The Caminito del Rey is a Spanish trail in Malaga, Andalusia. It’s one of the most popular trails in Spain. Let’s see if it lives to its reputation as one of the best in the world, exploring its history, its views, and what it has to offer!
Caminito Del Rey was once famous for being extremely dangerous; it was even named the world’s most dangerous walkway. As its reputation rose, it became even more attractive to adrenaline junkies and adventurous people in general.
Eventually, it was closed for several years, and in 2015 it was reopened after extensive renovation! The new Caminito del Rey is perfectly safe and all about lovely trails, hanging bridges, and footpaths. There’s less adrenaline, but the views are still there!
Caminito Del Rey trail History And Deaths
The first trail was built at the beginning of the 20th century, and it was used by the workers of the Dams in the El Chorro as access to them, both during the construction and later the maintenance.
In 1921 the King of Spain used the path to reach the new dams and inaugurate them. From this moment on, it was named the Caminito del Rey, The King’s little path.
However, as time passed, the trail lost popularity, and the concrete catwalk began to degrade and became abandoned until it was completely unsafe and became the infamous “most dangerous trail in the world.” Eventually, it was closed in 2001 after the death of a few hikers…
In 2015 it reopened with a new face. Let’s check it out…
- Name: Caminito del Rey trail
- Starting – El Kiosko Restaurant
- Ending– Bus station to take you back to the starting point
- Distance – 8 km
- Time – 2 hours
- Physical difficulty – easy
- Technical difficulty – Easy and straightforward. Only problematic if you have vertigo or are afraid of heights.
- Type – Linear, return by bus.
- Signaling (1-5) – 5, it’s impossible to get lost in the trail.
- Highlights: the walkways and the gorge
El Caminito Del Rey Trail
El Caminito Del Rey is located in El Chorro gorge, Ardales, Malaga, Andalucia, Spain, and it’s 7.7 km long, but less than 2 Km are made in the pathways. It’s a linear route with two entrances (north & south), but nowadays, you can only enter through the North and exit through the South.
After the refurbishment, the new wooden pathways are now perfectly safe. You can still see large parts of the old one and understand why it was dubbed one of the world’s scariest hikes.
The old pathway was so dangerous that everything else around it became irrelevant. However, nowadays, under the new infrastructure’s safety, you can enjoy the unbelievable beauty of El Chorro gorge.
Yet, you will still feel quite adventurous walking on a wooden path 100 meters high with the wind blowing your face. It’s quite a sensation!
Our Experience in Caminito Del Dey
This trail was on our must-do list for quite a long time, so we were really psyched to do the infamous Caminito Del Rey. We read so many posts and articles about it. About its history, about being closed and now reopened with a fresh new face.
It may not be the world’s scariest hike anymore, but the real attraction is still there! The uncanny beautiful narrow gorge and the possibility to walk through it at 100 meters high, enjoying a different point of view. We are actually in the gorge, almost being part of it. Not on the river or from a faraway viewpoint.
It’s now perfectly safe (you get a helmet and all), but we still found ourselves adventurous while walking through it. Parts of the old trail were kept untouched, and we can only imagine how crazy you would have to be to make it in the old days.
We can divide this trail into 5 parts:
- An easy 1.5 km trail to the ticket control
- Wooden pathway of 0.9 km through Gaitainos gorge
- Another 1.5 km of trail between canyons in Hoyo Valley
- Almost 1km of boardwalk through the Gaitanes Gorge – the real highlight of this trail!
- 2.1 descend from Gaitanes Gorge to El Chorro.
Travel Drafts definitely recommends this trail to everyone, and we would/will do it again in the future. If you are planning on going to Andalusia, you really shouldn’t miss this. Fun factor:10/10.
Helpful Information About Caminito Del Rey Trail
Tickets to Caminito del Rey cost 10 Euros (or 2.5 Euros if you include the return bus ticket). We strongly advise you to buy the bus ticket – you will have to return, and walking back won’t be as fun as the trail 🙂
It will also cost 2 Euros to park the car, which you will probably want.
Note that you have to book it in advance on its official site. Be aware that tickets are limited to 50 each half an hour, and the trail is becoming a big attraction! Thus, buy in advance!
When is it Open?
It’s open all year between Tuesdays and Sundays. Thus, and to make it clear, it’s closed on Mondays! It’s also closed on January 1st, December 24th, 25th, and 31st December.
Timetables may change according to the need of management, but you’ll get this actualized information when booking the tickets.
How difficult is the Caminito del Rey trail?
The path walks are located in an incredible place where you may feel an adrenaline rush; however, the trail itself is straightforward. It isn’t very long and doesn’t have any steep climbs. Thus, it’s perfectly possible for anyone who doesn’t have mobility issues and can walk about 8 km.
Children less than 8 years old cannot enter the trail. Also, if you have vertigo or are afraid of heights, you might feel a bit freaked out.
How much time does it take to hike Caminito del Rey?
Despite this, you should reserve about 3 hours for hiking the trail. You want to take in everything, stop a few times and take many pictures! Although, you should arrive about 30 minutes earlier. From the car park to the entrance is still quite a walk, and you’ll need to arrive at the Caminito del Rey entrance on time.
The trail is perfectly signed, so you shouldn’t have any problem with this!
What to bring to hike Caminito del Rey
Bring plenty of water and sunscreen! This is Andalusia – it can be really, really hot and sunny! A hat might also be helpful, but you must wear the provided helmet during the trail.
How to go to Caminito Del Rey Spain
The easiest way to go to Caminito del Rey is by car. Going on public transportation will take time and effort.
Check the official site for directions and more information on Caminito Del Rey.
The Surroundings Of Caminito Del Rey
Despite having read a lot about the trail, we were still got surprised by the surroundings. The light blue water of the rivers and lakes in this area is astonishing. Beautiful, warm, clear… You can swim, fish, play in the water… We had to go for a swim and rest in the sun.
It is a perfect finale to a fantastic day.
Visiting Spain? Check the 50 things you need to know before traveling to Spain!
Where To Sleep When Visiting Caminito Del Rey
There aren’t many accommodations close to Caminito Del Rey – maybe it’s an area still being developed in terms of Tourism. As we were coming from Marbella on our road trip through Andalusia, we opted to sleep the day before in Ronda. The unique town of Ronda & the Caminito Del Rey goes together perfectly in a two days escape.
Recommended accommodation close to Caminito del Rey
Hidden Valley Andalucia is located only 10 km from the trail and close to Alora. Guests can enjoy their stay in a Bell Tent, all equipped with full-size beds and access to a shared kitchenette. Bed linen and towels are provided. Some tents have their own private flushing toilets. It is a very, very cool experience and our favorite option!
Click here to check prices and more reviews!
Hostal Caminito del Rey is a guesthouse set in Alora, 14 km from the trail. The rooms have a fridge, a bath, complimentary toiletries, and a wardrobe. With a private bathroom equipped with a bidet, rooms at the guest house also offer free WiFi and a flat-screen TV. It has excellent value for money.
3 thoughts on “How to hike El Caminito Del Rey trail in Spain”
It looks so crazy, but the views are gorgeous.
Scaaaaary! I’ve seen some similar kinds of paths and they are becoming quite the tourist attractions. This one particular looks interesting with a varied topography all around. Lovely post and photos and video.
I want to SAY I would do this….but I wonder how I would feel once I got up there. It’s beautiful for sure. 🙂
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