Caminito del Rey Route
The Caminito del Rey route is a route that will surprise you from the moment you arrive. There are 7 parts or sections of this route.
From the arrival at the area of the reservoir of the Conde del Guadalhorce until its departure by the dam of El Chorro you will be amazed. We had already explained that its route is linear and in one direction, descending from North to South.
Starting from the municipality of Ardales and ending in Alora the route is almost 8 kilometers.
1. Reception Area
The reception area is located very close to the shuttle bus stop. Here you will also find the restaurant El Kiosko.
There are parking spaces available in this area, some of which are chargeable. Besides, very close to here there is a recreational area (camping, activities, nautical, etc). This is the closest point to the Control Booth to access the Caminito del Rey route.
From this stop you will be able to see the access to tunnel 1. After crossing it, the first of the 2.7 km routes will start.
A short distance from here you will also find the “Luis Morales” viewpoint, where you can see the entire Conde de Guadalhorce reservoir.
2. The path and track of Gaitanejo: Two access areas
From the shuttle bus stop there are two routes that allow you to reach the Reception or Visitor Control Booth. Here they will validate your entry and give you a helmet.
The area of the path starts from the big tunnel next to the restaurant El Kiosko.
The zone two is done through the small pedestrian tunnel through the Gaitanejo track.
Through both accesses you can see the so-called Gothic Arch. The difference between these two accesses, apart from their different landscape, is their length.
3. Visitor’s reception booth
After passing through the path or track of Gaitanejo you will arrive at this hut. Here begins the official start of El Caminito del Rey. At this point, as we have already said, the tickets are validated, a case is granted and after some indications the groups are organized according to the foreseen schedule.
This stand is located in the Gaitanejo Hydroelectric Power Station, which was one of the oldest in Spain.
4. First canyon
This is the first of the two great gorges on the route. The Gaitanejo Gorge, barely 10 metres wide, is the beginning of the first footbridge. Here you can see:
- The viewpoint, the commemorative plaques and the first wooden walkway.
- The kettles or shifts
- The remains of ancient electrification
5. Second canyon
After a long curve the visitor enters the second canyon, called the Tajo de las Palomas. Here you can see:
- The viewpoint of the railway slope in the anteroom of the Tajo de las Palomas
- The King’s Bridge in the middle of the Tagus
- The Desander and the Cave of the Bull
- The flat rocks
6. The Hole Valley
The water of the Guadalhorce River, after some rapids and gullies that produce quite a lot of noise, flows back and enters a space with abundant vegetation. You will enter the Valle del Hollo. Here you will be able to enjoy a lot of nature. In this area of the route there is even a bat shelter.
7. Third canyon
This part of the route is known as the Gaitanes Gorge and South wall. This “hanging” section of footbridges located more than 100 meters away will allow you to feel the adrenaline and enjoy the environment. It is the most impressive part of the route. The last stretch of the Caminito del Rey is done by walking up the stairs. If you keep your eyes down you will be able to see the new Central Hidroeléctrica del Chorro.
Hanging bridges, zip lines, viaducts, the hundred-year-old juniper tree and many other surprises to enjoy this unique enclave in Andalusia.
8. Final section
This last part runs along the so-called “Caminito del Rey Avenue”, a 2.1 km downhill path. Here you will find:
- The El Chorro Hydroelectric Plant
- The Albercones Viaduct
- Ancient village of El Chorro
- The hoof stand
- The train station and the tunnels.
As you have seen, the Caminito del Rey route has everything you need to make this experience unique. You only have to plan in advance the date of your visit as there are many visits throughout the year and it is often complicated to obtain tickets.