Caminito del Rey

El Caminito del Rey (The King's Little Path) is a walkway, pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Ardales in the province of Málaga, Spain. The name derives from the original name of Camino del Rey (King's Pathway), abbreviated locally to el caminito.[1] The walkway had fallen into disrepair and was partially closed for over a decade. After four years of extensive repairs and renovations, the walkway re-opened in 2015. It has been known in the past as the "world's most dangerous walkway" following five deaths in 1999 and 2000.[2]

El Caminito del Rey
Ground-level view
Length3 km.
LocationArdales, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain
Hiking details


The walkway was built to provide workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls with a means to cross between them, to provide for transport of materials, and to help facilitate inspection and maintenance of the channel. The construction began in 1901 and was finished in 1905. King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway in 1921 for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce, and it became known by its present name.[3] The walkway is 1 metre (3 ft) in width and rises over 100 metres (330 ft) above the river below.

The original path was constructed of concrete and rested on steel rails supported by stanchions built at approximately 45 degrees into the rock face. It deteriorated over the years, and there were numerous sections where part or all of the concrete top had collapsed. The result was large open-air gaps bridged only by narrow steel beams or other supports. Few of the original handrails existed, although a safety wire ran the length of the path. Several people lost their lives on the walkway and, after two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed both entrances. Even so, in the four years leading up to 2013, four people died attempting to climb the gorge.[4]

The regional government of Andalusia and the local government of Málaga agreed in June 2011 to share costs of restoration (including car parking and a museum) of €9 million. The project took approximately three years to complete.[5] Many of the original features remained in place.[6]

In March 2014, the cornerstone of the rehabilitation project was laid by specialized alpinists.[7] The walkway reopened on 29 March 2015, and Lonely Planet listed it in the best new attractions for 2015. Route description and GPS track is available in Wikiloc with information, photos, and videos to help visitors. The new pathway still offers a walk of 2.9 km along the side of the gorge.[8]

The Caminito makes a cameo appearance in the movie Von Ryan's Express, and some of the deterioration is directly attributable to the crashing of planes into the cliffs during the filming.

In film

In the film Scent of Mystery released in 1960, also known as Holiday in Spain there is a chase scene towards the end of the film that takes place on the Caminito del Rey where the hero (Denholm Elliott) and his cohort (Peter Lorre) are chased by the antagonist (Paul Lucas). At the end of the chase Paul Lucas is run down by a train in a tunnel that is also part of the Park complex.

Some of the final scenes of the 1965 film Von Ryan's Express were shot at the confluence of the gateway and the railway.[9][10] In the film, they stand for the Italian-Swiss border.

An extended sequence in the 2012 Spanish thriller The End was filmed on the Caminito.

See also


  1. The Rough Guide to Andalucia, 1995
  2. Kim, Soo (April 3, 2015). "Are you feeling brave enough? World's most dangerous footpath has reopened". Irish Independent. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  3. Bryant, Sue (2007). Costa Del Sol. New Holland Publishers. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-84537-636-9. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  4. "El Chorro Death walk cash plea". Euroweekly News. January 24, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  5. "La Junta pagará la mitad de la rehabilitación del Caminito del Rey". Diario Sur (in Spanish). June 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
  6. "El Caminito del Rey recuperará su aspecto original tras las obras de rehabilitación". Diario Sur (in Spanish). December 15, 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
  7. The Caminito del Rey will open Easter (29th March) 2015 Archived 2015-08-01 at the Wayback Machine 13 March 2014 (in English)
  8. "Caminito del Rey (The King's Little Path) • SIDSNET (now (Nov 2018) a website comparing cordless drills)". SIDSNET. Sidsnet. 19 April 2016.
  9. Travel Andalusia, Spain.

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