Getting to El Chorro, reservoirs and Camino del Rey

El Chorro

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.

GPS etc

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.

By Car

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.

Map El Chorro
Drive to El Chorro
By Train

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.

The Spain e-pass
The Spain e-pass
Getting to El Chorro by train
Getting to El Chorro by train
By Bus

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)

(Visited 179 times, 8 visits today)

62 thoughts on “Getting to El Chorro, reservoirs and Camino del Rey”

    1. I presume that you are asking about the Caminito del Rey? You certainly don’t need a taxi from the train station…. It’s about 30 minutes walk….

  1. We have tickets to 13.00 o`clock. We are landing in the airport 10.35. If we are not there half an hour early, will our tickets go to other people?
    Is it easy to find the parking place near Ardales?

    1. Hi, I think that you are cutting it a bit fine there actually. It depends how long it takes you to get out of the airport… Either way you will have to rush to get there in time. Parking shouldn’t be a problem but remember it takes half an hour to walk to the start point and you have to be there half an hour before your entry time. Best of luck!

      1. Is it possible to change the tickets to an hour later – e.g. el 17. April a las 14.00 or 15.00? I never saw in the first place, that we had to be there 1 hour earlier. My son and his girlfriend are here only 4 days, and the other 3 was booked.
        Inge

        1. Hi…. If you have made your reservation then that is the day and hour that you have…. I suppose you could email them from the contact address at http://www.caminitodelrey.com and ask for a change… I have to say that on the official website and this unofficial website it is clearly published that you need to be there 30 minutes before and it takes 30 minutes to get to the checkpoint…. http://www.caminodelrey.es/instructions-how-to-make-your-reservation-for-the-caminito-del-rey/

        2. Could we eventually change the tickets to the 18th or 19th of April and we need only 2 tickets. I am not able to walk that much, so I regret. We have 3 tickets now for the 17th.
          Best regards, Inge

          1. i doubt it very much…. Use the tickets that you have… You are lucky to even get them!!! 🙂

  2. good morning I am having a 12.30h walk from North side of El Camnito del Rey, would any one be able where I need to Parc for the North sied and how do I get back after the walk to my car?
    How long is it from teh car parc to the actual start of the North side of El Camnito del Rey.

    Please let me know,

    Best,

    Jeroen

    1. Hi, the North is the Ardales side so you need to get to the Gaitanejo footpath which is by the Guadalhorce lakes and NOT El Chorro….. When you come to the dirt track on your right just by the restaurante Mirador, take that and go up the track towards the “Mirador de los 3 Embalses”… Park there and take the footpath “Gaitanejo” down to the entry point. Allow 30 mins to park and walk and remember you have to be at the checkpoint 30 minutes before your entry time… You need to be parked up and walking by 11:30 am at the very latest.

  3. Hi, I am glad I came across this exchange as our starting point is the North Ardales and I was going to head for El Chorro as directed on the official website using the GPS co-ords they supply. I have tried to locate the start point for the Ardales/North, have searched for the Restaurante Mirador you mention above unsuccessfully. Are you able to supply any additional information that would help me find the start point parking for the Ardales/North entry, I will be driving and using a Satnav.

    1. Hi, I walked the caminito last Saturday from the Ardales side… I parked my car right opposite the Kiosko Bar on the edge of the Guadalhorce lake… very easy to find. It is 30 minutes from there to the checkpoint and is well signposted…. You go through the wide tunnel to the right of the Kiosko Bar (facing the bar with your back to the lake) Clive

  4. Hi Clive,
    Thank you for the very informative replies above. But I am still not sure if we should park our car opposit El Kiosko or at the “Mirador de los 3 Embalses”.
    Are both locations official parking lots and do they have equal time walking to the control point?
    I think the return shuttle stops at El Kiosko, right?
    Thanks a lot.
    Flemming

    1. Right now there is no such thing as an “official” parking lots…. You could park anywhere along the reservoir side from the hotel Posada del Conde to the restaurante Mirador or up the track to the entrance of the Gaitanejo footpath…. I parked opposite the Kiosko bar and walked from there through the tunnel for 3 Km to the checkpoint… It is signposted and very easy to follow… Stop panicking 🙂 Park you car as close to the Kiosko bar as you can and walk…. Its just 30 mins from there to the checkpoint.

  5. We’re going to north entrance to caminito del rey tomorrow. I note that road from Ardales to El Chorro is closed. Does that affect us driving to El Kiosk to start the walk? Thanks

    1. Hi, as far as I am aware the road from Ardales to the kiosko (reservoirs) is open. It is the junction a few kilometres from el kiosko that goes towards el chorro that is closed for roadworks. have a great walk!

