For Architectural Digest, by Chelsea Stone.
On the hunt for a summer vacation that will really get your blood pumping? Look no further than southern Spain’s Caminito del Rey, dubbed “the most dangerous path in the world,” which is set to reopen to daredevils for the summer.
This is only the third season that thrill seekers have been allowed to make the three-to-four-hour walk along the three-foot-wide, nearly five-mile-long wooden footpath, which is situated above a 300-foot drop, hugging the face of a cliff wall making up the El Chorro gorge. The trail, whose name translates to the King’s Way, was closed to the public from 2001 until 2015 after five tourists fell from the walkway to their deaths in the span of two years.
Caminito del Rey is said to provide stunning views of the gorge — there’s a special glass platform for a look down below — in exchange for braving the path. But fear not: Since its March 2015 reopening, the walkway does feature improved safety features. The Sun reports that all visitors are required to wear hard hats on their trek, and steel bolts and poles now secure the walkway itself to the cliff. However, the website for Caminito del Rey also warns that many suffer from vertigo as they traverse the path, and though a trip across won’t put your life at risk anymore, there are very narrow, steep portions of the trail that require a certain amount of physical deftness.
According to Spain’s The Local, since the trail’s grand reopening, more than 600,000 adrenaline junkies, 69 percent of whom were foreign travelers, have flocked to Caminito del Rey, resulting in a major tourism boost for the country’s Málaga province. Tickets, available now, cost €10 (about $11) and must be purchased in advance. And for those more interested in the view than making the trip itself, Google Maps has created an interactive virtual walk. For now, take a look at the pathway in the photos below and retain peace of mind with the knowledge that, at present, your feet are firmly on solid ground.
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