Where to stay?
Today I arrived in Ardales (Spain) close to the Caminito del Rey. I set up my tent at Camping Ardales which is situated next to a large lake. It was 40 degrees and I was so glad to have found a place with shadow and a refreshing clear lake to swim in. There are only a few hotels and restaurants in the neighborhood, but the camping is definitely the closest to the pass. Also, I think you might enjoy a little swim after the walk on El Caminito del Rey and relax in the nearby forest.
How to visit?
I will start by providing you with the most important information which is: YOU NEED TO BOOK! We arrived at El Caminito del Rey thinking everyone could enter when paying an entrance fee, but instead we found ourselves at a closed entrance. Apparently, you need to make a booking months before you want to visit the trail. You can book your tour with this link. As you can see most of the tickets are already sold out for the summer, so how can you still visit this magnificent place?
This is the trick! Every day at 8:30 AM there is a line at the northern entrance of the trail for people who have no ticket. They sell 50 passes a day, no more and no less, so be sure you belong to the 50 lucky ones! I did this hike together with my sister and we really wanted to walk this path, so we arrived at the northern entrance at 7:30 AM and we were the first in line and let's say the visit was worth waiting for!
You need to pay 10 euros entrance fee and 1,55 euro to take the bus back to your car, which you can pay with cash or card. The bus stops at different locations but my recommendation is to park in front of El Kiosko, the parking is free but is very limited. This is only a solution when you arrive very early. Another cheap parking is on your way to El Kiosko and it will cost you 2 euros a day. From the parking, you can see a cave leading to El Caminito del Rey (1,5 km), it's pretty dark in the cave so make sure to bring a light.
What do you need to bring?
El Caminito del Rey is surrounded by beautiful cliffs and nature, so there are no restaurants, bathrooms, shops or whatsoever. Therefore make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks. If you like to take pictures, you should know that selfie sticks are not allowed, but everything else is. The walk lasts between 1 and 2 hours depending on your pace. Kids under the age of 8 are not allowed to walk El Caminito del Rey, because it would be too dangerous. Also, if you're afraid of heights this might not be your adventure and I would suggest doing something else like renting a kayak at the lake.
Here are some pictures to give you a quick preview of El Caminito del Rey. I hope you enjoy reading this article and that it was helpful. Stay positive, stay tuned and make sure to Fly Along!