Visiting the Caminito del Rey, Malaga. Caminito del rey испания


Spain's Most Dangerous Hike • Expert Vagabond

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The Caminito del Rey in El Chorro Canyon

El Chorro, Spain

Balancing precariously on a rusty steel beam, I slowly hike across the Caminito del Rey trying not to glance down at the treacherous river hundreds of feet below me.

UPDATE: After my hike along the Caminito del Rey in 2014, the route has since been completely restored by the government, open and safe for all tourists to visit.

I’d traveled to this remote corner of Andalucia in the South of Spain to hike the Caminito del Rey. This path is famous around the world with rock climbers and adrenaline junkies due to its shocking state of disrepair.

Just looking up at the hazardous path full of holes and missing sections sent a shiver of fear down my spine. Barely clinging to the vertical canyon walls it’s attached to — ready to crumble at any moment.

Known as Spain’s most dangerous path, or the most dangerous walkway in the world, the Caminito del Rey (The King’s Little Pathway) is over 100 years old and 100 meters (350 feet) high.

The perilous concrete trail winds through steep limestone cliffs near the small village of El Chorro and into a hidden valley.

Would I really go through with this risky journey? By myself? I was starting to have second thoughts…

The King of Spain Once Walked this Path

Holes Reveal the Guadalhorce River Below

Ancient Catwalk Used for Hydroelectric Dam Access

Whatever You Do, Don’t Look Down!

Out for an Afternoon Stroll in the Mountains of Spain

Hiking The Caminito Del Rey

Walking the entire length of the 3 kilometer Caminito (sometimes called the Camino del Rey) has become an exclusive adventure sport for people crazy enough to attempt it. There are numerous sections where the concrete has collapsed, creating large open air gaps that are bridged by very narrow steel beams, themselves often rotting away.

A via ferrata cable runs the length of the path though, allowing hikers to clip in with a harness. You need to bring your own gear or rent one from a climbing shop. Or you can make your own Swiss Seat (like I did) with some webbing, climbing a rope, and a few carabiners!

However, the integrity of the safety cable running the length of the path is unknown, as it’s not officially maintained by anyone. So you must rely on it at your own risk.

Armed with my trusty Luna Sandals made for trail running, and a backpack loaded with gear, I spent 4 days hiking the walkway over 8 times. Filming video with my GoPro camera along the way.

More Rock Climbing Needed Here

The Path is 350 Feet High in Some Places[/caption]

The Caminito del Rey in El Chorro Canyon[/caption]

Would You Dare to Cross This Broken Section?

Dangerous & Beautiful

On the hike itself, the wind whips through the narrow canyon, testing my nerves as I carefully place one foot in front of the other. Hoping my next step isn’t my last. I’m not the only one attempting to conquer my fears though, there are other adventurous hikers up here flirting with death.

Sometimes we must pass each other, which can be complicated on a 1-meter wide path full of holes. In many places the entire path has completely fallen away, leaving just a three-inch wide steel beam to balance on. Other sections don’t even have beams — forcing you to cling to the face of the rock.

The Caminito del Rey is made up of two different sections. They each traverse a narrow area of the Gaitanes Gorge, with a stunning hidden valley located between them. “The Valley of the Orange” is completely surrounded by mountains, with orange trees growing near the Guadalhorce river as it flows through the middle. There’s even an old ruined house at the bottom.

Less hikers attempt (or know about) the second part of the walkway. Much of it has no safety line, save for a few very sketchy sections that require some rock climbing skills to pass. After about 3 hours I finished this wild adventure at the far end of the valley. Luckily in one piece.

The Caminito del Rey in El Chorro Canyon

Much of the Caminito del Rey is Falling Apart

Caminito del Rey Path

Old Hydroelectric Controls

The Caminito del Rey in El Chorro Canyon

History Of The Path

The walkway was completed in 1905 after 4 years of construction so workers could move materials back and forth between the two hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls on either end of the canyon. A water canal also weaves its way through tunnels in the mountains.

