IT has been called “the most dangerous footpath in the world”, but it is now set to become one of Andalucia’s premier tourist attractions.
The infamous Caminito del Rey – or King’s Path – at El Chorro, near Antequera, will this month be awarded four million euros in an audacious conservation bid.
“This will completely rejuvenate the inland area of El Chorro.”
According to Olive Press sources, the terrifying path, that is pinned precariously 300 metres up a vertical cliff face, is to get the first part of a 12 million euro renovation grant from Madrid.
“It will be a fantastic coup for Andalucia,” said one Antequera hotelier. “This will completely rejuvenate the inland area of El Chorro.
“We will find out this month. It is just what the area needs.”
Dubbed as one of the wonders of Spain, the Olive Press can reveal that the project to repair the path was entered into the official government boletin in August.
Opened by King Alfonso XIII in 1921, hence its name, the path has been shut since 2000, after a string of accidents saw four people die in just two years.
Now the path, which has fallen into disrepair since the 1950s, is to get the first tranche of funding from central government.
The path will first be completely reinforced with concrete supports dug into the rock. It will then get a new barrier.
At a strategy meeting organised by Malaga tourism chiefs, in November, it was decided what type of experience tourists would enjoy.
Under proposals it is expected that “around 1000 people a day” will pay between three and five euros to travel along the path.
They will be carefully monitored by up to 100 employees, with safety being “of major importance”.
“There could even be special trains brought in from Madrid specially for the experience,” said the local hotelier.
“We expect a lot of the work to be done next year, with the path possibly open by 2011.”
Currently the path is missing its handrail for most of its length. It has two or three sections where the floor has caved in.
The authorities took away the first section to stop people climbing onto it and anyone caught walking on it currently faces being fined up to 6000 euros.
A group of daredevil Americans managed to get onto the path last year and negotiate its treacherous course while filming it on video.
The incredible footage can be viewed on YouTube after searching Caminito del Rey