Desfiladero de los Gaitanes

Gorge of the River Guadalhorce

Useful Information

Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Guided tours:  
Photography: allowed
Address: Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, 29550 Ardales, Málaga, Tel: +34-952 45 81 45.
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The Desfiladero de los Gaitanes is a nature park with a size of 2,016 hectares. The central sight of this park is the gorge of the river Guadalhorce with its 400m high vertical walls. The Caminito del Rey (The King's Path) was constructed at the vertical walls about 100m above the river and offers breathtaking views.

The area has numerous artificial lakes where the water of river Guadalhorce is damed and used for a hydro-eclectric power scheme. The Embalce del Guadalhorce and the Embalce del Conde de Guadalhorce have their dams close by. After the water produced electricity it flows together and is imediately dammed again. This dam is located at the upper end of the gorge. You can cross the gorge starting at the power plant, which you can reach on a smalll road. The road branches off the tourist road along the east shore of Embalce del Conde de Guadalhorce. The other possibnility is to start at the small Village El Chorro. At the northern end of town a road to the hydroelectric plats at the river starts. Irt ends at the lower end of the gorge. Here is the place where the Caminito del Rey starts and culminates at a wooden bridge.

The gorge has two spectacular parts with steep cliffs, located at both ends. A trail along the west shore of river Guadalhorce connects both and allows to cross the gorge by foot. However, the park is famous for its fauna and flora, and there is much to see along the trail. There is also a single track railroad line through the gorge, but it misses the spectacular parts because the tracks are inside a tunnel.