El Chorro, Málaga

Activities You Cannot Miss Out On In The El Chorro Natural Park

Hiking is one of the activities that lead you to discover the wonders that nature hides. El Chorro Alora though is one of those treasures that has a natural beauty and rich landscape in Andalucia. El Chorro is also of great hydrological importance, creating images that appeal to hikers in the province of Malaga and to photography enthusiasts. 

There are several routes in this beautiful natural setting, such as the famous Caminito del Rey (King’s Path), which attracts visitors and locals who want to enjoy this corner of Alora.  But this is not the only attraction of El Chorro, thanks to the reservoir you can enjoy a variety of adventure and water sports.  For this reason, this emblematic place of the province is one of the most popular destinations for excursions in Malaga. Here we offer you several options so that you can enjoy El Chorro without leaving anything behind.


Keys to understanding El Caminito del Rey (The King’s Little Path) and El Chorro

Caminito del Rey


El Chorro Hydroelectric Company

In the late 19th century and early 20 century, industry began using electricity instead of coal or gas. It was at that time that El Chorro Hydroelectric Company created what would then be called “El Caminito del Rey.” The purpose of this pathway was to maintain and monitor the Gaitanejo and El Chorro reservoirs, although this route logically improved the daily life of the inhabitants, since trade increased and children got to school more quickly.


The Railway

In 1851, the Córdoba-Málaga railway line was completed with the intention of uniting the territories and coal reserves of Belmez and Espiel. The train covered 119 miles and crossed 18 bridges, 8 viaducts and 17 tunnels (most of the tunnels and bridges were located at Desfiladero de los Gaitanes). It should be noted that since this was built up to the arrival of the AVE, or high speed train, this railway route was the only access to Málaga from inland Andalucia.


King Alfonso XIII and Guadalhorce Reservoir


King Alfonso XIII and Guadalhorce Reservoir

El Caminito del Rey is called thus because in 1921 the then Spanish monarch Alfonso XIII inaugurated the Conde de Guadalhorce Reservoir and took this route, and was so fascinated by it that he gave it this name. It has to be said that this site is home to what is called “Sillón del rey.” We won’t say anymore so that you go and read its inscription.


Caminito del Rey


Desfiladero de los Gaitanes: risk and beauty

Neither its construction in the late 19th century nor its renovation in 2015 was easy, since there are zones in which the pathway is only a few feet wide and 2,300 feet deep and you have to take into account that 500 tonnes of steel and wood were transported in helicopters.


The death of four hikers

El Caminito del Rey, after years of abandonment, became “the most dangerous pathway in the world” when the fourth of the hikers who risked crossing this historic, creaky pathway died. After its closure, El Caminito del Rey stood gathering dust for over 20 years.


Caminito del Rey

Caminito del Rey

El Caminito del Rey is the most famous and at the same the most dangerous part of this natural site. It is a pathway that hangs onto the mountain wall (4.7 miles long, of which 3 miles are approaches and 1.7 miles are walkways), which in some sections is tremendously vertiginous a pathway 3.3 feet wide at a height of over 328 feet. King Alfonso XIII himself became fascinated by this pathway that since his visit has born his name. While this impressive pathway had been closed for several years after falling into disrepair, it has been renovated and opened to the public. Be sure to visit, though we advise you book quite far in advance at www.caminitodelrey.info/

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The Ruins of Bobastro and Mozárab Basilica

Ruinas de Bobastro

The ruins of Bobastro are located in Ardales in the area known as Mesa de Villaverde. If you are a history lover, you cannot miss this area when visiting El Chorro. This is the most important rupestrian complex in the province, as it was here that Omar Ibn Hafsún built a fortress for the Umayyads, the ruling dynasty in Al Andalus at the time. In addition, during this Mozarabic period, these mountains of the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes were witness and enclave to the construction of the Mozarabic rupestrian church of Bobastro. It is one of the most impressive monuments of medieval architecture in Andalucia. To visit it is necessary to check schedules here +34 952 45 80 46 / +34 609 20 72 39 or write to [email protected] to secure your ticket and check prices and availability.