The suspended catwalk allowed easy access to this canal for inspections and maintenance work, controlling the flow of water when necessary using a series of steel doors lowered into the canal with gears.

Spanish King Alfonso XIII inaugurated the pathway in 1921, which is why it’s now called “The King’s Little Pathway”. The King himself walked the length of it to marvel at the beautiful & scenic landscape.

Deaths On The Caminito

There have been at least 5 deaths on the Caminito del Rey, the most recent few occurring in 2000, and many more accidents over the years. The path hasn’t been maintained since the 1920’s — rust eats away at many of the metal support beams.

Large gaping holes in the concrete are common. Sometimes whole sections of the treacherous walkway are completely missing after they’ve crashed down to the bottom of the canyon 100 meters (350 feet) below. If you’re afraid of heights, it’s the stuff of nightmares.

Memorial To Three People Who Died In 2000

Dangerous 100 Year Old Rusty Iron Supports

Some Rock Climbing is Occasionally Necessary

Abandoned House in the Middle of the Valley

A Magnificent View of the Gorge

2015 Path Restoration

Work just finished on a €3.12 million restoration program that transformed the entire walkway into a much safer route, opening up the path to more people and regular tourism. The aging concrete was replaced with wooden slats and glass panels with a handrail.

While more people will now get to enjoy the views of this magnificent canyon, sadly the adventurous spirit of the Camino has changed now that it’s fixed up. I’m very lucky I was able to hike it when I did!

Hiking the Caminito del Rey ranks right up there with camping on an erupting volcano and cageless scuba diving with bull sharks as one of the craziest adventure travel experiences I’ve ever had. ★

UPDATE: After my hike along the Caminito del Rey in 2014, the route has since been completely restored by the government, open and safe for all tourists to visit.

Watch Video: The Caminito Del Rey in Spain

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More Information

Location:El Chorro, SpainUseful Notes: There’s a train from Malaga to El Chorro once a day, or you can rent a car to drive here on your own. The area is a popular destination for rock climbing too. More info here: http://caminitodelrey.info/

READ NEXT: Best Travel Tips After 6 Years Traveling

How do you feel about the Caminito del Rey getting fixed? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Visiting the Caminito del Rey, Malaga

The opening of the newly reformed Caminito del Rey, also known as El Camino del Rey, has been one of the most anticipated events in recent years.

The official opening of the Caminito del Rey was on March 28th 2015. Here’s what to expect.

 

About El Caminito Del Rey

 

The Caminito was originally built between 1901 and 1905 and was used to transport material and people between two power stations that were built either side of the El Chorro gorge. It wasn't until the early 1920s that it was officially opened by King Alfonso XIII who walked its whole length and gave it its name. Since that time, the Camino has become one of the wonders of Spain. 

 

The El Chorro Gorge (La Garganta del Chorro) is an amazing place, with huge walls of rock as high as 400m along its three-kilometre length. “El Chorro” can be loosely translated as the "spurt," which is exactly what the water used to do when travelling through the gorge’s narrow ravine. The height difference between the two man-made reservoirs at either end of the gorge provided a unique opportunity to develop hydroelectric energy. An almost revolutionary concept at the time.

 

 

Electrical genius notwithstanding, the real attraction has always been the concrete catwalk, El Caminito del Rey, which threads the length of the gorge hanging precipitously halfway up its side. The original structure was said to be built by sailors who were used to climbing ropes and working while suspended above a void. Unconfirmed reports have also stated that prisoners, who were condemned to death, carried out some of the more dangerous tasks.

 

The path was built using sand and cement, and held in place by metal brackets. A simple iron railing was put in place along this decidedly non-frills path. The Caminito slowly fell into disrepair over the years and was officially closed in 2000 after several people fell to their deaths. 

