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Caminito del Rey

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Since its reopening, the dizzying footpath Caminito del Rey (“narrow king’s path”) through the Andalusian Canyons has been a must for any adventure holiday in Spain. In the 20th century, it was known as the “world’s most dangerous path”, but now its steep slopes and cliffs have been made tourist-friendly. That is, even ordinary people can now easily enjoy its breathtaking natural scenery.

Tickets for the Caminito del Rey often sell out many weeks in advance. Book online early to secure your time slot.
Klaus KainzBy Klaus Kainz
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Tickets & Offers

Book your ticket or a day tour over the Caminito del Rey.
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From Costa del Sol & Málaga: Caminito del Rey Guided Tour
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From Málaga: Day Trip to Caminito del Rey
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From Málaga: Caminito del Rey Full-Day Tour
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From Málaga: Caminito del Rey Guided Tour with Bus
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7 tips for visiting the Caminito del Rey

The Caminito del Rey Path | Flickr: Ronnie Macdonald CC BY 2.0
1
Pay attention to safety rules!Do not worry, the Caminito del Rey is essentially a stress-free walk now - assuming you aren't afraid of heights! Brief safety instructions are nevertheless given before each entry: guests are asked to keep to the right. Selfie sticks or umbrellas are prohibited. Caution is required in wet conditions due to risk of slipping. Guides are stationed along the route to ensure rules are adhered to and to intervene quickly in case of difficulties.
Caminito del Rey Bridge | Flickr: Ronnie Macdonald CC BY 2.0
2
Be on timeDon't dawdle! You need to be at the entrance at least 30 minutes before your appointment.
3
Wear appropriate clothingEven though the path is secure today, you should still wear appropriate hiking gear, including sturdy footwear. Flip-flops or high-heels are forbidden. Helmets are provided on-site to protect against rockfalls. Sunscreen is a must in the summer and thick clothing in the winter.
4
Book tickets in advanceFor safety reasons, the quota is limited and quickly sold out - a maximum of 100 guests are allowed at the same time. Early reservations are therefore recommended.
5
Plan your trip wellPlan your journey carefully: The Caminito del Rey is difficult to reach by public transportation. It is easier to book a tour including a transfer to the hiking trail.
6
Bring your own suppliesYou should not forget snacks and provisions. At the visitor center there is a cafe, but you can't buy anything to eat on the route itself. Picnics are also not possible, so larger meals can only be taken after the end of the hike. Be also aware that there are only toilets at the beginning and end of the hiking trail.
7
Guided tour - yes or no?The path is relatively straightforward, guides are not urgently necessary for this. However, guides from various providers often know more about the history of the remains of the old path or the habitats of the local animals.
The King's Path | Wiki Commons: Frayle - public domain

Interesting facts about the Caminito del Rey

Since its reopening in 2015, the Caminito del Rey has been a tourist spectacle. But that was not always the case. Originally, it was a dangerously perilous route for workers at the beginning of the 20th century. Later, the 'narrow royal path' became a target for daring climbers - often with fatal results.

This is the Caminito del Rey

Near Malaga in southern Spain, the Caminito del Rey, more than 22965.9 ft (7.000 m) long, runs along the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes at airy heights of around 328.08 ft (100 m) through double- to triple-height gorges. The now tourist paths through the spectacular canyons are significantly shorter, the paths range from 4,921.26 ft to 9,514.44 ft (1.500 to 2.900 m) Inside the mountains there are a total of 285 walkways, while 15 more lead above through the Hoyo Valley.

Origin of the King's Path

The dangerous path was initiated in 1901 to give employees access to the hydroelectric power plants of the Chorro and Gaitanejo waterfalls. In 1905, the gorge was finally passable over planks, by 1921 the path, including concrete slabs, was fully completed. The Caminito del Rey finally got its name after King Alfonso XIII officially inaugurated it in the same year. The dizzying cliff path - in places only 1 m wide - was frequently used by the neighboring communities. Children used it as a school path, men went to work and women did shopping.

Dangerous climbing trail until the 90s

In the following decades, the paths through the gorge slowly decayed and rusted. Due to advanced decay, the Caminito del Rey was finally closed in the 1980s. Despite this, many thrill seekers tried to overcome the famous cliffs as a climbing trail. When that led to a total of five deaths, Spain completely barricaded the climbing trail in 2001. Thanks to extensive renovation, it was able to be reopened 14 years later, much to the delight of adventure fans and nature lovers.

Paradise for bird lovers

The Caminito del Rey not only attracts hikers but is also a paradise for bird watchers. The gorge and the surrounding mountains are an important habitat for many rare bird species, including peregrine falcons, griffon vultures, and golden eagles.

UNESCO cultural heritage?

In 2019, an application was made to be included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After all, the southern Spanish canyon area is not only historically significant, but also showcases impressive nature. The application refers, among other things, to the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes nature reserve, the dams and the hydroelectric power station, the bridges over Los Gaitanes as well as the Palaeolithic Cave of Ardales. Guests are invited to cast their votes of support online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Caminito del Rey suitable for children?

Children over the age of 8 years may enter the path with adults. As the path is very high and narrow, the route is not necessarily suitable for sensitive children. However, the impressive rock faces and circling vultures entertain many children fundamentally. Read more.

Is the path accessible?

The hiking trail is not wheelchair accessible, plus there are stairs to the start and end of the path. Guests with dizziness, fear of heights, cardiovascular disease or respiratory problems are advised against a tour. Read more.

Am I allowed to bring luggage?

Carrying large bags and large backpacks is prohibited. Read more.

May I bring my dog with me on the hiking trail?

No, dogs are forbidden at Caminito del Rey. Read more.

Do I have phone reception during the tour?

Generally, phone reception is unreliable in the gorges, although Vodafone may have some signal. Read more.

Can I exchange my tickets in bad weather?

Tickets are not refunded. Usually appointments also take place in the rain. If the storm is too strong, you can make a new date. Read more.

General information

opening hours

In the summer (April to October), the Caminito del Rey can be visited from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, in winter from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. The hiking trail is closed on December 24th and 25th as well as December 31st and January 1st. The path is also closed when wind speeds exceed 55 km/h.

tickets

Tickets for the Caminito del Rey cost 10 €, an additional 8 € for a guided tour. A combination ticket, which includes a guided tour and a bus ticket back to the starting point, costs 19.55 €.

address

The Ardales Visitor Center is located at the coordinates 36.914411, -4.806910. Postal code 29550 Ardales.

how to get there

The easiest way to reach the Caminito del Rey is by car. A limited number of parking spaces are available on the street near the Ardales Visitor Center, where guests must also pick up their tickets and helmets before the start of the hike. The trail can be reached by public transportation as follows: train from Málaga or Sevilla to El Chorro station and then transfer to the shuttle bus to the Ardales Visitor Center.
Klaus Kainz
Written byKlaus KainzAs a studied historian, Klaus is not only interested in historical sights, but also in their fascinating backgrounds. For TicketLens, he gets to the heart of the most interesting information about attractions and travel destinations.
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