Hiking the El Caminito Del Rey

Ever fancied walking El Caminito Del Rey well here’s how you can do it and some tips on how to get there and what to expect.

What is it ?

El Caminito del Rey (The King’s Little Path) is a walkway, pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Ardales in the province of Málaga, Spain. The name derives from the original name of Camino del Rey (King’s Pathway), abbreviated locally to el caminito. The walkway had fallen into disrepair and was partially closed for over a decade. After four years of extensive repairs and renovations, the walkway re-opened in 2015. The walkway was originally created for the workers of the hydroelectric plant to offer them and their materials passage through some dangerous terrain.

what’s the best way to get there?

I think the best way to arrive at El Chorro is by train as the train station is right smack bang there at the start/finish place for the walk. You can also drive there but I don’t think there is a public bus.

All about the route

There are 7 parts to the route. The full length of the route is approx 7.7km

  • Visitor Reception Area Shuttle bus stop and a car park El Kiosko Restaurant
  • Two access areas: the path and Gaitanejo way (2.7 km or 1.5 km long route, depending on your choice).
  • Visitor Reception Centre and Gaitanejo Reservoir.
  • First Canyon Gaitanejo Gorge (2.9 km from the entrance to the exit)
  • Second Canyon Las Palomas Cliff
  • Hoyo Valley
  • Third Canyon Gaitanes Gorge (Desfiladero de los Gaitanes)
  • Last Stretch Boardwalk to the exit
  • Downwards path to the El Chorro Train Station, called Avenue Caminito del Rey (2.1 km).

There is a shuttle bus from El Chorro Train Station that takes you to the start of the walk located at the Visitor Reception Area and from there you have a short walk to the entrance to the pathways. Here you’ll be equipped with hard hats.

What does it cost?

The cost for hiking the route is €10 per person with €1 required for the shuttle bus. There are guided tours available in a variety of languages at an additional charge of €8 but you can also hike alone. The paths are clear and there are staff dotted around should you require assistance.

Other information that may be helpful:

  • There’s a hotel in El Chorro, La Garganta which has a good restaurant and is reasonably priced.
  • Wear good walking boots as some of the terrain is rocky
  • Wear layers and take a waterproof as weather can be changeable
  • Take lots of pictures and look up whilst going through the gorges as the Griffin Vultures fly in flocks
  • Take plenty water and snacks with you as there are no facilities on the walk
  • Make sure you make a visit to the toilet before entering the park as there’s no facilities on the route

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