El Caminito del Rey (The King’s little path) is a six-meter-high walkway made of wooden planks that have been installed along the side of an impressive waterfall in the town of El Valle, located in the north of Spain. The pathway was built along a steep slope and offers visitors amazing views of the River El Royo and its spectacular waterfalls. With more than 200 tourists visiting every day, this walkway has become the main source of income for many people in the area. This 250 meters long pathway, with a gradient ranging from 25 to 40 degrees, was built by local craftsmen from wood taken from old wine barrels. It begins at the entrance to El Valle, following alongside one of the river’s waterfalls before ending up at an old bridge. There are also a few other smaller paths nearby that can be accessed using small trails leading into the forest.
El Caminito del Rey: A danger to yourself and others
People come from all over the world to visit El Caminito del Rey, but many have never been here before and have little knowledge of the dangers of hiking in such a location. Most people who travel to Spain do so in the summer when the weather is warm and the days are long. With such beautiful natural scenery, it is easy to get caught up in the moment and forget the dangers of hiking in the mountains, especially in the summer months. Even though the walkway is only 250 meters long, the steep angle and height make it a dangerous walk, especially for those who are not used to hiking. Those who are not physically fit, have a fear of heights or have walking difficulties should not come here. The walkway can be slippery, especially after it rains. It is also important to note that El Caminito del Rey is located in a remote location and that it can be difficult to find, so anyone visiting the pathway should be sure to come prepared with the right hiking gear and clothing.
How to get there?
The walkway can be accessed by taking a bus from the nearby town of El Chorro to the village of El Valle. There are buses that travel along the route every day, and the journey takes around 20 minutes. Visitors must be careful about not getting on the wrong bus, as there are two villages that have the same name. Once at El Valle, visitors can follow the path that leads to the walkway. The pathway to the walkway is only a short walk and takes around 10 minutes.
Deaths at El Caminito del Rey
Currently, there has been over 50 recorded deaths at El Caminito del Rey since it opened. The most recent was in March 2017, when a 16-year-old girl fell to her death after losing her footing on the pathway. This tragedy was due, in part, to the fact that it has become more and more popular. While there will always be those who are determined to explore the walkway and get as close to the edge as they can, there are many local guides who have been trained to lead groups on the pathway and teach them about the history of the area. These guides are also able to remind tourists of the dangers of getting too close to the edge and explain how the walkway was built.
Things to know before you go
The pathway is open every day from 9am to 5pm (April-October) and 10am to 4pm (November-March). There is a small fee to enter the pathway, but those with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can get discounted or free entry. Visitors are recommended to wear comfortable and weatherproof clothing that is easy to move around in. It is also important to bring a backpack with water, snacks and sunscreen. Those visiting the pathway during the summer months are advised to wear a hat to protect their heads from the sun’s rays. Visitors should also make sure that they wear shoes with a good grip.
Tips and advice
- The pathway can be slippery, especially after it rains. It is also important to note that El Caminito del Rey is located in a remote location and that it can be difficult to find, so anyone visiting the pathway should be sure to come prepared with the right hiking gear and clothing.
- Visitors are recommended to wear comfortable and weatherproof clothing that is easy to move around in. It is also important to bring a backpack with water, snacks and sunscreen.
- Those visiting the pathway during the summer months are advised to wear a hat to protect their heads from the sun’s rays. It is also important to wear shoes with a good grip.
- It is important to note that children under the age of 18 are not allowed to walk along the pathway.