 

This danger became the stuff of legends and attracted climbers and adrenaline junkies from all over the world, with many people referring to the Caminito as the ‘world’s most dangerous pathway.’ This is what the Caminito del Rey looked like in 2013 just before the reforms started.

 

 

The government spoke of reforming the Camino for years. In late 2013, these plans finally came to fruition. The local authorities and the city of Malaga are sharing the total €5.5m renovation cost. €2.2m have been used for the new construction of the new Caminito, the rest is destined for additional services in the area, roads, parking and bus facilities. It promises to be one of the largest attractions in Andalusia, if not the whole of Spain. 

Tickets

Tickets have to be reserved online and can be done so on the official Caminito del Rey website. For the first six months, entrance was free. After this six-month period, the entrance fee is €10 per person. Guided tours are also available.

 

The maximum number of people allowed on the Caminito at one time is four hundred. Groups of up to fifty people are allowed through the initial control points, with slots allocated every half hour. A maximum of 1,100 people per day is allowed to walk the Caminito.

Opening Times and Dates

The initial opening times are listed below.

 

1 April to 30 October: 10.00 to 17.00

1 November to 31 March:  10.00 to 14.00

Closed 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January. 

The New Caminito Del Rey 

The total distance to walk the new Caminito del Rey is 7.7 km. You walk from Ardales in the north to southern Álora. 

 

The Route: from Ardales to Álora

This route follows the river downstream and takes about 4 hours. The route starts just off the MA-444 access road that winds around the Ardales lakes. There are several ways you can get to the start of the Caminito from here. You need to get to the other side of the mountain. 

 

 

There’s a small tunnel that is situated just beside the Kiosk restaurant, right in front of the Conde de Guadalhorce reservoir. The tunnel is short, but you need to walk further at the other end (approx. 2.5kms). The path is exceptionally picturesque, signposted and follows the course of the river until you reach the control point/entry. 

 

There's a larger/longer tunnel that is situated near the Mirador restaurant. This tunnel is quite a bit longer than the one near El Kiosk, but you save time walking on the other end. At the time of writing, there were no lights installed. Bring a torch or headlight if feeling unsure. 

 

If you don't want to use the tunnels, you can easily walk over the mountain and drop back down to the river. Follow the track that runs behind the Mirador restaurant. You can't miss it. 

 

The control station is situated just next to the old hydroelectric plant. Once you pass through the control, the path quickly narrows and gets increasingly vertical as you progress into the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes. You eventually drop down into the Valle del Hoyo. 

 

The old Caminito has been left as intact as possible with the new path built just above it. It's made up of predominantly wood panels that have supports drilled into the rock face. The one-metre wide path offers several spectacular glass floor sections and culminates with a hanging bridge that crosses above the Balconcillo de los Gaitanes. Not for the faint-hearted, the bridge is suspended more than 100m off the Gaintanes gorge. 

Things to keep in mind

Getting there by car

On leaving Málaga follow the A-357 northwards towards Cártama. Stay on the motorway for 65 km, just after you pass the village of Ardales on your left hand side, keep your eyes open for a sharp turning rightwards. It's labelled M-442/Ardales/MA-5403/El Chorro.

Take an immediate left onto the secondary road MA-444 which quickly starts to wind around the Guadalhorce reservoir, providing some fantastic scenery. Keep following this road as it winds around the lake. You'll eventually come to a junction, with a sharp turning rightwards towards the village of El Chorro. Rather than turning rightwards, keep on the MA-444, driving past the campsite and the beach areas.

Just before a small tunnel, take a sharp right onto an unpaved forestry road. Signposted Restaurante El Mirador. Drive up a couple hundred metres and park anywhere you can. The tunnel is clearly visible and signposted. 

 

There are two options for parking: the car park of the train station in Álora (at the exit of the route), or the car park at the Conde del Guadalhorce reservoir in Ardales (at the entrance). For more information about the itineraries, check the Caminito's official page.

