Excursions from Malaga – El Caminito del Rey

excursions from malaga caminito del rey

Less than three years after its restoration and inauguration, the Caminito del Rey (the King’s Litlle Path) has become in its own right one of the best excursions from Malaga. But not only that. Its success has been a total revulsive in its area. Here you will discover why the Caminito del Rey has has become one of the best one day-trip from Malaga.

Firstly, the itinerary crosses the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, an impressive gap that separates in two a giant rock mass. In this place, the path is made up of walkways attached to the rock, one hundred meters above the ground. This image irrevocably reminds us of Indiana Jones or any adventure movie.

Embalse de Gaitanejo dam chorro
Gaitanejo Dam
Gorge of the pigeons caminito rey malaga
Gorge of the pigeons

From the beginning, they remind us safety standards must be followed, since there is a serious risk if they are not complied with. In fact, until now only experienced climbers could have access to this unequal spot. Thanks to its restoration, nowadays anyone who wants to walk almost 8 kilometers can cross this place without any problem.

The itinerary begins at the Gaitanejo dam, which was built for the production of electricity in 1906. From here water was led to a fall of more than one hundred meters to the primitive Salto del Chorro power plant. Along this water pipeline a path was built for the maintenance of this infrastructure, and that is what currently forms the Caminito del Rey.

Gorge of the pigeons excursions from malaga
Gorge of the pigeons
Gaitanejos Gorge caminito rey malaga one-day trip
Gaitanejos Gorge

Its name is due to the visit that King Alfonso XIII made to place the last stone of the Conde de Guadalhorce dam, in 1921. This dam, larger, was made upstream for a greater production of electricity. The king walked the path, although we must say that he did not do it entirely. Halfway the route he got diverted and, crossing a bridge, now known as the King’s Bridge, left the path.

The first part that we cross is the Gaitanejos Gorge, also known as “of the pigeons” by the lots of them living here. It is a walkway between the rocks which descends to a more open area. From here you can see the railway line Málaga – Córdoba. Built in 1865, it crosses this place through tunnels and viaducts. If you ever make this trip by train, make sure you do not miss its spectacular views.

Gaitanejos Gorge oneday trip malaga
Exit from Gaitanejos Gorge
railway caminito rey malaga
View of the railway from the Caminito del Rey

Then we go to the third area, the Gaitanes Gorge. It is the most impressive part of all, where you can see perfectly, parallel to the current, the previous path that existed before its restoration. In fact, one can corroborate the danger this path had, and why in the year 2000 they decided to forbid its access.

Here we cross a suspension bridge that goes from one wall of the gorge to the other. It is the most iconic image of the Caminito del Rey, although we are not left with only that image. Along the way we discover fauna, flora and geology of great interest. And on the way out, if you look back, you will have one of the most impressive views. A vertical mountain that ends abruptly with a turquoise water dam at its feet.

Bridge of the King caminito
King’s bridge
caminito del rey malaga excursion
View of both old and new Caminito del rey

The visit is made only makes in one direction, so at the end there are buses that return you back to the origin. About three hours would be enough to make this beautiful walk without hurry and enjoying the landscape.

If you need tickets, their website allows bookings or you can also show up early as every day there is a limited number of tickets sold at the box office. Of course, you have to get up early if you want to enter.

Gaitanes Gorge caminito
Gaitanes Gorge
Suspension bridge at Gaitanes Gorge caminito rey
Suspension bridge at Gaitanes Gorge

We recommend this as one of the excursions from Malaga that you have to make, about an hour’s drive away. And then in the city, you cannot miss the best tours with Voilà Málaga, such as Secret Malaga, where you can dig deeper into history and get to know the palace where the family who built the Córdoba – Málaga railroad lived. Contact us and book your tour.

Caminito del rey exit Tajo de la Encantada dam
Caminito del rey exit, right to the Tajo de la Encantada dam

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