Activities You Cannot Miss Out On In The El Chorro Natural Park
If you want to see one of Andalusia’s most complete and beautiful natural sites, you have to visit El Chorro Álora. Its scenic and natural wealth, along with its hydrological significance, amaze locals and visitors who enjoy hiking in Málaga province. In addition to the delightful view and fresh air, this enclave is where we can enjoy all kinds of adventure sports and excursions. It is also one of the most popular scenic spots for photography lovers. Here are 10 good reasons why you must visit El Chorro.
Keys to understanding El Caminito del Rey (The King’s Little Path) and El Chorro
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.
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 Andalusia.
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.
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.
1. 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 http://www.caminitodelrey.info/es/
2. The Ruins of Bobastro
The Ruins of Bobastro are found in Ardales, in a area known as the Mesa de Villaverde. If you are a lover of history, you can not miss this area if you visit El Chorro. It is one of the most important cave complexes in the province as it is there Omar Ibn Hafsún created a for for the Umayyad dynasty, reigning during the Al-Andalus period. You can also enjoy the cave houses that are very important to the legacy of the region’s Muslim history.
3. The Caves of Ardales
Expanding on the cultural relevance of the local environment, you can also visit the Ardales caves, which were formed more than 120 million years ago. Here you’ll find one of the largest collections of rock art in Europe and inside, you can see 56 different animal silhouettes, as well as examples of female figures. A stroll through this collection of art is sure to leave an impression.
4. Water Activities
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.
8. Bird Watching
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.
9. Thermas de Carratraca
After a hard day of sport and in direct contact with nature, we well deserve a break. So after our visit to El Chorro, we can go to the “Thermas de Carratraca”. In 1851, the waters were declared of public utility by Royal order, and since then many visitors have travelled to this place, either looking for a solution to their ailments or simply a healthy and relaxing bath. This may be a good option to finish the day in a quiet, relaxing way.
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.
11. Ardales Museum: Prehistory in Guadalteba
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.
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
WHERE TO STAY
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, Estepona and Nerja are just some of the enclaves where you can find this amazing accommodation.