 

Trains to El Chorro - Caminito del Rey from Málaga

There are currently only two trains that leave daily from Malaga's Maria Zambrano station to El Chorro. The first leaves at 10.05 (destination Ronda) and the second at 16.48 (destination Sevilla Santa Justa). Journey time is 40 minutes and a ticket costs 6€. 

There are three trains that return from El Chorro back to Málaga. Leaving at 9.33, 15.03 and 18.03 from El Chorro. 

Additional train services have been planned for the future. For more information, see the Renfe website or call 902 320 320. 

For more things to see and do in the area, be sure to check the fantastic hike up the Arabic staircase or pay a visit to the Bobastro ruins.

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El Caminito del Rey, Malaga

The Walk of Death

Dubbed by many as the World’s most dangerous path, the Camino was officially closed after three people fell to their deaths in 2000. 

Several accidents later and people are still flocking to southernmost Spain from all over the globe to walk the Camino before it receives an extensive makeover, no doubt losing some of its alluring, treacherous curves in the process. Something the Spanish government has been threatening to do for the last few years. 

The current economic crisis has put any cosmetic re-figuring on hold, but the work is scheduled to be carried out before 2015. 

So if you want to experience the Camino in its original, unedited version, now is the time to do it.

Update - the new Caminito del Rey is opening up to the public on the 28th of March, 2015. Here's all the information you'll need to visit the Caminito del Rey. 

Video of the Caminito del Rey

El Camino del Rey: What, Where, Why

The Caminito del Rey is a three-kilometre-long path suspended more than 100m off the ground. The one-metre-wide path is built into the walls of the impressive Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, the Gaitanes gorge. 

It is located between the villages of Alora and Ardales in the depths of Màlaga province. The path was originally built to connect two hydroelectric plants situated at either end of the Gaitanes gorge.  

A Brief History of the Caminito 

The Camino del Rey was used as way to transport workers and building materials between the two plants. Work started in 1901 before finishing in 1905. To much fanfare, El Chorro power station started to produce electricity in 1905. Despite its technological and industrial importance, it was the bridge overlooking the gorge that hogged the limelight. 

Los Balcones was the name given to the bridge hanging 100m above the ground. It was designed by Rafael Benjumea and his specialized team of workers. Most of whom were sailors who were used to climbing ropes and working while suspended above a void.  

The path was built using sand and cement, and held in place by metal brackets. A simple iron railing was put in place along this decidedly non-frills path.  

The name was changed to Camino del Rey when King Alfonso XIII inaugurated the power stations in May 1921. He walked along the Caminito from the El Chorro pantano (previously known as the Conde de Guadalhorce).  A walk that so impressed him that a plaque was erected in recognition of Benjumea and forever celebrates this most momentous day. 

There are numerous rural myths surrounding the path. Some have been verified, others remain mere folklore. It’s said that a young and beautiful English woman threw herself to her death from the Balconcillo. The exceptionally beautiful, blonde-haired woman is said to have ridden her white horse along the Camino before launching herself off the bridge.  

El Camino del Rey: the nitty-gritty

There’s no doubt about it, walking the Caminito is dangerous. With a capital D. People who tell you differently are just plain wrong or maybe friends who are actually enemies. 

The path’s in a bad way and continues to deteriorate. There are huge sections that have fallen away and hundreds of little potholes. The safety wire is thin and of dubious strength. An Italian climber fell in March 2013 after the wire snapped. 

In saying that, walking the Camino is a buzz. A big one. 

