El Caminito del Rey (Road of the Little Kings) is a path along the steep walls of a narrow canyon in El Chorro near Ardales, Malaga province, Spain. Its name comes from the original Camino del Rey (King’s Trail), locally shortened to El Caminito.
The passageway was built in the early 20th century but fell into disrepair in the early 21st century and was partially closed for over a decade. It reopened in 2015 after four years of extensive renovations. In 1999 and 2000, it was called “the world’s most dangerous track” after five deaths.
History of El Caminito del Rey in Malaga, Spain
Sidewalks were constructed to facilitate transportation between them, material transport, and canal inspection and maintenance to hydroelectric power plant workers at Chorro and Gaitanejo Falls. Construction began in 1901 and was completed in 1905. King Alfonso XIII crossed this road in 1921 and opened the Conde del Guadalhorce dam, which came to be known by its current name. The sidewalk is 1 meter (3 feet) wide and rises over 100 meters (330 feet) below the river.
The original track consisted of concrete and rested on steel rails supported by poles driven into the rock at approximately 45-degree angles. It has deteriorated over the years and in many areas, some or all of the concrete roofs have collapsed.
The result was a large outdoor chasm spanned only by narrow steel beams or other supports. Safety wires ran along the entire length of the track, but few of the original handrails remain. Several people died on the sidewalk, and after two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000, local authorities closed both entrances. However, in the four years leading up to 2013, four people died trying to climb the canyon. In June 2011, the provincial governments of Andalusia and Málaga agreed to share the costs of restoration (including parking and museums) at €9 million. The project took about 3 years to complete.
El Caminito del Rey In the film
In the 1960 film The Smell of a Mystery, also known as Holiday in Spain, there is a chase scene at the end of the film that takes place in the Caminito del Rey with the hero (Denholm Elliott) and his companion (Peter Lorre). The antagonist (Paul Lucas) is after them. After a chase, Paul Lucas is hit by a train in a tunnel that is also part of the park complex.
Some of the final scenes in the 1965 film Von Ryan’s Express were filmed at the junction of the gate and railroad. In the film, they mark the Italian-Swiss border. Part of the local deterioration was directly related to the fact that the plane crashed into the rocks during filming.
- The Horsemen (1971) was shot on the Caminito del Rey.
- The developed sequence in the 2012 Spanish thriller The finish was filmed on the Caminito.
The location of the Caminito del Rey
It is located in the province’s center, about 60 km from the capital. It is limited to the Ronda and Antequera mountains.
Get to the Caminito del Rey from Antequera
To get to Caminito del Rey, if you’re coming from northern Andalusia, it’s best to go to Antequera (motorway A-92) and choose one of two routes from there. The first is towards the Municipality of Campillos (A-384) towards El Chorro Reservoir (A-357 and MA-451) in the Municipality of Ardales.
The best way to get to El Caminito del Rey is by car. But other ways include:
- Train to Caminito del Rey
- Bus to El Caminito del Rey
- Driving to Caminito del Rey is ecstatic.
- Province: Malaga
- Gorge: Desfiladero de Los Gaitanes
- Length: 7,7 km
- Time: 2 hrs walking (3,5-4 hrs loop incl bus ride)
- direction: Linear
- Difficulty: Easy
- Entrance fee: 10/18 Euros (has to be booked in promote)
- Hiking with dogs: It’s not allowed to jog with dogs on the Caminito del Rey
for book tickets for Caminito del Rey Malaga
You must reserve tickets for El Caminito del Rey in advance and bring a printed ticket to the control booth to access the hike. A regular ticket with
entrance plus a helmet can be booked for 10 euros, and a guided tour where a helmet is required is 18 euros. The guide speaks English and Spanish.
The best time to jog El Caminito del Rey
El Caminito del Rey is easily accessible all year round, but consider rescheduling if you can avoid the hottest months of July through mid-September. Most of the trail is shaded, but it can get very hot and there are no places to swim while walking.
The rest of the year is a nice temperature for walking, so you just need to dress accordingly. Especially early winter mornings can be frosty.
Stay when hiking El Caminito del Rey
When hiking El Caminito del Rey, it’s best to stay in El Chorro or Ardales. The campsite is right next to the lake and very close to the El Kiosko restaurant.
but if you live farther away it’s a great choice for those who don’t have access to a skinny car. Here are some accommodation options.
Hostal Restaurante El Cruce in the El Caminito del Rey
Nice apartment hotel in Ardales with parking just 15 minutes drive from El Kiosko restaurant. They also offer an airport shuttle so if you are not driving you can take a bus to El Caminito del Rey. A tour of El Kiosko restaurant will take approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- El Torcal de Antequera
- La Maroma
- Peak of Mijas
- La Concha
- Peak of Heaven
THE CLOSEST Hotels to El Caminito del Rey
- Complejo Turístico La Garganta
- La Posada del Conde
- Hotel Don Pero
- Apartamentos Ardales
- APTOS MILLÁN
- Casa La Paz
- Hostal Delia
- Apartamentos Ardales Premium
- El Cielo Azul
- El Rancho Grande – Apartamento