Before our trip to Andalusia, we read a lot about the formerly most dangerous hike at the Caminito del Rey Spain and were excited to hike along the famous path in the mountains of Malaga. The Caminito del Rey passes through the Gaitanes Gorge Nature Reserve and offers spectacular views of the gorge and the remains of the former hiking trail. In fact, until 2001, the old version of the Caminito was still in operation, having been opened as early as 1905. This old Caminito was completely unsecured and was used by experienced but also amateur climbers.
However, after some accidents, the Spanish government decided to close the path and reopen it with greatly increased safety measures in 2015. This now “defused” Caminito del Rey thus once again became a tourist attraction in the Malaga region and is crossed by 600 visitors daily. However, this low number is only due to the new booking system that limits the number of visitors.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
Hotel Recommendation near the Caminito del Rey
Almost nothing more needs to be said about the picture. The panoramic view from the terrace of the Complejo Turistico La Garganta* is simply beautiful, so you can relax here perfectly after the hike. The hotel simply has a lot of charm due to the loving and rustic details and there is an excellent breakfast.
Where to buy Caminito del Rey Tickets
Whether you want to hike along the King’s Path or not is something you should consider a few weeks before your vacation in Andalusia. The tickets are in great demand and therefore always booked up weeks (in the high season even months) in advance. We booked our Caminito del Rey tickets almost 2 months before arrival and even then there were only a few left.
The Caminito del Rey tickets themselves can be booked online*. There are two types of tickets. On the one hand you can do the hike alone (10€ per person plus bus ticket), on the other hand you can do the hike with a guide (18€ per person plus bus ticket) who can tell you some background information during the hike. You will receive the booked ticket by email and you can print it out in advance.
If the Caminito del Rey tickets without guide on your desired day are already fully booked, you can also book the tour with guide and then still walk alone along the path. This we had asked in advance, because on the day on which we wanted to hike the Caminito also no more Caminito del Rey tickets without guide were available.
Opening and Entrance Hours
The Caminito del Rey is open from October 25 to March 26 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and from March 27 to October 24 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Visitors are let into the park in groups every 30 minutes.
More information can be found here: http://www.caminitodelrey.info/de/5116/logistik-anfahrt-wegzeiten
Parking at the Caminito del Rey
There are two parking lots where you can park for your hike. If you choose the parking lot in the north and therefore at the starting point of the hike, you will have to take the shuttle bus from the south back to the north after the hike.
Alternatively, you can park in the north, at the end of the hike, at the El Chorro stop and take the shuttle bus to the entrance. This has at least the advantage that you don’t have to watch the time during the hike, since the shuttle bus only leaves every 30-60 minutes.
Caminito del Rey Shuttle Bus
The official starting point of the hike is in the north in Ardales. The end point is in the south at the El Chorro stop. A bus runs regularly between the two points, which are about 7.7 km apart. During the week the bus runs once an hour, on weekends every half hour.
You can find the official table with the travel times here. If you want to stay close to the Caminito del Rey we can recommend the Apartmentos Ardales*. The rich breakfast prepares you optimally for the hike and after the hike you can relax in the pool and enjoy the view of the valley.
The Hike along the Caminito del Rey
The hike along the King’s Path is a linear route and not a circular one. A shuttle bus runs regularly between the start in the north in Ardales and the end of the hike in the south at the El Chorro stop. The hike on the 7.7 km long route is divided into different sections, which on the one hand run along the boardwalks at the ravines and sections that go through the forest lying in the valley.
The “interesting” part, which goes directly along the steep rock face, starts just before the end of the hike. But even the part before that is no less spectacular, because you always have very great views through the long gorge and because the paths meander very alternately through the gorge and overall very few people are on the Caminito at the same time, you often have the feeling of being almost completely alone on the road.
The route looks in detail as follows:
- To the control booth (the entrance where the tickets are checked) there are two marked paths that you can use. The longer 2.7 km long path starts directly at the restaurant. The shorter 1,5 km long path starts a bit further up the road.
- If you start after the control house, the first trail leads along the Gaitanejo Gorge for 2.9 km
- The second ravine goes along the Palomas escarpment
- Then follows the path through the Hoya Valley
- The third gorge is the Gaitanes Gorge
- The last section after crossing the bridge through the gorge leads back to the exit via a gravel path
Especially along the boardwalks it is always interesting to look at the old hiking trails underneath, which are already broken and dilapidated in many places. That there used to be some bad accidents here is absolutely understandable.
- Book your Caminito del Rey tickets early … preferably a few weeks in advance.
- To avoid waiting for the bus later, you can also park at the El Chorro bus stop and take the bus to the entrance
- If you don’t want to hike with the crowd, let everyone else pass first. Then you will have the path all to yourself
- The hike takes, contrary to the information on the website, a maximum of 2-2.5 hours, even if you walk slowly
- You only need a guide if you want to get more information about the Caminito del Rey
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Have you already hiked along the Caminito del Rey and do you have further tips, then leave us a comment!