Caminito del Rey was once known as the most dangerous path in the world! Located along the walls of a steep gorge in El Churro, Spain – it became a popular sensation for thrill-seekers all over the globe. However, now the path has been restored for all to enjoy – safely!
The closest airport to Caminito del Rey is Malaga – Costa Del Sol Airport, so the best option for accommodation is in Malaga.
From Malaga, the best transport option to take is the train from Maria Zambrano, the main train station in Malaga. You can buy tickets from the desk or from the machines scattered throughout the station. Luckily, the station is very easy to navigate around and find, so there isn’t much chance of missing your train. Be prepared for a quick security check before you board the train, so make sure you have a few minutes spare.
The stop for Caminito del Rey is called El Chorro. It is often the Seville train that stops there, but make sure you check beforehand.
The train journey takes around 39-45 minutes and tickets cost £5.47 each way for an adult ticket.
Now, this is where it gets a bit complicated. The first train arrives at El Chorro at 9:37, the next one arrives at 14:02 and the final one arrives at 17:59 (but Caminito del Rey is closed then). I really recommend getting the 8:58 train that arrives at 9:37, as you will then need to wait for a transfer bus which comes every 20 minutes, and then walk to Caminito del Rey’s entrance, which all takes time.
Return trains are a bit more stressful as there are only 3. The first one returns at 11:47 (not enough time), the second returns at 14:34 and the final one returns at 21:46. I recommend aiming to get the 13:51 train that arrives back to Malaga at 14:34. If you miss this train, I believe that you can get the bus to Alora where there are more frequent trains, and I think there are some trains you can take to Antequera and then change to get back to Malaga.
You can buy the return ticket on the train if you don’t buy one as you depart Malaga. There are no ticket machines in El Chorro.
If you miss the train, fortunately, there is a hotel and some restaurants nearby.
Tickets for Caminito del Rey cost €10 for a self-guided tour and €18 for a guided tour. You have to pre-book online as they sell out fast and there is no guarantee that you can buy them on site. I have heard that they sell a limited amount of tickets on-site, but I advise you not to risk it.
I suggest that you book a ticket for a timeslot between 10:20 and 10:40 if you want to get the early train back.
Once you have booked the ticket, you have to add your details to it, via the website. Make sure to bring your passport with you, so they can verify your identity.
I took the self-guided tour, but I have heard that the guided tour is very good especially if you’re a solo traveller as your tour guide can take some photos of you! It is also a great option to choose if you want to explore the history of the place and gain a deeper understanding.
Once you arrive at the train station, there is a shuttle bus you can take next to it. You will need €1.55 in cash to ride it. It comes every 20 minutes and the ride takes around 15 minutes.
After stepping off the bus, you have two options to walk to the entrance. One way is 2.7km and is under a bridge, and the other way is 1.5km through a tunnel. The 2.7km trail under the bridge is where the bus will drop you off, and the 1.5km tunnel trail is down the road where the bus came to drop you off, it takes about 4 minutes to walk there and is along the road. If you are sitting on the right of the bus you will see it through the window before it stops. Take the 1.5km trail if you are short on time. Both trails are downhill.
You should then come to the entrance of Caminito del Rey. Here, there are toilets and vending machines. Once you have shown your ticket, you will get given a helmet and a hair-net, have a safety briefing and then you can start the main attraction.
The path is linear for the vast majority of the way – but more on that later! Some parts of the wooden path stop and turn into concrete. There is a section where you walk through the forest, which was unexpected as I was under the impression of it being a wooden path the whole way. The forest part is still as spectacular as the wooded path – so no complaints here!
There are plenty of photo opportunities but remember to put your phone down sometimes and take it all in! Additionally, towards the end, there is the chance to stand on a glass floor which is amazing! Unfortunately, when I went there was an employee cleaning it so I wasn’t able to stand on it.
At the end, there is a metal bridge that you have to cross and it bounces when you’re on it. There are also some wooden steps with large gaps, so make sure you hold on to your phone tight!
Overall, the path is jaw-dropping in the best way! It’s great that you can see the old path beneath it, as you see how damaged it had become over time. It’s a must-do for everyone if you’re in the area! The path is 3km long and will take around 1.5 hours to complete if you’re a fast walker. You will end back near El Chorro train station, which is a short walk away.
The construction started in 1901 and finally finished in 1905. It was rumoured to be constructed by prisoners on death row – however true that is I’m not sure though!
The path is an average of 100 meters above the river and was built for access between two “waterfalls” for workers and materials being transported for the hydroelectrics.
Caminito del Rey means The Kings Little Path as King Alfonso XIII walked in 1921.
Over time, the natural elements gradually deteriorated parts of the path. Sadly 5 people died on the path in the ’90s and ’00s. Though the danger aspect made it popular amongst thrill-seekers – you may have seen the viral video by Daniel Ahnen.
In 2014, construction began to build a new, safer path above the old one. It was officially opened to the public in 2015 for everyone to enjoy.
What should I bring with me?
You should bring your passport, some food and water (please don’t litter!), tickets, your phone with plenty of charge. You honestly don’t need to bring much. I saw people taking big hiking backpacks – you don’t need that! It’ll be a burden if you do.
If you’re paranoid, like me, I suggest that you bring something to put your phone in and hang around your neck, as at times I was scared to drop it!
There is a list of prohibited items on the Caminito del Rey website, which you should look at before.
What should I wear?
Wear some good walking shoes, good clothes and a light jacket depending on the season. Make sure your hairstyle isn’t in a bun, high ponytail or similar due to the helmet you have to wear.
If you don’t bring any bags, make sure you have some deep pockets for your phone and tickets!
Can I do it in the rain?
This depends and is something you should check on the day. If it is light rain then there is a possibility that it could be open. It may also close if it is very windy also! If it is cancelled, there is the option to reschedule.
When is it open?
Caminito del Rey is open from 9 am – 3:30 am, Tuesdays to Sundays. Except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day.
I hate heights – can I do it?
I have a love/hate fear of heights – sometimes I’m fine, sometimes I’m not. However, I was totally fine along the path, I was only worried about dropping my phone! The only thing that freaked me out a bit, was the bridge bouncing and it being very windy as I walked across and the huge gaps in the steep stairs, meaning I could see the drop. Just remember that it is now completely safe, so you will be fine! Little tip: whenever I get nervous doing something like rock climbing or height-wise, I just pretend I’m Lara Croft because she’s such a badass!
Have you ever been to Caminito del Rey? What did you think?