With the Caminito del Rey closed due to bad weather conditions just two days before the date I had my permit I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to walk the famous (infamous) and newly restored footpath through the Gaitanejo gorge. It was pouring with rain in Grazalema but I set off anyway in the hope that the weather would change in my favor. (And it did 🙂 )
My permission was to enter from the Ardales side (where the reservoirs are) at 12pm, so I headed for there and parked up by the Kiosko Bar/restaurant and still had time for breakfast. Instructions are to be at the checkpoint 30 minutes before your allotted time and It took me 20 minutes to get there at 11:15 via the signposted footpath that goes through the tunnel to the right of Kiosko bar.
There were just a few people waiting at the checkpoint and it was interesting to see that people with permits for 11:30am, 12pm and 1pm all entered at the same time of 11:40am. (The guy checking permit said this was happening a lot.) We were issued with hair nets and helmets and off we went.
The Caminito can really be divided into 3 parts, two boardwalks and a woodland trail. The first boardwalk gently eases you into the Gaitanejo gorge and is not so high, then there is the woodland part that gets you to the second boardwalk that is higher and passes by the transparent platform so you can stand and look down at the river below. The highlights for vertigo is the suspension bridge built by the side of the old “bridge” and the transparent floor…The woodland part has plenty of places to sit and enjoy the stunning scenery or have a picnic.
I walked as far as the suspension bridge then turned around and came back the same way. Remember if you want to return by walking DON’T pass the second checkpoint or you would need another permit to get back on the Camino.
All in all a great experience but as a person who has walked and climbed this path before the restoration it has definitely lost some of it’s appeal (for me anyway). That said, if you have never been here before then I can highly recommend the experience.
As a special treat I had lunch with the family in the Posada del Conde restaurant and stayed the night in this lovely hotel. I always get the room with the jaccuzi bath! 🙂
Full instructions on how to get a permit here… But be quick as places are filling very fast and soon there won’t be any available until October 2015.
25 thoughts on “Walking the Caminito del Rey – Sat 11th April 2015”
I was up there yesterday to find it easy friday where I have permits, and I wonder why the tunel close to Kiosko Bar say 2,7 km and the small tunel aprox 200 meter before says 1,5 km. Will we come to the same checkpoint, if we take the 1,5 km.?
Yes, both go to the same checkpoint…….. I used the Kiosko tunnel because I wanted breakfast before I set off and the coffee there is good 🙂
Where did you manage to get the permit? We would like to go within this week, but there was no opportunity to book a permit in advance at the homepage for April-May. Is it possible to get it in the Kiosk?
If you stay in this hotel for the night the staff can arrange a permit for you and the hotel is just a few hundred metres from the start point where kings chair is or a bit further along the kiosko bar…. http://www.caminodelrey.es/posada-del-conde/
Booked in for August, can’t wait.
That’s great Stewart… Send me some pictures to publish here 🙂
Am I right that the walk from the tunnel from the Kiosko bar, where the special bus stops, to the checkpoint takes no more than 30 mins? Also do you know exactly where in El Chorro I can catch the bus? Many thanks for advice and congrats on your helpful website.
It took me 20 minutes to walk from kiosko bar to the checkpoint… I walk reasonably fast on my own so 30 minutes is fine…. El Chorro is a very small place, you will find the bus without a problem I am sure
We are coming to the area in August but have missed the boat with the Caminito – the whole of August is now in the red! Can you recommend any other good walks in the region? (We are staying half way between Malaga and Granada).
This hotel close to the Caminito del Rey can help with permits if you book a night there and it is a fantastic place to stay.
Can anyone please tell me how long the shuttle ride is from the North Access to the South Access that we can take? Also, is there a bus from the North Access that goes to Malaga? I saw one that goes from Ardales to Malaga, but I wasn’t sure if it was talking about leaving from the city part of Ardales, or the Caminito del Rey part?
Hi there its about 30 minutes on the shuttle bus and I am fairly sure you need to get back to Ardales (elchorroo) side to get the bus back to Malaga. I don’t think it will be an issue as there are a lot of people doing that bus run to and from Malaga…
Any ideas what company will be operating the issuing of tickets for October 2015 onwards … Tickets are completely allocated upto and including September !
I know they will be probably charge for them at that stage but that’s not a real issue … Just want to get to experience this spectacular attraction in October this year
Many thanks for any info !
Hi Miriam, no….. As far as I know the offers haven’t even gone out to people/businesses to take over the running of the Caminito later this year… I have a sneaky suspicion that the Malaga council will keep control of it indefinitely and maybe that would be the best idea….. If you want to go earlier than October read this… http://www.caminodelrey.es/the-hotel-posada-del-conde-can-arrange-your-entry-permit-to-the-caminito-del-rey/
Hi, Can you please tell if the small tunnel with short walk to the ‘Ardales’ control point is south of the Kioske restaurant and if it is signposted for the Caminito? Also is this tunnel closer to the Mirador restaurant? Thanks for any advice, Michael
Hi the big tunnel is virtually on the doorstep of the Kiosko bar… if you leave kiosko bar (with your back to the bar) turn left and the lake is on your right….. Yes its closer to the mirador restaurant…. As I said earlier in another comment on this article.. I prefer to take the tunnel from Kiosko because I like the coffee there 🙂
Also you could take the route from the kings chair right by the dam. Lovely walk through the woods…. 🙂 Still only 30 mins from any point you start from on the Ardales side…
Thanks again for great advice. Much appreciated.
Hello! Thank you for all of the information you’ve provided! I see that there is the hotel La Posada del Conde that can arrange for entrances to El Caminito del Rey– are there any other hotels in the area with the same deal or only this one?
You are welcome! I would expect the Garganta hotel in El Chorro will also have this option .. http://www.caminodelrey.es/restaurant-la-garganta-el-chorro/
Apreciate you making the booking through the links on this website as the small commission I get helps to cover costs 🙂
I want to take the walk in July 2016.
I will come by car (from Nerja) to el chorro.
Can I start the walk there ?
And how will I return to the startingpoint ? (to my car)
Hi Marc, right now the only access point is from the reservoir/bar kisko/kings chair side. The access from the el chorro side is still closed. There are buses running every half hour or so to get you back to your start point. 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. See the info about this here… http://www.caminodelrey.es/the-maximum-price-of-admission-to-the-caminito-del-rey-will-be-10-euros-with-a-maximum-of-300000-visitors-a-year/
Thanks for the information, Clive !!!