El Chorro

Text and photos: Mariola Weindich-Mašek

1 April 2017

El Chorro is a town in the southern part of Spain, in the Malaga province, at the end of limestone gorge - Desfiladero de los Gaitanes.

This place is well known to all lovers of climbing. It is here, where you can easily climb up the rocks during the most of the year. The weather is not the only advantage of El Chorro, but first of all the number of climbing routes. The gorge is surrounded by over 1,500 protected roads with different level of difficulty.

In the highest parts of the gorge, the walls are 700 m high. On the other hand, in the upper part of the gorge, the distance between the walls is several meters. This makes it one of the most steep rock gorges in Europe.

El Chorro town is also known for the famous El Caminito del Rey - Path of the Kings. This currently closed walking trail runs along the steep walls of limestone gorge. Closed does not mean not visited –very often, despite numerous bans, the climbers can be found there. Fortunately ordinary tourists are rarely seen there. It was built in 1905 for the workers building the dam to facilitate the transportation of construction materials.

A few years ago the condition of this very difficult trail was disastrous. When I visited it -it made me really dizzy. Up to this day I find it difficult to say clearly what was the cause - amazing views or the awareness of the risk, despite having professional climbing protection.

The local authorities have decided to renovate the trail. The plan for a comprehensive renovation of the historic route was completed in 2015 and cost 7 million euro. We will go to see it personally!