Caminito del Rey is located approx. one hour drive from Malaga.
After the drive from Benalamadena, we had a very nice lunch at El Mirador. The restaurant has a fantastic view over the lake. Bring swimming clothes for a dip in the lake, before or/and after the walk.
The walkway of Caminito del Rey, called El Hoyo, is of spectacular natural beauty, breathtaking and fantastic. The path is more than just a walk in the hills. Parts of the walkway is a hanging footbridge that rises over 100 metres above the river below with steep walls, that can make you feel dizzy. The path is “hazardous” because of the heights and its narrow parts. It was rebuilt so it could be used for active tourism in the natural surroundings. It requires certain level of physical effort and skilfulness. You are not risking your life at all, but be aware of the strong impressions this place might have on you. That’s why this path is so spectacular.
It’s a good idea to book in advance to access the walkway. They let in 50 persons every ½ hour.
Note! The Caminito del Rey is linear, not circular. You need to make sure to come back to the start on your own. There are coaches between the northern access (Ardales) and the southern one (El Chorro), which go in both directions.
The walkway was originally built to provide workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls with a means to cross between them, to provide for transport of materials, and to facilitate inspection and maintenance of the channel.
The construction began in 1901 and was finished in 1905. The original path was constructed of concrete and rested on steel rails supported by stanchions built at around 45 degrees into the rock face. An extra benefit with the path was that it created great joy for the locals that experienced easier access between the neighboring villages.
According to a local guide (that also was in the construction team for the new version) told us that approx. 200 persons died during the construction of the original walkway (the number of casualties was zero, building the new one).
King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway in 1921 for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce and it became known by its present name – “The Kings Pathway“.
The old walkway deteriorated over the years and there were numerous sections where parts or all of the concrete top had collapsed. The result was large gaps bridged only by narrow steel beams or other supports. Few of the original handrails existed although a safety wire ran along the path. Several people lost their lives on the walkway and after two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed both entrances. Even so, in the 4 years to 2013, four people died attempting to climb the gorge. It was known as the “The most dangerous walkway in the world”.
In March 2014, the cornerstone of the rehabilitation project was laid by specialized alpinists. The new walkway reopened on 29 March 2015.