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How to book a ticket for the “Caminito del Rey” – the royal walkway in El Chorro, Malaga

2/03/2015

Bridge Caminito del Rey

This is how you book a ticket for the “Caminito del Rey” – try the exciting walk on the royal pathway, if you do not suffer from vertigo.  The Caminito del Rey opens to the public on the 28th of March 2015.

Procedure to book your ticket for Caminito Del Rey – Malaga

You must book the ticket on the official website  

You can reserve a maximum of five tickets at a time and only two months in advance. Every half an hour a group of 50 persons will be sent off on the trail.

The ticket is personal and non-transferable.  Upon start and end of the hike you must present a passport or other identification along with the ticket.  The same also applies to children who also must show the name of the accompanying adult.  For safety reasons, children must be over 8 years of age to walk the hike.

You must arrive 30 minutes before the booked admission time in order to be organized into groups.

The hike “Caminito del Rey”
The hike is from point A to B as it is linear.  It is important that you have arranged beforehand with transportation to get you back to your starting point. At the moment there are talks to start up a shuttle service between the starting and ending point but so far nothing is concrete. You can also walk part of the hike and return to the same starting point.

You can begin the hike from Ardales (Guadalhorce water dam) and the walk will go downhill or you can start the hike from El Chorro train station (Álora) and go uphill.

If you start at the Guadalhorce water dam (Ardales) from the restaurant Kiosko, then you should first go 2.7 km to the control centre which is next to the hydroelectric power plant.  This will take approximately 50 minutes.  From there the official Caminito del Rey starts and it will take approximately 4 hours to reach El Chorro train station.

If you start at El Chorro train station (Álora), then you will head on for 2.1 km, passing a campsite and an iron bridge before the Caminito del Rey starts.  The hike goes up hill all the time and will take approximately 5 hours to complete. The entire route is 7.7 km of which 4.8 km is on pathways carved into the mountainside.

Caminito Del Rey

Rules to be observed during the Caminito del Rey hike
Due to the severity, the heights on the route and the narrow path, there are many rules to be respected to make it a safe hike for all visitors.

It is compulsory to wear a safety helmet which will be distributed at the entrance to the pathway, as there may be risk of small stones falling from the mountain.

When you walk on the path, always keep to the right.

If you cross with another visitor you must show consideration so the one walking next to the abyss is not getting into danger.

You are not allowed to make stops along the route to avoid the formation of queues.

You are not allowed to take photos with a tripod or other equipment that may be an obstacle on the path.

Children must be over 8 years and may not be carried by an adult.

You are not allowed to carry a big hiking backpack during the hike.

There is no possibility to buy food along the path and as the hike requires some physical effort, it is recommended to bring water, muesli bar, chocolate, and fruit in a small backpack.

You are not allowed to take a picnic break along the path as there is no dedicated area for this. Therefore, it is recommended that you have a sandwich to eat before or after the hike is completed.

Prepare your hike in advance with a cap, sunscreen and footwear suitable for this walk.

You must use a rain cover if it should start to rain.  It is forbidden to use an umbrella.

If there are strong winds the path will be closed.

There are no toilet facilities on the path.

Smoking is not allowed.

Pets are not allowed.

You are not allowed to shout or listen to loud music on the hike.

If you suffer from vertigo, have a heart disease or other illness that may be an obstacles to complete the trip, you should of course not walk the path.

If you are into mountain climbing, and want to climb under the Caminito del Rey, then it is possible to do so.  You will have to register with the control centre and present a civil liability insurance that covers mountain climbing.  Furthermore, you are not allowed to use the iron structure from the Caminito del Rey for the climbing.

Valle del Hoyo Caminito del Rey

Practical information:
Opening hours
Winter period (01/11 -31/03) from 10-14 pm.
Summer Period (01/04-31/10) from 10-17 pm.

It is closed on Mondays.
It is free to visit the Caminito del Rey the first six months.    Click here to read our other blog article about the royal walkway in Málaga.

Photos: Diputación de Málaga

Pompidou Centre opens in Málaga

2/03/2015

Pompidou Malaga

The French Pompidou Centre in Paris opens its first branch up in Europe.  You will find the Pompidou Centre Málaga in the characteristic “glass cube” which is located at Muelle Uno near the waterfront.

The art centre opens to the public on the 28th of March and will have a permanent exhibition of the collections of the Pompidou Centre in Paris and a temporary exhibition with works from Joan Miró.  This temporary exhibition can be seen from May until September month.