  • Be prepared, use the appropriate equipment and, if necessary, a professional guide
  • Don’t walk the Camino alone
  • Avoid the walk when it’s been raining. Bear in mind that the marriage of sand and concrete is over a century old and does crumble
  • If walking in a group, spread yourselves out. Too much weight in one place is not a good idea 
  • Rope up. When crossing over the more exposed sections, it’s a good idea to rope yourself in as well. 
  • Bring at least 60m of rope with you if abseiling down at the end  
  • Tread lightly. Most of the accidents have been caused by human error with people jumping, hanging off the safety wire and just generally messing around
  • Treat the Camino with respect. Your life depends on it. Literally. 

www.spain-holiday.com

Caminito del Rey - Wikipedia

El Caminito del Rey (The King's Little Pathway) is a walkway, pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Ardales in the province of Málaga, Spain. The name derives from the original name of Camino del Rey (King's Pathway), abbreviated locally to el caminito.[1] The walkway had fallen into disrepair and was partially closed for over a decade. After four years of extensive repairs and renovations, the walkway re-opened in 2015. It has been known in the past as the "world's most dangerous walkway" following five deaths in 1999 and 2000.[2]

History[edit]

The walkway was built to provide workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls with a means to cross between them, to provide for transport of materials, and to help facilitate inspection and maintenance of the channel. The construction began in 1901 and was finished in 1905. King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway in 1921 for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce, and it became known by its present name.[3] The walkway is 1 metre (3 ft) in width and rises over 100 metres (330 ft) above the river below.

Traversing a collapsed section in 2006

The original path was constructed of concrete and rested on steel rails supported by stanchions built at approximately 45 degrees into the rock face. It deteriorated over the years, and there were numerous sections where part or all of the concrete top had collapsed. The result was large open-air gaps bridged only by narrow steel beams or other supports. Few of the original handrails existed, although a safety wire ran the length of the path. Several people lost their lives on the walkway and, after two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed both entrances. Even so, in the 4 years leading up to 2013, four people died attempting to climb the gorge.[4]

Current state of El Caminito del Rey, with the original pathway at the bottom and new pathway at the top

The regional government of Andalusia and the local government of Málaga agreed in June 2011 to share costs of restoration (including car parking and a museum) of €9 million. The project took approximately three years to complete.[5] Many of the original features remained in place.[6]

In March 2014, the cornerstone of the rehabilitation project was laid by specialized alpinists.[7] The walkway reopened on 29 March 2015, and Lonely Planet listed it in the best new attractions for 2015. Route description and GPS track is available in Wikiloc with information, photos, and videos to help visitors. The new pathway still offers a walk of 2.9 km along the side of the gorge.[8]

The Caminito makes a cameo appearance in the movie Von Ryan's Express, and some of the deterioration is directly attributable to the crashing of planes into the cliffs during the filming.[citation needed]

In film[edit]

Some of the final scenes of the 1965 film Von Ryan's Express were shot at the confluence of the gateway and the railway.[9][10] In the film, they stand for the Italian-Swiss border.

An extended sequence in the 2012 Spanish thriller The End was filmed on the Caminito.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Rough Guide to Andalucia, 1995
  2. ^ Kim, Soo (April 3, 2015). "Are you feeling brave enough? World's most dangerous footpath has reopened". Irish Independent. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ Bryant, Sue (2007). Costa Del Sol. New Holland Publishers. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-84537-636-9. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  4. ^ "El Chorro Death walk cash plea". Euroweekly News. January 24, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  5. ^ "La Junta pagará la mitad de la rehabilitación del Caminito del Rey". Diario Sur (in Spanish). June 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  6. ^ "El Caminito del Rey recuperará su aspecto original tras las obras de rehabilitación". Diario Sur (in Spanish). December 15, 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  7. ^ The Caminito del Rey will open Easter (29th March) 2015 Archived 2015-08-01 at the Wayback Machine. 13 March 2014 (in English)
  8. ^ "Caminito del Rey (The King's Little Path) • SIDSNET". SIDSNET. Sidsnet. 19 April 2016. 
  9. ^ Travel Andalusia, Spain. 
  10. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjcZGvytKaU&t=3m26s

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°54′57″N 4°46′22″W / 36.91583°N 4.77278°W / 36.91583; -4.77278

en.wikipedia.org


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