Caminito del Rey, El Chorro, Spain.
I went with my wife to the Caminito del Rey in November 2017. Below is our personal experience and views from the visit, along with some photographs taken of the Caminito and of the surrounding landscape.
For those of us that aren’t privileged enough to be climbers this new Caminito del Rey is the next closest thing you’ll get to be, on the side of a mountain on a narrow path, at great heights to enjoy exhilarating and fantastic views. Its location is about 65km (40miles) north of the popular city of Malaga on the Mediterranean coast.
The new Caminito del Rey is built above the old one, roughly following the same route and has safety barriers. You can see the old one in the photograph on the right just below the current one (expand your browser setting, ie Ctrl + mouse scroll wheel or +/- ). It had no safety barriers, was narrower and was essentially built for seasoned climbers or mountaineers. However, a number of falls did take place resulting in deaths, eventually leading to its closure. There is a small remembrance point for those who fell near the end of the walk. The new one though, is for most of us to enjoy perhaps as a once in a lifetime walking experience at such a high altitude.
Many tourists who come for the walk find accommodation in the town of El Chorro, which is probably the nearest place to stay to the Caminito del Rey. There are a number of other locations further afield, should this suit better. As a guide, the photo on the left shows the view from our hotel that we stayed in El Chorro.
A bus service runs from El Chorro to the starting point of the walk near the top of the mountain, which takes about 15 minutes.
The bus ride, in itself, is quite an awesome experience with the bus taking in several sharp hairpin bends along the narrow route. For the squeamish, you’ll just have to close your eyes and hope for the best. Nevertheless, bear in mind the drivers are pretty well experienced and make several journeys daily knowing every twist and turn along the way. It’s deemed quite safe, not to mention the views which are simply amazing and well worth it, if just for the bus ride.
The bus should drop you off near a small touristy place, where there is a sign pointing to the Caminito del Rey. This is reached by first walking through a forest park for about 20 to 30 minutes. There are undulations here involving short minor climbs and descents. Take care not to get lost as there are not many signs to guide you. Appropriate footwear is recommended.
Once you reach the starting point of the Caminito del Rey you begin your journey from the highest point and essentially walk all the way downwards to the finishing point on a gradual slope. This is good news for many who don’t have a great stamina. You can walk by yourself, in a group or with a guided tour should this be a preference. A safety helmet is provided for everyone and is a mandatory wear throughout the walk. Dress suitably as its pretty chilly high up there even when the sun is out in its full glory. Beachwear is not recommended.
The walk is perfectly safe as long as you follow the rules and don’t get involved in any horseplay, which is not permitted. Bring your own drinks and lunch packs as there are no snack bars, shops or vendors along the way. The walk takes about 3 to 5 hours to complete, depending on your speed and the stops made. You don’t need to have any special climbing gear or training, only courage and perhaps a reasonably good head for heights.
Make sure you use the toilet before starting your journey as there are none en route. If you get caught early you’ll have to cross your legs or squeeze tight for a long time. The Caminito walk is suitable for all age groups. However, there is cautionary advice for anyone with health issues and for anyone of a frail disposition, which may include some seniors. You go at your own risk. It’s not recommended for anyone with a walking disability. Walking sticks and mobility devices are not permitted.
Note: The opinions and experience expressed above are taken from a visit as a tourist and do not constitute any legally binding information, in any form or manner. For official information please consult the Spanish Tourist Board.