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Since 2015 this walkway has become an icon of inland tourism in Malaga province. SUR
El Caminito del Rey: a dizzying walk through Los Gaitanes gorge
TREASURES OF MALAGA

El Caminito del Rey: a dizzying walk through Los Gaitanes gorge

This vertiginous walkway, attached to the rock face, had to be rebuilt for tourist use, as in recent decades its condition had deteriorated, making it unsafe to use

Javier Almellones

Malaga

Monday, 30 October 2023, 10:45

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Not suitable for those who are afraid of heights. This is the only drawback to the famous El Caminito del Rey, today considered an icon of inland tourism in Malaga province.

This vertiginous walkway, attached to the rock face, crosses the natural landscape of the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes. Through this impressive karst gorge, located between the Guadalhorce, Conde del Guadalhorce and Guadalteba reservoirs, this path had to be rebuilt for tourist use, as in recent decades its condition had deteriorated, making it unsafe to use.

It was built at the beginning of the last century as a walkway for workers building the Conde del Guadalhorce dam, although its name comes from the official visit by King Alfonso XIII in 1921. It reopened as a tourist attraction at the end of March 2015, and since then has been one of the iconic attractions of the province of Malaga, as it offers a spectacular view of this limestone gorge from inside.

The new footpath has been built just above the original one, with wooden boards fixed to the rock face with metal anchors; in some sections a glass floor has been included so that the gorge and the original path can be observed. The renovation of the path, the bridge and the surrounding area makes this this a safe route to be followed entirely on foot.

The rebuilding works on the Caminito del Rey were carried out using a similar technique to that used by the employees of the original Sociedad Hidroeléctrica del Chorro. In fact, the workers had to hang from the wall of the gorge to install the wooden planks and fix them to the rock. The company awarded the contract for the work also had to use helicopters to move the materials to areas that were difficult to access and to remove rubble and rubbish from the areas where the work was to be carried out.

The Desfiladero de los Gaitanes is one of the most important geological jewels of the Iberian Peninsula. It is an impressive gorge opened by the River Guadalhorce as it passes through this rocky complex, located in the Sierra de Huma. This impressive canyon reaches a height of up to 300 metres and a width of less than ten metres.

Its protection as a natural beauty spot is due to its extraordinary geomorphological interest and the presence of interesting fauna, including the griffon vulture. In its surroundings, you can also see birds of prey such as the peregrine falcon, the eagle owl or the Bonelli's eagle, as well as birds typical of wetlands and rivers, such as the cormorant or the kingfisher. This interesting ecological space covers an area of more than two thousand hectares.

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