29 Sep, 2021 @ 11:00
1 min read

Treacherous trails: Six Spanish hiking routes that will make your knees tremble

Caminito Del Rey

1. Caminito del Rey, Malaga

Let’s start with the one everyone knows. Pinned into the steep walls of El Chorro gorge, this 3km boardwalk rises to over 100m above the river below and was dubbed the ‘world’s most dangerous walkway’ following five fatal accidents in the space of two years. After almost a decade in disrepair, the route was reopened in 2015 and can now be traversed by those with the nerve.

Caminito Del Rey
‘The King’s Little Path’, Malaga. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

2. Ruta de Las Pasarelas de Montefalco, Catalonia

Zigzagging up a steep orange cliff face on the border of Catalonia and Aragon, these wooden ‘pasarela’ walkways offer some of the most spectacular views in the Sierra de Montsec. The route is not for the fainthearted, as local guides will tell you, but it does lead to one of Catalonia’s most celebrated natural wonders – the Congost de Mont-rebei, an awesome gorge brimming with sparkling turquoise water that meanders into the distance.

Ruta De Pasaleras
Ruta de Las Pasarelas de Montefalco, Catalonia. Image source: https://www.alberguemontfalco.com/que-hacer/4/ruta-de-las-pasarelas-de-montfalco

3. Puigsacalm pels Ganox, Catalonia

This circular route that takes you up the mighty 1500m Puigsacalm mountain is actually gentle going for the most part and offers sublime views of the eastern Pyrenees, as well as the wedged-shaped stone summits that distinguish the Transversal Range. Once you reach the pels Ganox, however, your heart will hammer as you realise that this series of small metal walkways and hooks are all you can use to scale the sheer rock face.

Cami Gnox
Puigsacalm pels Ganox, Catalonia. Image source: Wikiloc

4. Ruta del Cares, Asturias

Also known as the Divine Gorge, this 11km trail traces the crystalline Cares River as it weaves through the rugged Picos de Europa. Its narrow pathway sculptured into rocky hillsides boasts breath-taking views of the mountains that can be enjoyed by all. However, those with vertigo are perhaps better off averting their eyes from the dizzying gorge below.

Ruta Del Cares 28
Ruta del Cares, Asturias. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

5. El Barranc de l’Infern Loop (Hell’s Ravine), Valencia

Infernal by name, infernal by nature: this demanding 15km trail in the north of Alicante includes a gruelling stretch of 6,800 steps that wind up La Vall de Laguar. Curiously, its nickname is the ‘Cathedral of Trekking,’ though the only blessings on this route are numerous photo opportunities of the jaw-dropping rocky valley.

1280px Barranc De Linfern La Vall De Laguar
Barranc de l’Infern, la Vall de Laguar, Valencia. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

6. Windsor Suspension Bridge, Gibraltar

Part of the Thrill Seeker’s Trail in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, you feel a bit like one of the Rock’s nimble macaques as you creep across this 71m feat of engineering while drinking in vistas of the glittering strait, city and bay. But only look down if you are as comfortable with heights as those cheeky monkeys – that 50m drop is enough to make anyone’s heart skip several beats…

Windsor Bridge
Windsor Suspension Bridge, Gibraltar. Image source: https://gibraltarinfo.gi/portfolio/windsor-suspension-bridge-2/

Laurence Crumbie

Laurence Crumbie is a writer from the UK based in Estepona. Before joining the Olive Press he worked as a freelance travel journalist in Myanmar, where he lived for two years.
When he isn't planning his next intrepid trip, Laurence is hunting for great green stories, especially local ones, or writing features for the La Cultura section.
If you have a story, please contact him at laurencec@theolivepress.es.

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