which leaves you 7 hours to walk the Caminito del Rey. The price of a return train ticket is €9.70.
If you prefer to travel by car, the map below shows the route to take if you’re travelling from Benalmádena. Although there are various routes you can take, we recommend you take the quicker Ardales route. Here are the instructions:
From Sunset Beach Club (Benalmadena) you need to get up onto the E-15/A7/AP-7 motorway. Once on this road head towards Málaga and make sure you keep to the left because you need to continue on the E-15/A-7 when the road forks. Follow the signs towards Cartama/Almeria and after approximately 10km take the exit onto the A-357 road towards Cártama. Stay on this road for approximately 45km until you see the town of Ardales on your left. Look out for a sign to El Chorro (MA-5403) & Ardales (M-442) once you’ve taken this turning you need to take an immediate left onto the MA-444 road which will take you to El Chorro and the Caminito del Rey.
For more information about the Caminito del Rey please ask at the leisure desk located on the 6th floor of the hotel.
And if you’re planning a visit to the Costa del Sol, why not use Sunset Beach Club as a base? We’re ideally located on the seafront in Benalmadena and just 20 minutes from Malaga airport. You can check availability and prices for our great-value holiday apartments at www.sunsetbeachclub.com.