        1. You’re welcome! I walked there and back from el kiosko without a problem… Just remember, only go as far as the suspension bridge, cross it and then turn back.. Don’t go past the el chorro checkpoint or they wont let you back in…. Send me a trip report and some photos and I will be glad to publish it here… Have a great time…

  6. Do you have any information about booking the tickets to El Caminito del Rey in October? Will it be possible at all and when? Now the booking calendar online ends in September. Also, is it really so difficult to find a parking space there – the official website discourages from arriving by car. Thank you

    1. Hi, I would presume that the booking system for October for the Caminito del Rey will open up in September 2015… The best way to get a booking is to stay in a local hotel and they will arrange a permit for you… I like the Posada del Conde from where you can take the walk there and back via the kings chair area or the Kiosko bar… Parking is not a problem on this side of the walk. have a look at the hotel… http://www.caminodelrey.es/posada-del-conde/

  7. I would like to book a time to walk the Caminita Del Rey in the next 2-3 months. I see all days in January and February are fully booked. Can you tell me when bookings for March – April open?

    1. Hi Ian, we are all still waiting for the anouncement as to how the booking system will work when the Caminito del Rey gets handed over to a private company. As of now there are no spaces left on the online booking system right up to the end of March so your only option is to stay in a local hotel such as this one http://www.caminodelrey.es/posada-del-conde/ — Or maybe stay or have a meal here… http://www.caminodelrey.es/restaurant-la-garganta-el-chorro/

      I will post info as I get it both here on this website and also the facebook page… Like the page if you use facebook…
      https://www.facebook.com/caminodelrey.elchorro/

  8. Hi,

    I will be walking the camino next week and I need to be there by 9:45am. Does anyone know how to get the north side by public transport from Malaga? Is arriving by 945am realistic, or do you think i shoud travel to Ardales the night before and then travel to el kiosko in the morning?

    I really can’t seem to find any information regarding public transport to the North side.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Nat

  9. This is not a reply, but I hope one of you can help me.
    I have a ticket for the Caminito del Rey on March the 16th.
    I have some trouble finding out about public transport.
    I have made a reservation at a hotel in Ardales, and one at hotel Posada de conde the night before( I have to choose wich one soon) Is it possible to go from Sevilla to either of the hotels by bus/train ?
    Where exactly do I get out after walking the caminito when I start walking from the northern entrance – is it possible to walk both ways on the caminito( get out at the same place as I startet ? )
    After the walk I have to go to Malaga at late afternoon/night, where can I get a bus/train near the Caminito? Is there anywhere I can deposit a small suitcase when I do the walk ?

    1. Hi Lone,
      Firstly, I think it is very unfair of you to reserve 2 hotels when you are only going to stay in one of them. We are at the 10th of March and you are walking on the 16th… It is very likely that the hotel you don’t choose will have an empty room that day because you have left it so late to choose which hotel you want….Hotels in general lose a lot of money because of this double booking practise…
      All the info you need about how to do what you want is contained on these pages and more info at the official Caminito del Rey website… You walk from the Ardales side which is where the kings chair, hotel posada del conde and the bar kiosko is…. You will arrive at the el chorro side where the train station is … In order to walk back to your start point, do not cross the suspension bridge at the el chorro side, just look at it and then turn around and go back…. Or you could continue in order to get a train from El Chorro…

  10. so how would we get to el choro for the day -by bus and by train.?
    only see we have to go back into malaga to get the train.?

    1. I really don’t understand your question at all?…. I see that you run a yoga retreat in Pizarra/Cartama so you are well placed and wouldn’t need to get the train anyway? Perhaps you could rephrase your question and I will try to help out if I can…. 🙂

  11. We are 4 or 5 friends from Norway who want to visit (hike) Caminito del Rey 2nd September this year. We will stay in a hotel in Malaga from Thursday 1st until Sunday 4th of September. May we book tickets here? How to go from Malaga, and how to go back to Malaga after the hike? By train, bus or taxi? Sorry that I do not know much about this. I just saw a video from the area on Facebook, and it looks amazing! Can you help me? Thank you in advanced.

    1. Hi Lise, the hotels in the area are now well experienced on the amazing amount of people visiting the Caminito del Rey so your first question should be with your hotel as they may be able to arrange to get you on one of the many excursions running from Malaga city… There are also trains and buses from malaga to El Chorro.

  12. Hi, Clive. I realize that there is only 1 train per day from Malaga to El Chorro and back, isn’t it? Also I can’t find direct buses of this direction. So now the only option is a car, right?

    1. HI, there are 2 trains one in the morning and one in the afternoon but its best to get the morning one anyway… Leaves malaga at 10:05 and is 6 euros arrives at 10:47. If you have a car then obviously that is the best option.

  13. We will be going in September and we are debating if we should drive or take the train. I’ve read someone saying that the drive to El Chorro was scary. Is it then better to drive to Ardales? My husband has driven elsewhere in Spain and he has found it a bit stressful (e.g. Mount Tecla, Playa Silencio in the north). If we decide to take the train from Torremolinos to El Chorro, what do we need to do and how much time do we need all together? Thank you.

