Hello! Glad you could come.
We’re on the road northwest from Malaga, winding our way through the dry, dusty mountains in search of somewhere a little cooler…
Ah – this will do nicely.
Welcome to the sleepy riverside village of El Chorro – and the edge of Spain’s very own Lake District.
I know: it’s not often that you get “Spain” and “lake” in the same sentence. But this part of the country is special. Not only are the mountains steep in a way you just won’t find elsewhere – there’s also a dam across a river gorge that has created three vast artificial lakes, bordered by lush pine forests.
It’s a side to Andalusia that you won’t see elsewhere.
Take a while to wander. There’s no rush.
I’m guessing you’re here to go rock climbing? Because this is the place for it. But you could equally be here to go mountain biking, hiking and camping. This is a popular place for getting your fill of the great Spanish outdoors.
Oh, and for scaring yourself silly. That too.
This is the Caminito del Rey (King’s Little Pathway).
If you think it’s an alarming prospect right now, you should have been here a few years ago, before they spent 3 million Euros restoring it.
It was originally built to help workers in two hydroelectric plants cross the gorge safely – although in this instance, “safely” is being used in a looser way that most of us are used to.
That’s a 100-metre drop to the floor of the gorge – and the walkway is only 3 feet wide.
This is what it was like to cross, before the restoration work was done. Beware if you get vertigo from looking at photos of precarious walkways – this is the king of them all.
And speaking of kings, this lovably lunatic walkway gets its name from its most famous occupant – King Alfonso XIII, who crossed it in 1921, long before it became a crumbling hazard to sanity and wellbeing.
The new walkway opened in 2015. It has never been safer. Really. Go have a go.
And it might be just the introduction you need to these dizzying heights, if your next step is rock climbing.
Our 2018 rock climbing adventures in El Chorro are on:
19th – 23rd September
24th – 28th October
14th – 18th November
(you only need to pay the deposit to grab your space!)