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The Caves of Ardales

Cueva de Doña Trinidad, Ardales

Following the cultural route that has this environment, you can also visit in Ardales its caves formed more than 120 million years ago. Here you can find one of the largest collections of cave art in Europe and inside you can see silhouettes of more than 56 different animals from the Solutrean period as well as female figures. A walk through art that will not leave you indifferent. The cave is a reference karst system in the south of the peninsula due to its heritage of the Paleolithic, where paintings and engravings are housed and where they have preserved tools of that era that were found inside. It is undoubtedly one of the jewels of the province of Malaga that you should not miss. It is best to check schedules and prices here  or by calling +34 952 45 80 46 y  +34 609 2 01 65 or by emailing [email protected].

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Water Activities

Los Pantanos del Chorro

The hydrographic wealth of El Chorro is known across the world. The Conde Guadalhorce reservoir is the most visited areas in the region and is home to a number of water activities. There is no doubt that it is an ideal place for a picnic or barbecue as it is well equipped for this. After lunch, one can take to the water for a swim. However, there is far more to do than just a swim, as you can now rent pedal boats or canoes. If you are looking for a way to truly unwind, it would be difficult to find a place more privileged than this.




The orographic characteristics of the site allow visitors of El Chorro to enjoy hiking throughout this unique landscape, always in close contact with nature. There are several routes of varying degrees of difficulty. This area is surrounded by mountains and bathed in the waters of the Guadalhorce River, making it one of the busiest walking areas in the Malaga province. The path of the Gaitanejo, the Mirador de las Buitreras and the viewpoint over the reservoirs are the three points you cannot miss if you decide to visit, but remember your trainers before you start hiking.




Lovers of adventure and risk have a unique chance to experiment in El Chorro. This area is regarded as “the paradise for flight” and allows practice and teaching of this sport at a local school. As the temperatures in winter are mild, this sport can be practiced  virtually year-round.




El Chorro is a rock paradise and a must-see location for anyone who likes to climb. There are 1,300 possible routes so the degree of difficulty varies, offering ideal opportunities for those starting out and professionals alike. Both will find this to be a perfect spot for practice.


Bird Watching

Avistamiento aves Sierra de Grazalema

The El Chorro natural park is considered is considered one of the most important areas for bird watching because of its geographic location and spot along the migratory route of birds between Europe and Africa. To help explore the area’s highlights, bird watching activities are planned with guides to explain the characteristics of each species. This experience is enhanced by not only the local fauna, also the wide variety of plant species visible to visitors in this privileged natural environment.



Migas de pan

If you visit El Chorro, you cannot miss out on the gastronomic offerings of the people of the Málaga interior. Ardales has a wide range of delicious products from pork sausages to stews made with this meat. Sweets in this area are most commonly made from almonds. The gazpacho and the migas, or fried crumbs, are also commonly found on the menu in this part of Andalucia. Your palate will thank you for this wide range of delicious possibilities.


Ardales Museum: Prehistory in Guadalteba

Museo Ardales

Ardales Guadalteba Prehistory Museum is something not to be missed, since you can enjoy over 800 pieces that show you the prehistory of this area. We must draw attention to its virtual tour, one more attraction for visitors. Furthermore, right next to the museum is the Ardales Tourist Information Office, where you have to book tickets for the Ardales Caves, another thing not to be missed.

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Picnics and outdoor activities

Picnic El Chorro, Málaga

The reservoir of El Chorro and its surroundings are a center of water and adventure activities and several companies in the area are in charge of managing them. However, one of the things you can do after your adventure is to have a picnic at the reservoir. Several trails go down to the reservoir that are easily accessible and where you can sit down and have something to eat with the reservoir in front of you. If you prefer, you can go to the part of “La Isla” where you can park your car for a fee and enter some very quiet picnic areas where you can have your picnic. In addition, in this recreational area, you can rent kayaks, pedal boats and enjoy the most adventurous sports. There are many excursions and activities such as kayak rentals with a visit to the Caminito del Rey and a picnic organized by Triángulo Activo   which also offers a thousand and one activities to enjoy El Chorro with the family.

