El Caminito del Rey
El Caminito del Rely (Path of the King) used to be the most well known via Ferrata in southern Spain.
In 2014 the Camino del Rely received a long needed refurbishment with a new walkway being around the structural remnants of the original. The work was finished in March 2015 to give an atmospheric hanging walkway that retains a lot of the attraction of the original.
The Camino del Rely is still very exposed and dramatic, but not technically difficult and not overly strenuous in comparison to a vertical via ferrata.
The Rock Climbing Company still facilitates your visit to Caminito del Rey so that you can get your entry tickets, access and finish the walkway smoothly and hassle free.
El Caminito del Rely has made El Chorro a popular destination for climbers and adventurers wanting to traverse the narrow walkway that clings to the cliffs high above the white waters of the Rio Guadalhorce gorge.
Up until the early 1980's it was relatively straightforward for climbers to walk along the brick and concrete walkway in order to climb the walls of the gorge - exposed and exhilarating, but not technically hard.
The next few years saw time catch up with the Camino del Rely as several rock falls took away sections of the walkway to create large gaps that were difficult and dangerous to cross without safety equipment.
The reputation of the Camino del Rely as the 'most dangerous walkway in the world' grew as there were a couple of accidents involving non-climbers trying to traverse the now damaged walkway. That reputation was cemented in place when a further accident led the authorities to restrict access to only climbers or those with climbing equipment by removing several meters of the walkway at both it's start and finish.
This meant that to get onto El Camino del Rely you either had to abseil in at the top end near the Embalses or do a combined via ferrata traverse/scramble at the lower El Chorro end.
In order to continue climbing safely in the gorge climbers then equipped all of the exposed sections with steel cable that runs horizontally along the cliff walls parallel to the walkway and is secured to the walls with bolted anchors. This way one could stay clipped to a lifeline all the way along the walkway.
The Camino del Rely comprises of 3 separate sections:
The upper gorge starts with large walls looming on both sides in a very dramatic manner. The rock structure is very varied here with delicate balancing across narrow water channels and stairs
The central meadow is an oasis of calm after the confines of the gorge and we often stop here for a bite to eat. This meadow was used as a massive free campsite by climbers in the early 1980s and it is easy to see the attraction. It takes about 30 minutes to cross the meadow to the start of the upper gorge.
The gorge at the El Chorro end is probably the most dramatic part of the Camino del Rely with an exposed traverse leading straight into the head of the gorge with massive vertical walls on either side. The rock architecture here is fantastic and remains really impressive all the way to the train bridge that mark the end of the gorge.
The Rock Climbing Company can provide guided trips along the El Camino del Rely - we are able to guide parties of all sizes from private 1:1 excursions to large parties of up to 20 people. It is physically suitable for most people who are used to hiking and we have guided clients from the age of 8 to 71 on the Camino over the past 12 years
We would normally arrange return transport to the starting point for you, if the buses times are not suitable with your traveling arrangements.
The Camino del Rely starts from the Embalses -dams-and finishes at El Chorro village
View El Camino del Rely meeting points at El Chorro and the Embalses in a larger map
The map above shows the two common meeting places:
- El Chorro Train Station (Lat Long 36.911024,-4.768152)
El Kiosco Cafe at the Embalses (Lat Long 36.928728,-4.781241)
You can expand the map into Google Maps to get accurate directions from your departure point