The Former Most Dangerous Hike in the World
“Until recently, this almost 8-kilometre path near Malaga was considered to be a dangerous hike in the world. Today the entire route has been carefully restored, earning it the Europa Nostra Award for heritage conservation, and although it’s now much safer, one thing hasn’t changed – the unique experience of strolling along walkways hanging over 100 metres up on a sheer cliff face.” ~ Spain Tourism
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Arriving at the El Caminito del Rey hike I was slightly panicky within. Stomach turning and hands a little clammy I was quiet for most of the bus ride up. Looking back I blame this on reviews that I had read, and some newspapers rating it in the “Top 20” scariest or dangerous hikes in the world. And I quote The Gaurdian, “The El Caminito del Rey is a ramshackle trail threaded along the dramatic walls of El Chorro gorge in the province of Málaga. The 1,200m-long walkway was built at the turn of the century to help workers construct nearby hydroelectric plants. Although it is officially closed and some sections are incomplete, many tourists still risk the route, using harnesses and climbing gear to traverse the gaps in the path.”
It has since been reformed and reopened to the public, and on arrival early afternoon my nerves were immediately put at ease with the professional welcome. The safety aspect experienced at El Caminito del Rey is first-class, and their briefing detailed.
In approximately 37 degrees celsius heat we took our first step along this wooden walkway winding between rocks and gorges. The view impressive with gigantic boulders & rock formations, green lakes dotted across the landscape surrounded by lush forests, and waterfalls! Yes, that sound of water rushing just spurs you along in the heat of the day!
The route is 8 kilometres, of which 4.8 are access paths and 2.9 are walkways. There are many plant and animal species living in this area (mountain birds such as the Egyptian vulture, griffon vulture and golden eagle; Spanish ibex, foxes, dormice, etc.). If you’re in luck, you might be able to spot some of them.
There are a few options for you to enjoy this linear trek, which takes approximately 4 hours to complete:
1. Book directly with Caminito del Rey and make your own way there. (The web page is not 100% English friendly and you may want to have your translate app ready. Please note tickets are essential)
Caminito del Rey History & Dangerous Hike
The works were started in 1901 and finished in 1905. The pathway used to start at the Renfe railway and go along the gorge, so it used to connect the both sides and make them approachable. King Alfonso XIII went along the path on his way to Count of Guadalhorce’s reservoir in order to officially open this great building achievement in 1921. This is when people started to call the path ‘The Kings Little Pathway’, and this name was kept up to date.
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