Another of the most popular activities is rappelling and archery, especially for children. The company www.indiansport.es offers a variety of activities for all ages and has been making tourists and locals enjoy this natural place for years.


Bike Routes

Rutas en bicicleta El Chorro, Málaga

It is more and more common to see cyclists in the surroundings of El Chorro. The possibilities that it offers both on the road and in the natural environment are incredible for the images that draws the Gorge of the Gaitanes, the reservoir, and the reservoir of Conde de Guadalhorce. One of the best ways to enjoy this natural area is to take the loop trail from El Chorro to Caminito del Rey, which can be done in about an hour. Another road route is from Ardales to El Chorro, which ends at the Caminito del Rey. If you prefer mountain routes, El Chorro offers numerous trails where hikers and cyclists can cross paths to make their routes in one of the most beautiful environments in the province of Malaga and enjoy an excursion with family and friends.



Alora, Málaga

El Chorro is located in Alora and as such we cannot miss the opportunity to visit this picturesque village in the province of Málaga. Its origins date back to the Neolithic period, as evidenced by the discovery of an archaeological site, although different peoples have passed through Alora, such as the Arabs, Visigoths, Tartessians, and Phoenicians, who have left us such historic monuments as the Convent of Nuestra Señora de las Flores and the Castle of Alora. These are some of the many monuments to visit in Alora for their historical value, as well as the Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation, the Hermitage of the Three Crosses, and the monument to the Cante por la Malagueña, a tribute to flamenco.  Alora has a rich heritage and natural wealth, such as El Chorro and El Hacho de Alora, the mountain that protects this town and offers incredible views, as well as the viewpoint of Ali Ben Falcum “al Baezi”, which offers us breathtaking panoramic views of the valley.

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Árdales, Málaga

Very close to El Chorro, we find this village, Ardales. The natural paradise that it has, as the Natural Park of the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, is one of the most impressive views that we have in the province of Malaga. This imposing gorge is a protected area and belongs to this municipality and two others. As we approach the village, we can see the legacy of the Castillo de la Peña, from which you can see all of Ardales, and which is the most emblematic monument of this town, built against the Caliphate of Cordoba. The church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios is another of the symbols of Ardales. Of Mudejar style and incredible beauty, it is the most important monument in the village. The Convent of the Capuchinos and the Municipal Museum of Traditions of Ardales are other places not to be missed.

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Campillos, Málaga

Campillos is one of the closest villages to El Chorro and has an incomparable wealth of heritage, culture, and nature. In this village, a few kilometers from this place and in the heart of Andalusia, we find one of the most beautiful churches, Nuestra Señora del Reposo. Its construction began in the sixteenth century and is one of the architectural works that we can visit in this village of Malaga. Its interior, the altarpiece, the imposing images, and the chapels attached to it, as well as its exterior, are among the constructions that you should not miss. In addition, the natural environment offers a multitude of trails where you can enjoy cycling and hiking. The seasonal lagoons of this town, as well as a multi-adventure park, are some of the plans you can make during your trip to Campillos.

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There’s no reason to wait any longer about giving yourself a break. El Chorro is an idyllic destination for nature lovers, as well as athletes in search of a little peace and quiet. Water and rock come together in a brilliant way in the heart of the Malaga province. You cannot miss it.


10 sites to visit within Caminito del Rey, inside El Chorro Natural Site




Olée Holiday Rentals

Olée Holiday Rentals

The best accommodation option if you want to enjoy El Chorro or El Caminito del Rey is undoubtedly Fuerte Group. The chain has establishments where you can enjoy, in addition to its amenities, the best of each part of the province. Its 60 plus years’ experience are the best guarantee. Marbella and Nerja are just some of the enclaves where you can find this amazing accommodation.

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Fuerte Group Hotels
​Avda. Severo Ochoa 28, 9º A
29603 Marbella. Málaga.

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