Caminito rock face walkway

We like to test-out the excursions we recommend to our guests, so Penny, our property manager, and some of her friends decided to report back to us on their hiking trip along the Caminito del Rey. 

The Caminito del Rey pathway crosses the Garganta del Chorro gorge and is one of the world’s most exhilarating hiking routes.  In 2015 the breathtaking trek underwent a multimillion pound renovation and is attracting many thrill-hungry walkers to its narrow ridge 100 metres above the ground.

 

The route is steeped in history; the Caminito was initially constructed between 1901 and 1905 and used to transport material and people between two power stations on different sides of the El Chorro gorge. King Alfonso XIII officially opened the walkway in the early 1920’ walking its whole length, giving it its name (translated to The King’s Walkway). Since that time, the Camino has become one of the wonders of Spain. 

The El Chorro Gorge really is a sight to behold, with huge rock-faces of up to 400 metres scaling the 3 kilometre path.

Penny tells us that by the late 1990’s the path had fallen into disrepair making it unsafe, however, the recent restoration has opened up the stunning trail to a much wider audience.  It’s no longer the preserve of professional climbers and adrenaline-seekers; the damaged paths have been fixed and reinforced, with a new handrail and glass-viewing platform for the brave. She thinks it great that more people can take in the spectacular views the walkway has to offer.  Here is one of the beautiful lakes:

 


 

Q&A from Penny

I asked Penny some questions about the day trip her group took:

How long does it take to get to Caminito del Rey from Casa La Negra?

It took us 1 h 38 min (109.3 km) via A-45 (Google map). There is some beautiful scenery on route taking in the flat plain of Antequera to the scenic lakes of El Chorro.

How long does it take to walk the whole pathway?

We were told at the entrance it would take 3 hours but it took us closer to 2 hours and we didn’t rush.  The idea is to leave your car in the South car park, get the bus up to the North entrance and then walk across the Caminito del Rey back to your car. If you want to walk on to the Mirador restaurant (highly recommended) before the walk it is just over 1k from the North entrance.

Is there somewhere to stop on the walk to get refreshments?

There are no refreshments on offer over the course of the walk but there is a toilet at the beginning.  So, yes, take some bottled water, especially if it’s hot.

How safe do you feel?  Is it very scary?

The recent renovation has made the hike completely safe.  It takes a little while to get used to how high up you are but like anything, flying for example, you soon start appreciating the scenery. It’s certainly an exhilarating feeling being that high up. The only part that was a bit unnerving was the short bridge and I am not that keen on heights.

How fit do you need to be to take on Caminito del Rey? 

We were a group of 6 with an age range of 66 to 71.  We do like a walk so I suppose we are relatively fit for our age but I wouldn’t say especially so. We all managed just fine but certainly enjoyed a nice relax afterwards!

What is there to do in the area after the walk?  Are there any nice restaurants nearby?

We went to the Mirador restaurant for lunch before the hikers in our group took to the road, and walked 1k to the North entrance of the Caminito del Rey.  It’s a lovely restaurant with a varied menu.  Here we left some of our party to enjoy a drink or two while we did the walk.  They then picked us up from the South car park around 2 hours later. As well as the Mirador there are 2 good restaurants/bars close by offering great scenery and a place to take a well-earned rest. Additionally, a short drive away, there are a couple of villages offering good food and a place for a stroll.

Is there a good or bad time of day to visit Caminito del Rey?

As with any outdoor pursuit we’d advise checking the weather before you go. If its hot and sunny be sure to take hats, sunglasses and a good sun screen.

Here is the official website for Caminito del Rey for bookings and more information. Note it is pre-booking only so don’t just turn up!

Caminito weve done it

This is our group at the end of the walk. Casa La Negra is the perfect villa for large groups looking to have an active holiday in South Spain. Call us now on 0034 680 772416