Natural beauty spot
Natural beauty spot
The Gorge Desfiladero de los Gaitanes is a natural beauty spot, placed in the centre of the province, between the towns of Alora, Antequera and Ardales. This is one of the most beautiful spots of the Malaga Mountains. Between its steep and considerably high walls, the River Guadalhorce flows, after having passed through the reservoirs El Chorro (The Spurt), Guadalhorce, Guadalteba and Gaitanejo.
The Gaitanes Gorge is a canyon, carved by the river Guadalhorce in the territory of Álora, which at some points is only 10 meters wide and 700 meters deep. The northern access to it is via Guadalhorce reservoirs and the southern access is via El Chorro.
The construction of a water channel from the reservoirs in the north to El Chorro, which was meant to make the most of the slope in a hydroelectric power station, was carried out together with a path for maintaining the channel. This one is known as El Caminito del Rey Path (The King`s Little Pathway) because it was first opened by King Alfonso XIII. This path, about 3 kilometers long, has just been refurbished, and it goes along vertical walls and a footbridge over the gorge on the same waterway.
Until the arrival of the High Speed Train (AVE), the gorge was the only rail access to Málaga from the inland part of Andalusia, with a long tunnel in the east wall of the gorge. Today, there is another tunnel located one kilometer east, under Huma Mountain, used as an access by high-speed rail.
Aleppo pines, stone pines, holm oaks and eucalyptuses make the tree population, supplemented with scrub, particularly junipers, Sabine junipers, Mediterranean fan palms, brooms and rockroses. Vegetation on the riverbank comprises rushes, reeds, canes, oleanders and tamarisks, as well as some poplars and willows.
Notable among the fauna are mountain birds such as the Egyptian vulture, griffon vulture, golden eagle and honey buzzard, to name but a few. Several species of amphibians and numerous reptiles (eyed lizards and ladders, Montpellier and viperine snakes) are to be found here. The mountain goat inhabits the upper reaches, along with foxes, rabbits, dormice, badgers and genets.
The sections on two stages of the Great Málaga Path (GR 249),the stage 20 that runs between Campillos (Guadalhorce Reservoirs) and Alora (El Chorro Train Station), and stage 21, between Alora (El Chorro Train Station) and Ardales, offer information on landscapes, rivers, water, flora and fauna of this area. For more information click on the links to these two stages.
The Natural Beauty Spot, Desfiladero de los Gaitanes (the Gaitanes Gorge), is surrounded by three areas, the Guadalteba, Antequera and Valle del Guadalhorce. These beautiful administrative units are abundant in places of tourist interest. Because of this, it is difficult to decide what to do, where to go, stay or eat after or before the visit to the path of El Caminito del Rey.
You can access El Caminito del Rey from the Towns of Ardales or from Álora, On their web pages, you shall find all the information for tourists. At the bottom of the pages of any of the municipalities that form part of the above areas, places where you can have a meal or stay have been recommended by the Town Halls because they know best. Other beautiful municipalities included with Álora and Ardales on the Quality System in Tourist Destinations en Destination (SICTED), and that cannot be missed:
If you wish for more information on these three countys and their municipalities, click on the link above and enjoy.
"Unique sites are those places that create not only images in your memory but also experiences and feelings that last forever".
Málaga is unique from its continental part to the coast. This province is beautiful from inside and outside: it is natural, full of life, traditions and different cultures. It is hospitable, cosmopolitan and open to everybody.
From this paradise, we invite you now to observe this land from a different perspective in order to discover new sensations and experiences, that is to say, new ‘Unique Sites’. We cannot ignore that Málaga is the second most-mountainous province in Spain, and that its geographical features make it a unique spot. There are 7, 306 square kilometres of space which is undiscovered and which we will try to reveal in all its beauty.
Very close to El Caminito del Rey there are two precious Unique Sites, the Mozarab Basilica and Bobastro ruins and the Arab Stairs in the Sierra de Huma. But there are many others in the province we invite you to discover, cataloged into two sections, as they relate to Heritage or Nature.
In addition, the Tourism Service has published a book about these Unique Sites. This free publication can be obtained in the following formats: