El Caminito del Rey
The Caminito del Rey (“The King’s Path”) is a very spectacular hiking trail with a total length of 7.7 km (of which 4.8 km ‘approach route’) in the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes gorge, one hour above Malaga. After the path had fallen into disrepair, for a long time it had the dubious title of ‘Europe’s most dangerous walking path’. Five people found death, despite the fact that the path was closed in 1992. Thanks to a major renovation plan, the Caminito del Rey has been fully restored and reopened in 2015.
There are hikers who say that the King’s path was a lot more exciting before the renovation in 2015. For experienced hikers this is certainly true: the dilapidated state of the path made the route an adventurous playground that was difficult to surpass. Even more adventurous was when the path was declared as officially forbidden in 1992. Threatening with fines of 6,000 euros per violation was, however, no impediment for many climbers (and people with death contempt) to enter the path anyway.
The fact is, however, that the route became increasingly dangerous due to erosion and falling rocks and that there were actually deaths. A thorough refurbishment of the dilapidated walkway was the only solution. Since the reopening, the Caminito de Rey has become much more accessible to a large group of people and is indeed less adventurous. Less spectacular, certainly not.
The Caminito del Rey is now a safe walking path that runs 100 meters above the Rio Guadalhorce through the ravine of the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes. The path itself is made of wood; some parts of the route are made of glass so that the view down is even more spectacular.
The route is open in the summer between 10.00 and 17.00. Count on 2.5 to 3 hours to walk the entire path quietly. On the way there is no food and drink for sale, and there are no toilets available. The path is closed when the wind is above 35 km / h. Slippers are forbidden, so just wear a pair of decent walking shoes.
The King’s path can be walked from the north direction. The north access point is Ardales. At the end of the route, buses are ready to take you back to the starting point for € 1.55 (or less than a euro if you have a discount card).
More information about the path and bus times: www.caminitodelrey.info/en/
The King’s path can be run individually or with a guide! Single tickets cost € 10, -, a helmet is included. Do not forget ID!
For tickets with a guide you can also book via www.allinmalaga.com/caminito-del-rey. Reservations are always advisable, especially in busy months. You can arrange tickets via the website of the path (www.caminitodelrey.info/en/), under the button ‘Book your visit’. Take the confirmation of your reservation, plus a passport or identity card.
La Concha is the highest point in the Marbella region at 1,200 m above sea level.
Its name means “shell” in Spanish – because of the shape of the mountain.
La Concha is located in the most southern part of the Sierra Blanca mountain range, which is an extension of the beautiful Sierra de las Nieves and the nature park of the same name.
How do I get there?
There are two main routes to reach the summit of La Concha. The first is from Istan. Although this route is shorter in distance, it is also much steeper and more demanding than the second route that runs from the El Refugio (‘Schutplaats’) the Juanar.
The walk is not difficult, but keep in mind that the Andalusian nature is very desolate and remote. Take a lot of water, sunburn and a well-charged mobile phone (for emergency: 112) and let someone know where you are and which route you are walking. Extend a good part of the day and start early in the morning. In case of doubt or little walking experience: find a professional guide (there are many companies in the region that provide this service) to take you. This is not only safe and practical, but also interesting as the guide can tell a lot about the area and the flora and fauna.
There is a section of the trail that is exposed to the wind, so extra precaution will benefit from stormy and / or rainy days. This part of the route is called “El Salto del Lobo,” the Wolvensprong.
The routes are linear, so if you want to turn around, you can do that at any point on the route
The view is very beautiful from the beginning of the route. Other viewpoints that are worth a visit all year round because of the beautiful view they offer and which are just a little easier to reach
- The Mirador del Corzo (‘hertebok’) is only 500 meters from the refugio.
- The Mirador del Macho Montès is a popular choice for families with small children. The path is clean, well signposted and leads through olive trees (1.3km) to a good viewpoint over Marbella.
- The Cruz de Juanar is another, slightly higher and further situated viewpoint at about 1 hour from the refugio.
The following directions are those from the Rufugio de Juanar:
The walk starts at the Refugio de Juanar. It is fairly easy to get there: From the A-355, exit “Centro Comercial (shopping center) La Cañada”. Just before the shopping center, take the exit at the large roundabout towards Ojen (straight on at the roundabout).
After about 11km you will find signs on the road that the Refugio de Juanar is on (past Ojen). Keep following the road until the Refugio and turn at the intersection just before, to the left.
Here you can park (wherever you want) and continue walking up the road and immediately cut off 200 meters from the start of the route. The path is well marked.