A day trip to El Chorro and the Caminito del Rey
If you are staying in the Axarquia and want to explore more of rural Andalucia, why not enjoy a day trip to the Caminito del Rey in Ardales?
For lovers of the countryside, no trip to Andalucia is complete without a trip to El Chorro and Ardales. Situated just a 90 minute drive from most Axarquia towns, this limestone gorge was damned in 1921 to form three reservoirs, which are surrounded by some of the most beautiful natural pine forests in Spain. The Guadalhorce River passes through El Chorro making it a haven for swimmers, walkers and hikers.
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Probably the most famous walkway in southern Spain, El Caminito del Rey was opened by King Alfonso Xlll of Spain. Over 700 metres high the walkway winds round the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes Pass, and was closed to the public in 2000. So dangerous was the condition of the walkway back in 2000 that 4 tourists died from falls in the late 90’s. Intrepid adventurers had to navigate large parts of the pass which had been worn away and left massive holes in the path itself. Handrails were non-existent before it closed and there was very little between the climbers and the 700m drop at the side.
The previously unused railway line was used in the film, Von Ryan´s Express in 1965.Well known for its outstanding views and scenery, El Chorro is the perfect day trip for hikers, bikers, campers and rock climbers. For the not so adventurous, there are several great swimming spots, well-signposted in nearby Ardales. Local bars and restaurants boast stunning views over the reservoir and offer home-cooked food at reasonable prices.
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El Caminito del Rey was completely rebuilt and re-opened to the public in 2015. The walkway is 5km long and 400m high.
The Desfildero de los Gaitanes gorge covers over 2,000 hectares and is 5km long with a 400m high ravine.
The river Guadalhorce travels through the gorge after passing through the El Chorro, Guadalhorce, Guadalteba and Gaitanejo reservoirs.
Sections of it are just one metre wide and hang up to 105 metres above the river.
The full length of the path El Caminito del Rey is 7.7 km. The part of the access ways is 4.8 km long and the stretch between the entrance and exit gates of the boardwalks (boardwalk – Hoyo Valley – boardwalk) is 2.9 km long.
The boardwalks are the most famous part of the path due to its dangerous condition before refurbishment. Distance between the entrance to the boardwalks at the control cabin and its exit is 2.9 km. The estimated time needed to go across the whole route (the boardwalks, and forest trail or footpaths that lead to them) is three to four hours. Visitors should be aware that, in order to get to the boardwalks, there is a steep uphill walk.
The route El Caminito del Rey is linear not circular so, if you are planning to only walk half of it, coaches are provided to get you back to your car.
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Properties for sale in the Axarquia are perfect for ex-pats who want to explore the ‘real Spain’ and enjoy the tranquillity of open countryside, less than an hour from the coast.