Having ridden Andalucia for more than a month, I’ve discovered it’s got so many incredible off-road routes, mountain trails, and stunning national parks it’s a natural dirt bike paradise. But, as my bike is currently undergoing an open engine surgery, I’ve had to get creative and see what Andalucia has to offer off-bike.

As luck would have it, I’d holed up in a small village just outside of Malaga, and out here, there’s no shortage of hiking trails. But nothing could have prepared me for a four-mile hike along the Gaitanes Gorge, a canyon carved by Guadalhorce River: Caminito del Rey, an old canyon trail, is a network of footbridges and boardwalks clinging to the sheer cliff walls.

Spain: Hidden Off-Bike Gems in Andalucia // ADV Rider

Constructed in the early 20th century as a means to connect the local villages and build the El Chorro dam, Caminito del Rey (The Path of the King) had become a tourist attraction: a new trail was slowly built over the old one with safer railings and boardwalks, and now, it’s frequently visited by locals and foreigners alike.

Spain: Hidden Off-Bike Gems in Andalucia // ADV Rider

Starting as a narrow cliff path, Caminito del Rey hugs a canyon wall as it climbs ever higher, revealing vertigo-inducing views of the canyon and the roaring river below. At times, the trail descends into a valley, then runs along the edge of a canyon again, finally crossing the canyon along a narrow suspended footbridge – definitely not for the faint of heart, as the bridge sways and hums gently with nothing but a wire netting beneath your feet – and finally, ends near a small mountain town of Ardales.

Spain: Hidden Off-Bike Gems in Andalucia // ADV Rider

If you find yourself in Southern Spain with time to spare and looking for something completely different than a day at the beach, check out the Caminito del Rey hike – it’s best to book tickets online, but other than that, you simply leave your bike in the parking lot, hike the trail, and catch a shuttle bus back. Caminito del Rey is one of the most surprising hidden gems in Andalucia I’ve found, and I’ll keep looking for more until the bike is runing again.

Spain: Hidden Off-Bike Gems in Andalucia // ADV Rider

 

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