    1. Hi Elsa, the drive to El Chorro is not scary. Parking is easy and you won’t be worried about missing the train. Nothing worse than enjoying a walk and then rushing because you have a time constraint for a bus or a train… I would say take the car. See the map on this page.
      http://www.caminodelrey.es/getting-to-el-chorro-the-reservoirs-and-the-camino-del-rey/

      Even better, stay over in a hotel and enjoy a great meal in the Posada del Conde.
      http://www.caminodelrey.es/posada-del-conde/

      1. Thanks Clive, for reassuring us. Which is a better choice though, driving wise, from Torremolinos, El Chorro or Ardales?

        1. Hi, I would go from Torremolinos via Churriana and up to Ardales. Just after the Ardales bypass is the right turn for El Chorro and the lakes. When you get closer don’t take the road to El Chorro, you need to go to the reservoirs where the camping, Mirador restaurant. Posada del Conde Hotel is as that is the side the walk starts from… After the walk you will get one of the shuttle buses back to the start point.

  14. I would like to visit the lakes at El Chorro as my children are too young to do the walk. I am getting the bus from Alora to El Chorro bus stop. Can you tell me how far and what direction to get to the beautiful lakes? Thank you

    1. Hi Sharon. When you arrive in El Chorro you will need to get one of the shuttle buses that take people back to the start point of the Caminito del Rey which is the side where the lakes are. At the lakes side there are bars and restaurants close to the dam and also if you carry on walking for about a kilometre across the dam and passed the hotel Posada del Conde you will arrive at the higher dams with tremendous views… After that you should be able to get a shuttle bus back to el chorro… Be easier with a car though….

  15. Hello Clive
    What a great website you have created – a clear path through the minefield which is the booking system ( albeit improving ! )
    We are booked on the 4pm walk tomorrow ( Thursday ) and realise that we need to set off at 3pm but thought we would make a day of it by possibly swimming and kayaking/ boating beforehand and also having a nice lunch – can you advise how and where we can best do this ?
    Kind regards Sean

    1. Sorry meant to also ask is it better to leave the car at the end of the route and get bus to the start so no waiting when we finish ? If so can you let us know where to park and get the bus from ?
      ATB Sean

      1. I would park somewhere by the train station, not far of a walk from the bus stop and you can grab a beer afterwards at the train station…. However, that doesn’t fit with your plans of going kayaking in the morning….

        1. Glad you had a great day and sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner to answer your questions, I was leading a walking group for the week and my internet access was a bit limited…

  16. Hi Clive, thanks for creating such a great resource!
    I don’t see anything here recently about walking one way or both ways? My ticket doesn’t seem to indicate which way. I have a 4:15pm ticket on 10/19 and am wondering if I should plan to only walk one way (so I am not rushed to get off the path before sundown).
    I am taking the train and staying in El Chorro. If I were to only walk one way, would it be possible for me to take the shuttle bus from the south end to the north end so I could walk from north to south?

    1. Hi Kelly…The walk can only be done from the North side and is one way finishing at El Chorro so you will need to get the shuttle bus from El Chorro to the start point. Plenty of time before dark to complete the walk. Have fun!

    1. I would be inclined to print your ticket as well but some people have mentioned that they got in with the details on their phone.

  17. Hi
    We’re going on the train from Malaga, arriving at El Choro at 10.45. I think we have to get the shuttle bus to the start at Ardales (north end).

    How long does it take to get from the station to the Ardales entrance, including any walking and the shuttle bus? (Then I can decided what time to book on our entrance tickets) Thanks for any help

    1. I would say that an entry time of 13:00 at the very earliest is what you need…. The bus from El chorro to the drop off is 20 minutes or so and then you have a 30 minute walk to the checkin and start point of the Caminito del Rey… You could always take a picnic and eat before you do the walk :)… Of course this all depends on what time your train back is….

      I just visited yesterday to confirm that there are in fact tickets available at the checkin point… So you could wing it if there are no entrances for the date that you want on the online system. You can pay at the gate by card or cash, then wait for a slot to go on the walk. Obviously weekdays are better than weekends and there are no guarentees that you will get a permit at the gate but the lady did tell me that normally nobody waits for more than an hour or so…. Either way, its a nice train trip and good food in the area 🙂

  18. That’s helpful thanks – on a week day in January, is it possible to walk from South to North and get the bus back to the station?

    1. Hi, right now you can only walk the Caminito del Rey in one direction from the North, that is from the lakes/kings chair(el kioskpo bar side. So in your case you would have to get a shuttle bus from the El Chorro side to the start point…

        1. You are welcome Freddy….. Please feel free to share this website with your facebook friends or other social media and please send any photos or trip reports to post here on this website…. 🙂

  19. We are intending to walk Caminito del Rey on 16/3/17. We will take the train from Malaga to El Chorro arriving at 10:47. What time does the shuttle bus to Ardales start? Have found conflicting info on internet. Am I right in assuming should allow approx an hour and a half between arriving in El Chorro and being at walk start point? Would appreciate advice.

    1. Hi, the buses run every half hour from the El Chorro/train station side to the lake side where you start the walk to get back to El Chorro. I would say your timing is OK… From where the bus drops you off it is about half an hour to get to the checkpoint where the walk starts.

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