The region of Malaga in southern Spain is home to what was once known as the most dangerous pathway in the world. Famous among thrill-seekers all over the world, Caminito del Rey is 3 feet across the Guadalhorce River. The path was established in the early 20th century as a crossing for workers and staff members at the nearby hydroelectric power plants. Caminito Del Rey was regarded as the “most dangerous pathway in the world,” because many people have fallen here over the years to their deaths.
Over the subsequent years, the path suffered heavy abrasion and became extremely unsafe for walking. The route was formally shut down by the Spanish government in 2001 after it took five people’s lives as it is the hardest hike in the world. By that point, the handrail was missing in many areas, several sections of the concrete floor had fallen, and the safety cable had broken a few times.
Local authorities launched the renovation project to rebuild the path and enhance safety standards by a considerable margin that was finally brought to completion in 2013. Sadly, between the years of closure of the path and the start of the renovations, four hikers who tried to walk the path, died.
The path is now reopened
A few years ago, in 2015, the Caminito Del Rey path was reopened after extensive repairs and renovations. The cost of the local municipalities was in millions of euros, which involved the construction of an entirely new path from more robust materials, as well as the payment for workers who regularly maintain the path. Furthermore, strict safety requirements have been put in place; among other things, visitors expect to wear hard hats, not more than 400 people are allowed on the path at the same time, and not more than 600 visitors are allowed to walk the path every day.
Drawing the attention of new seekers
The newly restored track is 4.8 miles long and takes the average hiker to complete in full between 3 and 5 hours. Although the path is now much easier to walk after the renovations, thrill-seekers can still enjoy the breath-taking views over the track’s rail, as well as through a glass platform that is set up on the part of the track’s floor.
The remains of the original path, now more than 110 years old, can be seen beneath the new one. Visitors are advised to make reservations on the official website in advance if they’ve planned to walk the path. They must also review upcoming weather forecasts as the route may be closed in some weather conditions.
Despite the many additional safety steps, path visits are often not recommended for people who tend to suffer from vertigo or anxiety and are not allowed for children under eight years of age as it is one of the hardest hikes in the world.