One of our top 10 day hikes in the world
Caminito del ReyAlso known as The King’s Little Path.
Once called the most dangerous pathway in the world.Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. Today it’s very safe. Everyone must wear helmet AND hair net. 😀
AT A GLANCE
- Caminito del Rey is near Ardales in the province of Málaga, Spain, Andalusia
- inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII in 1921. He actually did climb out of his private train and walk a short section.
- first built 1905, the walkway had fallen into disrepair and was partially closed for nearly 15 years due to deaths
- re-opened in 2015
- new pathway total 6-7km
- 1 metre (3 ft) wide climbing over 100 metres (330 ft) above the Guadalhorce river
- the entire trip from the start at the town of Ardales to finish at Álora might take 6-7 hours
- originally built to provide access to workers at hydroelectric power plants Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls
- ticket required ( 10€ in 2022)
- there are other fees for parking, shuttle bus, etc.
- food kiosks at the end of the hike
- check in advance to be sure it’s open the day you want to go
Why We Like This Hike
- in the past it was illegal, dangerous and difficult. Since 2015 it’s easy for one and all.
- the thrill and adrenaline rush
- spectacular natural beauty
- good chance to see vulture, rock pigeon, and possibly ibex (we saw one)
- children under age-8 not allowed
- no drones allowed
- no toilets on the trail itself
- it can be HOT
- hard hats required. You will be given one at the start.
- in the past people have fallen. People have been killed. Safety is highest priority now.
- sometimes closed due to bad weather
- a 300m alternative tunnel has been built for one section. It’s used when the path above cannot be used due to rain, wind or rockfall.
Cost (2019)If you can simply purchase a ticket it’s only €10 (2019).
If you can’t get one by booking online, know that many local restaurants, hotels and gas stations have them if you ask around in Málaga. You might pay €20 / person for one of those.A guided walk costs 18€. Shuttle bus between the trailheads is € 1.55 / person. Easiest logistics is to sign on for a group tour from Málaga, the closest large city — about 1 hour away. Cost in 2022 for bus, entrance and guides was € 54. (about $56)
- you can get there by driving (A-357 from Málaga) … or by train
- two entrances, one in Ardales, the other from Álora. If driving, park at the north entrance. Exit at the south entrance. You can shuttle bus back to your car.
- if you choose rail, in 2019 RENFE train service offered regional daily service to El Chorro.
- new Visitor Center opened in 2019
- there you get a short audiovisual presentation on the adventure. Learn about the geology, archaeology, history and engineering before you set out.
- Visitor Reception Area Shuttle bus stop and a car park El Kiosko Restaurant
- Two access areas: the path and Gaitanejo way (2.7 km or 1.5 km long route, depending on your choice).
- Visitor Reception Centre and Gaitanejo Reservoir.
- First Canyon Gaitanejo Gorge (2.9 km from the entrance to the exit)
- Second Canyon Las Palomas Cliff
- Hoyo Valley
- Third Canyon Gaitanes Gorge (Desfiladero de los Gaitanes)
- Last Stretch Boardwalk to the exit
- Downwards path to the El Chorro Train Station, called Avenue Caminito del Rey (2.1 km).
- it’s downhill if you finish at the El Chorro Dam
- official website – caminitodelrey.info/en/
- Málaga tourist information
Best Travel Guidebooks
Best Web Pages
- Are you feeling brave enough? World’s most dangerous footpath has reopened
- Caminito del Rey (The King’s Little Pathway)
Best Trip Reports
- BestHike editor Rick McCharles (2022)
- Caminito del Rey – The Walkway of Death (2017)
- Caminito del Rey path in Málaga reopens with beauty replacing the fear factor (2015)