The 110-year-old Caminito del Rey has been a crumbling, dangerous, forbidden walkway for the few decades
THE 110-year-old Caminito del Rey has been a crumbling, dangerous, forbidden walkway for the few decades.
Come next summer, however, the death-defying path could be one of Andalucia’s biggest tourist attractions.
With restoration work 70% complete, it is already clear how the 1.2km cliff-clinging walkway is going to look.
In its new form, wooden panels are being fixed to the cliff face 100m above the river, with hand-rails and glass-bottomed viewing stations still set to go in at various points.
According to staff working for construction company Sando, the project will be finished by December.
“The official opening ceremony is scheduled for January or February 2015, with King Felipe set to open it,” said one worker.
“It is bound to be a massive hit and people will be coming here from all over the world.”
The first three months after opening will be free, but a fee which includes entry to a museum will eventually be levied.
The path was originally constructed in 1905 so that workers at a hydroelectric plant could cross between El Chorro and Gaitanejo Falls.
It stopped being used in the middle of the last century and has continually degraded since, with handrails and steps falling into the reservoir 100 metres below.
It was officially closed in 2001 after a series of fatal accidents.
A ‘rite of passage’ for adrenaline junkies, companies began offering unofficial tours after a video of the walk went viral on YouTube.
The Olive Press was the first paper to reveal that the Caminito was to be upgraded as a tourist site as long ago as December 2009.
Finally in 2011, the Junta and Malaga city council agreed to split restoration costs – estimated at more than €5 million – and commissioned the works.