The Caminito del Rey: A Thrilling Walk on the Edge of a Cliff
One of Malaga’s best adrenalin experiences for those not afraid of heights!
For those looking for an adventure in Málaga, Spain, you might want to try the Caminito del Rey. A spectacular walkway that runs along the walls of the Gaitanes Gorge, a natural wonder carved by the Guadalhorce River. The Caminito del Rey (or the King’s Little Pathway) is not for the faint of heart. However, it offers stunning views of the canyon and the river below, but also some vertiginous drops and narrow passages.
The Caminito del Rey was built in the early 20th century as a service route for the workers of the hydroelectric power plants located at the ends of the gorge. It was also used by King Alfonso XIII in 1921, when he inaugurated the Conde de Guadalhorce Dam, hence its name. The walkway fell into disrepair over the years and became very dangerous, causing several fatal accidents. It was closed to the public in 2000 and reopened in 2015 after a major restoration project that made it safer and more accessible.
The Caminito del Rey is now one of the most popular attractions in Málaga, attracting thousands of visitors every year who want to experience this unique and thrilling hike. The walkway is about 7.7 km long and takes about 4 hours to complete. It starts at the northern access point near Ardales and ends at the southern access point near Álora. Along the way, you will cross several bridges, tunnels, and balconies that will test your nerves and reward you with breathtaking scenery.
Visiting The Caminito del Rey
To visit the Caminito del Rey, you need to book your ticket in advance through its official website. Please note that there is a limited capacity of 1,100 people per day. The tickets cost 10 euros for general admission or 18 euros for an official guided tour. You can also book a shuttle bus service for 2.5 euros that will take you back to your starting point after finishing the walk. You can park your car at the Visitors’ Reception Centre for 2 euros per day.
The Caminito del Rey is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm in winter. In high season it is open from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm in summer. The Caminto del Rey closes on Mondays and on some holidays. You need to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, bring water and snacks, and avoid carrying large backpacks or umbrellas. You also need to wear a helmet that will be provided at the entrance.
The Caminito del Rey is not suitable for children under 8 years old or people with mobility problems or fear of heights. It is also not recommended for pregnant women or people with heart conditions or respiratory problems. You need to follow the safety instructions and respect the environment at all times.
The Caminito del Rey is more than just a walkway; it is a historical and cultural heritage that showcases the engineering feats and natural beauty of Málaga. It is also a challenge and an adventure that will make you feel alive and exhilarated.
In this blog,, I will give you some more details about what you can expect from visiting the Caminito del Rey. Also provide you with some tips and recommendations to make the most of your experience and how to keep safe.
What to Expect from Visiting the Caminito del Rey
The Caminito del Rey is divided into four sections: two boardwalks (one at each end of the gorge), one forest path (between the boardwalks), and one hanging footbridge (at the narrowest part of the gorge). Each section has its own characteristics and challenges.
The first boardwalk starts at the northern access point near Ardales. It is about 2.7 km long and runs along the left side of the gorge. It has a gentle slope and offers panoramic views of the reservoirs and dams. You will also see some remains of the old walkway that used to hang over the cliff.
The forest path connects the first boardwalk with the second one. It is about 2.2 km long and goes through a pine forest with some picnic areas and restrooms. It is an easy walk that allows you to enjoy nature and relax before facing the next section.
The second boardwalk starts at El Chorro railway station near Álora. It is about 2 km long and runs along the right side of the gorge. It has a steeper slope and offers more dramatic views of the canyon and the river. You will also see some tunnels and bridges that belong to the railway line that crosses the gorge.
The hanging footbridge is the most thrilling part of the Caminito del Rey. It is about 100 meters long and hangs over a 100-meter drop. It connects the two sides of the gorge at its narrowest point, where the river flows with great force. You will feel the wind and the vibrations as you walk on the wooden planks and metal cables. You will also have a 360-degree view of the stunning landscape.
Tips and Recommendations for Visiting the Caminito del Rey
Here are some tips and recommendations to help you plan and enjoy your visit to the Caminito del Rey:
- Book your ticket in advance through the official website, as they sell out quickly. You can choose the date and time of your visit. You can also select the type of ticket (general admission or guided tour).
You will receive a confirmation email with a QR code that you need to show at the entrance.
- Arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time, as you need to check in, get your helmet, and walk to the starting point. You can also use this time to visit the Visitors’ Reception Centre, where you can find information, souvenirs, and a cafeteria.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that are suitable for walking and hiking. Avoid wearing sandals, flip-flops, heels, or slippery shoes. Also, dress according to the weather and bring a jacket or a hat if needed.
- Bring water and snacks, as there are no vending machines or shops along the way. You can also bring a small backpack or a fanny pack to carry your belongings, but avoid bringing large or heavy items that could hinder your movement or balance.
- Avoid carrying umbrellas, selfie sticks, drones, or any other objects that could fall or fly away. You are not allowed to use them on the walkway and they could pose a risk for yourself and others.
- Follow the safety instructions and signs at all times. Do not lean over the railings, do not run or jump. Also, do not stop or sit on the walkway, and do not throw anything into the gorge. Respect the speed and distance limits and do not overtake other visitors unless there is enough space.
- Respect the environment and do not litter or damage anything. The Caminito del Rey is part of a natural park that is home to many plants and animals. You can observe them but do not disturb or feed them.
- Enjoy the experience and take pictures of the amazing views. However, do not compromise your safety or that of others by taking selfies or posing in dangerous positions. Be careful with your phone
or camera and make sure they are securely attached to you.
- If you have any questions or problems, ask for help from the staff or guides. You will find that they are present along the way. They are there to assist you and make sure you have a safe and pleasant visit.
Our Final Thoughts On The Caminito del Rey
Visiting the Caminito del Rey may be as close as you can get to being a real life Indiana Jones. The sheer fun and adventure of a visit to the Caminito del Rey is something you should not miss if you visit Malaga. It is worth remembering that this is a physically challenging activity, and not one for the faint-hearted. There is probably nothing quite breathtaking as the Caminto del Rey.