El Chorro, located just under 1.5hrs from Benahavís, is a Mecca for those who love outdoor activities, nature, water and also a little bit of thrill.
El Caminito del Rey
It has been 98 years since King Alfonso XIII named it El Caminito del Rey (The King’s Little Route). ¨The walkway was built to provide workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls with a means to cross between them, to provide for transport of materials, and to help facilitate inspection and maintenance of the channel.¨ (Wikipedia). The construction was laid out with pavements made of sand, water and cement, all supported by steel rails.
Because nobody has renovated it for years, the construction did not survive the test of time. As a consequence, the barriers and passages crumbled and fell into the abyss of the flowing below Guadalhorce River.
It has then become a great challenge for climbers to cross the kilometre-long route and was considered the most dangerous climbing trail in the world. Some climbers died, and as a result, the government closed the trail in 2000.
Its extensive reconstruction began in 2012 and lasted 3 years, requiring 9 million EUR of investment. The rehabilitation project was laid out by specialised alpinists. The walkaway reopened in 2015 and was quickly claimed by Lonely Planet to be the best new attraction.
El Chorro is one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in Europe for climbing. There are over 2,000 roads with different difficulty levels, ranging from 10 to 350 meters. Many walls face south, which makes it an ideal place for climbing during the winter months. In El Chorro, there is full sun and the temperature in winter reaches 18 degrees. Thanks to the ideal conditions for climbing, hundreds of experienced climbers and beginners travel here every year. It’s fair to say that El Chorro has become a classic winter climbing venue and the ideal time to visit is from October to the end of April.
El Chorro is also a great place for hiking. Its trekking routes that lead among others around the lakes of the Guadalhorce River are considered the most beautiful in Europe. The rich history, breathtaking views and a wide range of difficulty hikes attract many travellers from across the world during the whole year. The area of El Chorro is surrounded by mountains and bathed by the spectacularly green-coloured waters. The hikes which cannot be missed are Gaitanejo, the Mirador de las Buitreras and the viewpoint over the reservoirs. Also, because of its geographical location, El Chorro is along the migratory route of birds between Africa and Europe. Bird watching activities are planned with guides that explain the characteristics of each species.
For those loving to swim in lakes, the Guadalhorce reservoir is a real treat. The open waters, peacefulness and quiet surroundings are what gives you freedom and independence. Although the Guadalhorce reservoir is best suited for swimming, in fact, there are three large water reservoirs in a quiet corner of the province of Malaga, near the city of Ardales. Space is surrounded by a stunning pine forest, an occasional eucalyptus tree and is an oasis of calm in the summer months when the coast is full of tourists. Head to the recreational area of La Isla, and you can rent sun loungers, water pedal bikes and kayaks or go around to find your own private area to rest. The reservoir can be reached by car either from Ardales or from nearby El Chorro.
The climatic conditions in Andalusia are unique. It’s open to the majority of the wind direction that provides paraglider with consistently good flight conditions. This allows flying without interruption where the only thing you need to do is enjoy the beautiful lakes and mountains around you. Paragliding in El Chorro is available practically all year round, depending of course on the skill of the pilot.