Walking on a wooden walkway leaning against vertical rocks inside a canyon, just one meter wide and located at a height of 100 meters from the Guadalhorce river: this is the wonderful and adrenaline-filled experience that awaits tourists who venture along the King's Path, One of the most spectacular walking routes in the world.
Located in the province of Malaga between the villages of Ardales e Alora, is a linear walking itinerary that can be traveled in one direction only, from north to south. Breathtaking views and exceptional photo opportunities await you at every corner… but you can only enjoy them if you don't suffer from vertigo!
Although it is not an experience for everyone, the incredible landscapes that can be admired from the Caminito have made it one of the most visited attractions of Andalusia. Tickets are selling fast, so if you want to have this extraordinary experience, you need to plan ahead.
What is the Caminito del Rey
Il Original King's Path is a path built between 1901 and 1905 to facilitate the movement of workers and materials between the two hydroelectric stations built on both sides of the goal of El Chorro.
It was officially inaugurated in the XNUMXs in the presence of the king Alfonso XIII (hence the name) and in a short time this engineering marvel set in a breathtaking natural setting became famous all over the world.
The original path was made of concrete and sand, with simple iron bars as the only protection elements. Having finished its original function, it became an irresistible attraction for lovers of the extreme and earned the nickname of "most dangerous walking trail in the world".
Unfortunately it was not an undeserved fame: the route was the scene of numerous accidents, including fatalities, following which in 2000 the Spanish authorities decided to close it to the public.
With a huge restoration work completed in 2015 and costing a whopping 5,5 billion euros, the path has been completely secured and reopened to the public.
The current path is built higher than the original one, which can still be seen in places. There are some sections with glass floor, to be able to look down and realize the dizzying height at which you are, without risking anything!
Itinerary of the Caminito del Rey
The official route of the Caminito del Rey is long 2.9 km but to these you have to add the entry paths to the entrance and the path leading to the exit, for a total of 7,7 km of walking.
The actual Caminito takes place for 1,5 km on overhanging wooden walkways and 1,4 km on forest paths, while the access and exit paths take place entirely on easy mountain paths and forest roads.
THEwalking itinerary complete can be divided as follows:
- Visitor Reception Area (north entrance): here you will find the shuttle bus stop, the north car park and a restaurant
- Access to the Caminito: you can reach the official start of the route by choosing between two trails (2.7 km or 1.5 km).
- Visitor Reception Centre e Gaitanejo Reservoir: your ticket is checked here and the Caminito officially begins.
- Gola Gaitanejo: primo canyon
- The Cliff Pigeons: second canyon
- Hoyo Valley
- Gola Gaitanes (Desfiladero de los Gaitanes): third canyon and end of the walkways.
- Path leading to the exit
- Avenue Caminito del Rey: downhill road that leads from the exit to the El Chorro train station
Entrance tickets to the Caminito del Rey
The Caminito del Rey is an attraction that attracts a very high number of visitors, but for safety reasons a maximum of 1100 visitors per day is allowed (no more than 400 at the same time), therefore entrance tickets sell out quickly even online. It is therefore strongly recommended that you buy your ticket well in advance.
In addition to the classic entrance ticket, you can visit the Caminito del Rey with a guide or take part in a tour departing from the main towns of Andalusia.
Ticket + guided tour for the best-selling Caminito del Rey
Of all the guided tours for the Caminito del Rey you can take part in, the one below is the best seller. When purchasing online, you will be asked for the day and time of your visit. Be careful because your choice is binding: you will not be able to use the ticket on days and times other than those initially chosen.
Other guided tours to the Caminito del Rey
If you want to choose between others tickets with guided tour of the Caminito del Rey, book one of the following - they all have great reviews.
Day trips from Malaga
An even safer way to grab your Caminito del Rey entrance tickets is to book a day tour departing from Malaga organized by a local tour operator. There are many operators who organize the day trip to the Caminito del Rey and some of these offer the possibility to buy the tour online.
In addition to ensuring your entry, book a guided tour of the Caminito del Rey allows you to walk the path with an expert guide of the local area, who will enrich your day with information and curiosities about the history of this very special itinerary.
Purchase of tickets at the ticket office
50 tickets are made available every morning at the Caminito ticket office. We would like to point it out to you, but we do not recommend that you go to the ticket office the same day hoping to find a ticket: they are sold very quickly and to be among the lucky ones who manage to find one you should arrive very early.
You may be able to do it, but you are so tired that you do not enjoy the visit!
The Caminito del Rey is open all the year from Tuesday to Sunday. It is closed on January 1st, December 24th, 25th and 31st; it can occasionally be closed in case of bad weather or maintenance works.
It opens at 9am and closes at 30pm or 15pm depending on the season.
The Caminito for children
The Caminito route is unique, therefore children will have to follow the same itinerary as adults. Given the particular characteristics of the trail, it is children under the age of 8 are not allowed to enter.
Don't try to be smart because the age of the children is checked at the entrance; remember to bring an unexpired identity document for your children.
There are no discounts on tickets: unfortunately children have to pay full price.
How long does it take to walk the Caminito del Rey
It takes 3 to 4 hours to complete the walk (including the inbound and outbound trails), but we recommend that you take it easy so that you can make as many stops as you like along the way.
Tips to carry out the Caminito del Rey safely
With the restoration works, the Caminito del Rey has been transformed into a walk within the reach of (almost) everyone: it has some steep climbs but not particularly challenging gradients. It does not require particular physical skills or trekking skills (let alone mountaineering), therefore it can be done by anyone in good health.
The only real problem to consider is the height: the walkways are overhanging and you will happen to see the void below you; you will have to go through a suspension bridge; the passages are quite narrow (the width of the walkways is about 1 meter). In some people, these conditions create dizziness or, at worst, panic.
The path itself is not dangerous, but it is good to know what you are going to face and have the humility to give up if there are conditions that could compromise your safety and that of other people, for example if you usually suffer from dizziness or are people particularly anxious.
Since many sections of the Caminito are exposed to the sun it is advisable to do it in the morning presto.
Others useful tips to better enjoy the Caminito del Rey experience:
- Protect yourself with sunscreen and a hat.
- Bring plenty of water and some snacks with you. There are no refreshment points along the way or in the access paths.
- Wear hiking shoes. Absolutely no to sandals and flip flops.
- Never take off the protective helmet that is provided to you at the entrance. The falling of small stones is not uncommon and only the helmet can avoid dangerous blows to the head.
Another useful information to know: the route takes place entirely within a natural environment and therefore there are no toilets. Remember this before you set out and make sure you don't need it!
Where to sleep around the Caminito del Rey
The fame of the Caminito del Rey has meant that numerous hotels were built in the towns touched by the route, namely Alora, El Chorro and Ardales, and in the neighboring ones.
You can choose from delicious hotels e b & b, family-run pensions, cheap hostels, modern apartments equipped with all comforts, holiday homes immersed in nature or luxurious residences: in short, there is something for all tastes and budgets.
Sleeping near the Caminito del Rey it's a good idea, especially if you're traveling by public transport. Arriving the day before or leaving the day after you will not be tied to train timetables.
The north entrance of the Caminito and the south exit are connected by shuttle buses that leave every half hour. The duration of the bus journey from one point to another is approximately 20-25 minutes. The cost is 1,55 euros one way.
Shuttle buses make several stops along their route.