When the Camino del Rey opens in January or February 2015, I think it will be fair to say that the whole area will be inundated by people wanting to see and walk the newly renovated kings pathway. This provokes a few questions, how on earth are the numbers of people walking this path going to be controlled? How much will it cost? How will one get a permission to be able to enter? Right now these questions go mostly unanswered.
Although unofficial, (and as yet without a website) there is an organisation in El Chorro with a facebook page that is taking peoples details in order to create a database to present to the authorities before the path opens. Looking at the comments on this page there are already thousands of people adding their names to the list. If you want to add your name to the list, go to the facebook page and send them a message (of course, you do need a facebook account). In the message put how many people and roughly the date you want to visit. This information will help the guys working over in El Chorro to see what kind of impact the opening will have and how to overcome the access issues.
The rumor is that access for the first 2 months will be free of charge and there will be a limit of 500 people per day to walk the Caminito del Rey which will mean that weekends and bank holidays will be full probably all year long…. My advice, when it finally opens, is to stick to weekdays
The project to design a “complete, successful tourism product” is certainly in full flow now
Works to be carried out in three phases after the opening of the remodelled Camino del Rey will include better access, parking, rest areas, tourist information centers and viewpoints.
The president of the Malaga council, Elijah Bendodo recently presented the project of the “Caminito del Rey” which has been agreed by the town halls of Ardales, Alora, Abdalajis and Antequera. The projects total cost is worth a cool 11,586,040 euros.
The project will be carried out in three phases with the restoration of the camino being the first with a budget of 2.24 million euros that should be completed by spring 2015.
The second phase of the plan includes works to upgrade roads, especially in the MA5403 (Ardales El Chorro) to allow easier access for buses and coaches. Park and ride facilities are also planned for the town of Alora and Ardales along with road signs and information boards. this part of the project will cost over 3 million euros.
The third phase with a budget of over 4 million euros will create the main visitor centre in El Chorro which will be located in the existing train station building. The name of the train station will be changed to “El Chorro – Caminito del Rey”. There is also talk of extending the existing footpath network and enhancing the existing paths with better signs and information boards.
Quite frankly, the helicopter in this video transporting materials for the restoration is very, very close to the wall of the mountain. The pilot is daring indeed. The faces on some of the politicians “inspecting” the work are pictures of fear. :)… Take a look at the video and you get an idea of what it must have been like over 100 years ago constructing this aerial walkway without the use of helicopters and other modern technology….
With an estimated investment expected to exceed 5 million Euros the restoration of the Caminito del Rey seems to be on schedule and is due to open in January or February 2015. It is hoped that king Felipe of Spain, like his great grandfather Alfonso XIII will open the hanging footpath high above the Gaitanes Gorge. Once completed, the 6 kilometre path will take about an hour to walk.