During a recent meeting of the Malaga town council and the municipalities of Alora and Ardales it has been agreed that the Caminito del Rey will remain free to visitors until March 2016
The, sometimes difficult to navigate, online permit system remains the same and reservations for October, November and December 2015 will be accessible during the first week of September 2015. Instructions on how to reserve here.
The decision to extend free access until March 2016 (it was supposed to be October 2015) has come about because of a curious law in Spain that makes it illegal to charge people to enter into what is basically the countryside. It comes under the same law that prohibits people being charged to walk in natural parks or other protected area. The Malaga council needs a bit more time to either get the law changed or amended in some way to allow a fee to be charged.
Officially there are 900 permits available every day with the online booking system having 700 and the two local councils (Ardales and Alora 100 permits each. The latter two give the permits to local businesses such as hotels like the Garganta complex to use for their guests.
Once charging to enter the Caminito del Rey starts some simple maths shows that around 300,000 euros a year will be generated and the Malaga town council has earmarked the cash for the running and maintenance of the walkway. So far it would seem that Malaga council plan to keep hold of running the seemingly lucrative business that the Caminito del Rey has become instead of putting it out to tender for private companies.