El Chorro (“the Cascade”) is near the town of Alora, in Malaga province. It is one of the most popular rock climbing attractions in Spain and also frequented by mountain bikers, hikers, and campers. If you want to get away from the beaches of the Costa del Sol and try something more active, this is the place to go!
The gorge is famous for a thrilling walkway called the Caminito del Rey (the King’s Pathway) which hangs 100m above the base of the gorge. The path originally provided access to a hydro-electric system and took its name from an official visit by Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1921. Official access to the path was removed in 2001 on grounds of safety, after five people lost their lives negotiating the pathway between 1999 and 2000. Rock climbers, for whom the gorge contains many excellent and historic climbs, were given access by a via ferrata that lead back onto the remaining caminto.
The local government regional and regional government of Andalucia agreed to share the costs of restoration of the “Caminito”. The work was completed in March 2015 at a cost of €2.8 million euros.
The project has retained much of the walkway’s original features. The pathway has also been reinforced with an extra security fence and despite offering up some dizzying views is entirely safe. The gorge runs from the outlet of the “Embalse del Gaitanejo” to “El Chorro”. There are two extremely narrow sections at each end of the gorge with a wider expanse in between. In addition to the re-furbished walkway, the old Málaga-Cordoba railway line runs through the gorge in a set of tunnels and bridges. The pathway has a total length of between 6 and 7 km depending on the chosen access. It is a linear pathway, so the return from the exit, located in the southern access, must be traversed by bus. There is also the option of parking in the southern access and taking the bus to the entrance.
The Caminito del Rey path is a very popular tourist attraction, unique in Europe and although it has been called ‘the scariest path in the world’ it is perfectly safe although not recomended for those with vertigo. Visitors numbers are limited to 100 per half hour so it does not get too crowded. It is necessary to purchase tickets online in advance for the date and time of your walk. Standby tickets are also often available as well as group tours.
Children younger than eight are not allowed and it is recommended to wear footwear suitable for walking and hiking. Definitely not flip-flops!
Have you ever visited the Caminito del Rey?!