This beautiful area, which hoards historical treasures and gorgeous scenery, lies in the middle of the Province of Málaga, and it is surrounded by the Serranía de Ronda and Antequera. It separates the plains Camplillos, Teba and Antequera in the northern part of the province from the Guadalhorce valley and the fields of Cámara in the south. Different nations have prospered throughout history at this place, which became rich in hydraulic structures and electricity sources especially in the last century. All of them are connected by the humble path called ‘El Caminito del Rey’ that goes along this nature spot - Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, in an unbelievable way.
As a matter of administration, this supreme natural beauty and geomorphologically and environmentally significant hilly terrain is located in the municipalities of Ardales, Álora and Antequera.
The gorge is part of a great nature spot that spans 2173. 34 ha in the western part of the Baetic Mountains. There is a mountain range which is separated from Torcal of Antequera by hollows with marl. The area includes mountains, such as Abdalajís, Huma, Llana, Tajo del Cuervo (Crow’s Cliff) and Salto de la Zorra (Fox’s Precipice), composed by limestone and Jurassic dolomite.
Natural Beauty Spot
This beauty spot in the village El Chorro is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and appealing places in the Province of Málaga . Breathtaking gorges made by the Guadalhorce River of limestone and dolomite are three kilometres long, up to 300 metres high and less than 10 metres wide.
The magnificent beauty spot of Desfiladero de los Gaitanes and the surrounding villages have influenced development of societies since ancient times. Its unquestionable natural and geostrategic importance, gorgeous landscapes and other beauties of this area have attracted celebrities and entire nations for ages. They drew inspiration from these beauty spots and develop varied activities.
These beauty spots have obtained a proper spirit due to the flourishing of communication routes, reinforcement of farming of crops suitable at first for unirrigated and then also for irrigated land, and more recently hydroelectricity generating of national importance, as well as creation of water sport areas thanks to exploitation of reservoirs, gorges, and wooded terrain that was created mostly by human hands. Moreover, the beauty of this zone inspired numerous artists, painters, writers, poets, romantic travellers, playwrights, film makers and directors, etc, who came from remote places and transmitted a small piece of this land through their works.
A Practical Way
In this union of villages and natural spots, the short, curvy and risky path - El Caminito del Rey has always been an essential linking element. It was built for practical reasons with concrete boardwalks that hang above the cliffs of the Gualdalhorce River at the spectacular gorge – Desfiladero de los Gaitanes in orderto connect both parts of novel hydroelectric precipice from the 20th century.
Today, this trail, which was used to connect people from the area and make their daily life easier, is in danger of disappearing. This short but impressive communication route was derelict and destroyed by natural and human actions, and therefore an important part of history of those people and nations that have grown and developed around was lost.