Caminito del Ray: Hiking Safely Spain’s Once Most Dangerous Path

Dear Alice,

Today I would like to talk to you about my last hike along the Caminito del Ray (King’s Path) in Spain, one of the most dangerous path in Spain until 2015. After 2015, due to all the reconstruction, the path has opened for all the tourists in a safely way and thus it can offer a unique experience for all the nature lovers.

Located in the south of Spain, in the surroundings of Malaga, Caminito del Ray was one of Spain’s most dangerous hiking path until 2015. Once upon a time, the path was even climbed by the King of Spain. The difficulty and the danger that one encountered in the past to conquer Caminito del Ray was quite high. Starting with 2015, after the European Union invested into the reconstruction of the path with wooden and glass paths, the Caminito del Ray opened its gate to all the tourists, and it now represents a great hiking path for every nature lover. Yes Caminito del Ray is the reason why we booked a holiday to Malaga, Spain, and it is definitely a must if you like hiking and enjoy nature and all its wonders!

Still, even if now after its reconstruction hiking the Caminito del Ray is very safe, this still assumes a certain level of training and of effort from every hiker, so hiking the path needs from every tourist a certain level of preparation, physical condition, and a good experience with heights. Even so, hiking Caminito del Ray will definitely provide you with that dose of adrenaline, so it is an unique experience I highly recommend!

So here is my experience concerning hiking the Caminito del Ray:

  • For starting, we rented a car to drive from Malaga to Caminito del Ray for like 1,3 hours, and I would definitely recommend you to do the same, and not necessarily take the bus or the train, since the timetables for either of them in Spain is not very rich.
  • We booked our tickets online for the Caminito del Ray 3 months in advance, but you do not need to do this, you can buy the tickets directly from the entrance point to the path. Still if you want a guided tour (which was our case, and which I would recommend), I think you should try to book the tickets in advance. We booked the tickets in the morning starting with the tour at 9,00 o’clock, and I do believe this is the best choice, as afterwards it will be extremely hot on the path.
  • The whole path is like 7,2 km long and it will take roughly 4 to 5 hours to hike.
  • The path is hiked from its north to its south entrance. In fact this is the only possibility to hike the path, as the whole hiking process in only allowed in one direction for security reasons. We drove our car to the north entrance (if you start in the morning as we did, you will find a lot of free parking places; if not, there are even more parking places for which you will have to pay a certain fee). From here we started the hike.
  • You do need a certain physical condition, you should not be afraid of heights (a big part of the path is actually hanging on suspended bridges on rocks into the mountains or along the mountains, so if you are afraid of heights you could have some problems with this and maybe some panic attacks, so just be sure you are trained for this visit). Other than this, you would definitely need some water, some muesli bars, your camera, and your family or/and friends.
  • So here is how you can now safely hike the Spain’s once more dangerous path: Caminito del Ray:
  1. First Hiking Section: Hiking to the Caminito del Ray: This is the most easy part of hiking the Caminito del Ray. It takes like 30-40 minutes and the difficulty level is quite low, I would say. Since we started in the morning, it was a bit chilly I would say, but have a wind jacket with you and you will be fine. As I noticed not a lot of tourists hike this section, since the path can bring you directly to the Caminito del Ray, but I do recommend you to also hike this part, as you can see it is very beautiful!
  2. We met an owl on our way! Unexpected but lovely!

    I love this picture with the water reflection! Simply wonderful!

  3. Second Section: Hiking the Caminito del Ray without the suspended bridges: This part represent the once not so dangerous part from the Caminito del Ray. On most of this section, you will hike through the woods and you will get to enjoy the flora and the fauna of this region. The difficulty level is medium, and you have to be quite careful since the path is quite slippery due to its rocky texture.
  4. If you observe carefully the Caminito Del Ray, you can still see some left overs of the old path.

  5. Third Section: Hiking the Caminito del Ray with the suspended bridges: This is the once most dangerous part of the Caminito del Ray. Nowadays, after its reconstruction, this part of the path is formed mostly of glass and wooden bridges, plus a mobile suspended bridge ending the path, that you will have to cross to finish the hike. From a difficulty point of view this part is the most exhausting one, and I would rate the difficulty level as medium. Plus there is no turning back. Remember the hike is done only in one direction. What you can still see are specific parts of the old path and the differences to the existing present path.
  6. The mobile suspended bridge one has to pass to finish the hike.

    The whole path on this section consists of suspended bridges constructed into the rocks along the mountain.

    Lovely vivid colors everywhere!

One of a kind experience, that I highly recommend!
Sincerely yours,