El Caminito de Rey hike is spectacular all way long: from the Count of Guadalhorce Reservoir to its end at El Chorro Dam. Placed in unique natural surroundings, the path stretches between two gorges, canyons and a large valley, along pathways or boardwalks. All the texts about the path, as well as the photos and videos that follow, were created after many visits of our experts to the site, and their hard work that had lasted for several months.
The route is linear, not circular, and it goes in one direction, downwards from the north to the south. Its beginning is in the Town of Ardales and the end in Álora. This route is almost 8 km long, and takes from three to four hours to be crossed. As we consider it to be rather unique, we decided to describe all of its parts so you could understand what can be seen or felt along the route.
There are seven parts of the route:
- Visitor Reception Area Shuttle bus stop and a car park El Kiosko Restaurant
- Two access areas: the path and Gaitanejo way (2.7 km or 1.5 km long route, depending on your choice).
- Visitor Reception Centre and Gaitanejo Reservoir.
- First Canyon Gaitanejo Gorge (2.9 km from the entrance to the exit)
- Second Canyon Las Palomas Cliff
- Hoyo Valley
- Third Canyon Gaitanes Gorge (Desfiladero de los Gaitanes)
- Last Stretch Boardwalk to the exit
- Downwards path to the El Chorro Train Station, called Avenue Caminito del Rey (2.1 km).
There is to mention that, due to the refurbishment works, the company Sando, which was in charge of them, started marking the path at the first boardwalk above Gaitanejo Gorge, where the numbered signs also begin.
Finally, we would like to thank Isabel Bestué Cardiel and Jenny Pérez Marrero for their work on 'El Caminito del Rey. A Route with History', and Pedro Cantalejo Duarte, who has recently published 'Guide to the Gaitanes Gorge - El Caminito dell Rey Path (El Chorro)' (Guia para visitantes del Desfiladero de los GaitanesCaminito del Rey, El Chorro), as well as everyone who helped with their comments and notes to describe the path.