El Caminito del Rey
The NR.1 Hiking Trail in Spain.
HISTORY OF EL CAMINTO DEL REY
The original path was built between 1901 and 1905 by the Sociedad Hydroelectrica del Chorro (Chorro Hydroelectric Society). A pioneering project to take advantage of the 100m drop in the river Guadalhorce required the construction of a small dam, a canal, an arch-supported aqueduct across the gorge, and 1,400m of aquaduct- tunnels.
Additionally a path way to provide access for workmen and materials between two hydroelectric sites, namely Salto del Chorro (Chorro waterfall) and Salto de Gaitenejo (Gaitenejo waterfall) was constructed. Work was challenging and sailors from Malaga were called in to hang from ropes fixed at the top of the gorge. Popular (unconfirmed) stories claim that convicts, including those condemned to death, undertook the riskiest parts.
As demand for electricity increased, work on a new and much larger, nearby dam to form the Embalse del Conde de Guadalhorce (Count of Guadalhorce reservoir) began in 1914. The chief engineer, Rafael Benjumea Burín, decided to upgrade the nearby path and include the aqueduct that spanned the gorge. He did this even though it was not a necessary part of the nearby dam construction work. The view of this bridge, named Balconcillo de los Gaitanes, spanning the gorge, become one of the most emblematic images of Malaga province in its day. One legend says that a pretty English girl with flowing blonde hair riding a white stallion committed suicide from this bridge.
Buy your Tickets Online in advance!
Avoid disappointment & waiting in line.
The Camino is currently Spain’s Nr.1 Tourist attraction and tickets can be sold out 3 weeks in advance!
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Be prepared for any weather circumstances, to ensure you truly enjoy your hike at the Caminito.