The Boutique hotel Posada del Conde is located between the Conde del Guadalhorce and Guadalteba Reservoirs in the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes natural park. It offers 24 spacious double rooms (and 1 suite) with huge beds. Scenic forest views and the peace and quiet makes this hotel a very special place to spend a few nights. It is an ideal place for travelers exploring Andalusia and it is definitely off the beaten track. If you are on a road trip across Andalucia this hotel should be on your list for at least of 1 or 2 nights.
If you stay in this hotel the staff can arrange your entry permit for the Caminito del Rey and thus you avoid the difficult booking system
So you have been to the official website to book your tickets for the Caminito del Rey and to your dismay the dates you want are full (agotado). Not to worry as there are two other ways that you can get your ticket.
Firstly, stay in a local hotel such as the Posada del Conde or the Garganta Complex. These are the two hotels nearest to the walk that can get the tickets for you. (When you make the booking, make sure that you add a message to say that you are specifically booking because you want to walk the Caminito del Rey.) If the hotels are full then other hotels found on booking.com can help as well such as the fantastic Hotel Magdalena closer to Antequera.
Secondly, Just turn up and buy your ticket at the gate. (10 euros each and you can pay by card as well as cash). Remember that the entrance for the Caminito del Rey is at the reservoirs/kings chair/el kiosko side… The north entrance. Right now you cannot start the walk from the El Chorro (south) side…
This is because there are a percentage of tickets (6% of the 1100 people allowed in daily.) When you can enter depends on how many people turn up for each allocated time slot. The maximum amount of people that enter every half an hour is 60 people so if you are there to buy your ticket at 11am and there are only 45 people checking in then you will be allowed to go along with that group… If there are 60 people you will have to wait for the next group in 30 minutes time.
Speaking with the manager there she told me that very rarely do people have to wait for more than an hour and on this day she had sold 120 entries at the gate and the people went in almost straight away but, she did say…”Try to get here as early as possible for the morning entries and weekends or holidays can be more complicated sometimes meaning people get turned away”
Even if you do have to wait a while, it really isn’t a hardship to sit and admire tha amazing scenery at the entrance to the Caminito del Rey!
The 2,016 hectare Natural Park of the “Desfiladero de los Gaitanes” has a unique natural setting and is an extraordinary site of geomorphological interest. Set in one of the most stunning locations in the province of Málaga, the famous El Chorro Gorge has been carved by the river Guadalhorce and is made up of Jurassic limestones and dolomites. The canyon is around three kilometers long and it’s walls reach dizzying heights of 300 meters narrowing to just 10 metres apart in places.
The rock here is of different origin and age and the river has carved and eroded fascinating geological formations, caves and chasms. There are over 20 caves in the area of great geological and archaeological significance, (In nearby Ardales, for example important paleolithic rock art can be seen with over 1,000 drawings in its more than 1,600 meters of galleries.
The terrain around the gorge at El Chorro and across to the reservoirs of Guadalhorce are protected natural areas and are covered in Aleppo pines, wild olive and holm oaks make up the backdrop on the hills either side of the gorge, with an undergrowth of rosemary, rock roses, dwarf fan palms, thyme and lentiscus. Closer to the river are rushes, reeds, tamarisk and oleander, as well as poplar, willow and eucalyptus trees.
The rare Bonelli’s and golden eagles are here though you need to keep your eyes to the skies to see them, The easiest bird to spot here is the ever present griffon vultures which are present all year round. There are also red-billed choughs, crag martins, blue rock thrushes and crested tits, as well as numerous swifts, swallows and house martins in spring and summer.
Spanish ibex can be seen peering down at you from the heights and other mammals present that you may see are badger, fox and red deer.
Because of the proximity to the now famous Caminito del Rey the area has become a very popular area for climbers with people coming from all over the world to sample the very difficult climbs and to “walk” the kings path. However, you don’t have to be a climber to visit and enjoy this beautiful area of Andalucia. There are some lovely walks along the river and of course the small village sitting on top of the Conde de Guadalhorce dam is fascinating and a great place to spend an afternoon exploring and sampling the local food. Our recommended restaurant is the “Meson del Conde” adjacent to the beautiful boutique hotel Posada del Conde.
In order to visit the Caminito del Rey you need to get to the small village of El Chorro located in Málaga province, Andalusia, Spain. El Chorro is a few miles away from the larger town of Alora.
Coordinates are 36°54’0″ N and 4°43’60” W in DMS (Degrees Minutes Seconds) or 36.9 and -4.73333 (in decimal degrees). Its UTM position is UF48 and its Joint Operation Graphics reference is NJ30-10.
From Malaga take the A-357 towards and past Cartama and around 47 km (from Malaga) take the exit towards M-442/Ardales/MA-5403/El Chorro. (About an hour)
The Map below explains the route towards El Chorro to take by car from Cádiz or Seville.
You can easily book a train ticket online from ACPRail. Click the image on the right and just fill in your departure station and type El Chorro in the destination. Follow the instructions and print your e.tickets straight away.
The image on the left takes you to the Spain e-pass page. A fantastic and very economical way to travel by train in Spain.
Time tables keep changing and it’s impossible to get an updated timetable for buses to El Chorro. Also, the buses from Malaga, for example, go to the town of Alora, and then you have to wait and change for a bus to El Chorro. With that in mind and as the village of El Chorro sits on a railway station I am going to recommend the train and forget the bus. (see above for trains to El Chorro)
“El Caminito del Rey”, in English, “The King’s little pathway”) was initially built as an access route. It enabled workers at the hydroelectric power plants of El Chorro Gorge and Gaitanes Gorge with an easier way to transport materials, maintain and inspect the workings of the two power plants. Construction of the “walkway” began in 1901 and was finished in 1905 and in 1921 King Alfonso XIII visited and walked along the path for the inauguration of the Conde del Guadalhorce dam and since that time it became known as the “Kings path”