In the permanent exhibition you will find more than 80 works, among others, from Frida Kahlo, Francis Bacon, Max Ernst and Rene Magritte.

The admission price is 9 euros for the permanent and temporary exhibition and every Sunday afternoon after 4 pm the admission is free until closing time.  The Pompidou centre Málaga  is closed on Tuesdays.

The normal opening hours are from 9:30 am – 8:00 pm. During summer season from the 15th of June until the 15th of September the opening hours are from 11:00am – 10:00pm.

How to get there?
Head for Málaga city and enter along the Avda. de Andalucía. Continue to Paseo Parque and in the roundabout turn right onto Paseo de la Farola.  There is a large public car park under the Pompidou centre at the corner of Paseo de la Farola.  That is, on the waterfront of Muelle Uno.

As the Pompidou Centre Málaga is centrally located in Málaga city, it is a great chance to also go shopping and to have something to eat at one of the many restaurants at Muelle Uno waterfront after a visit at the art center Pompidou.

The official website is not launched but we will you inform when it is ready.

The Russian Museum opens in Málaga

21/02/2015

Tabacalera Malaga

Málaga is becoming more and more known as a culture city with exciting art museums. We already have the Picasso, CAC and Carmen Thyssen Museum.
During March month another art museum will be inaugurated, which is called “Collections from the Russian Museum“.

The Russian Museum in St. Petersburg has one of the largest collections of Russian art.  It is the first time that a bigger collection of its artworks are permanently exhibited in Europe.

The permanent exhibition is called “Russian art in the period XV-XX” and contains amongst other icon paintings from the XV period.  From the avant-garde art period there will be shown paintings from Kandinsky and Chagall. This exhibition can be seen until November 2015. The temporary exhibition is called “Russian art on Diaghilev’s time” can be seen until September. Diaghilev was the founder of the Russian ballet and arranged also art exhibitions.

The Russian Museum is located in the old renovating Tobacco factory in Málaga, also called “Tabacalera”. It is next door to the Automobile museum “Museo Automovilistico” so why not visit both museums on the same day.

The address is Av. Sor Teresa Prat, 29003 Malaga and it takes only 10min. by car from Málaga airport.  The admission price is 8 euros for both the permanent and temporary exhibition and there will be free admission every Sunday afternoon from 4pm until closing time.

The opening date for the museum is set for Wednesday the 25th of March 2015.

The famous orange trees in Seville – did you know that…?

21/02/2015

Seville

Seville city is amongst other things famous for its many orange trees throughout the city centre and when the trees bloom in spring, it smells wonderful in the streets.
Here are some fun data that  you probably did not know about the orange trees of Seville.

-There are 25,000 orange trees in Seville, which makes the city the world’s only city with the most orange trees.  The Seville orange tree produces a bitter orange so the fruit is not suitable for juice.

- The orange tree originally came from China, where it was thought to bring luck to the owner. This was one of the reasons why the orange tree was so quickly widespread in Seville.

Oranges from Seville

- It was the Moors who introduced the orange tree in Seville.

- Until the Middle Ages the oranges were exclusively used as a medicine.

- The Spanish name for orange tree is “naranjo” and for the fruit orange “naranja”.

- The Indian name for orange tree is nâranga which means “fragrant”.

- The Seville orange is used for perfume, wine and jam. The most famous brand is the “Seville Orange Marmalade” which is sold in England.

If you want to experience Seville when the orange blossoms, then you must visit Seville in March and early April.
Read more about Seville here

Source:  www.visitasevilla.es

Reaching new heights walking the “Caminito del Rey” – a great nature experience!

9/02/2015 | 1 comment

Caminito Del Rey

Want to get a little adrenaline in the blood during your next visit to the Costa del Sol? Forget it if you suffer from vertigo….
Then we can recommend a visit to the newly renovated path called in Spanish “El Caminito del Rey” in the El Chorro area of Malaga.

The path “Caminito del Rey” is located about an hour’s drive from Malaga a little further inland from  Alòra and was built in 1905 by the Hydroelectric company El Chorro as it needed to have an access between its two hydroelectric power plants lying in the mountain gorge Desfiladero de los Gaitanes. The path was to make easier access for the maintenance workers overseeing the hydropower stations and transport material between them. The pathway was carved into the steep mountainside and a suspension bridge crosses the several hundred meter deep gorge.

Bridge over Caminito del Rey

As time passed by the lack of maintenance made the path deteriorate but despite of that as the area is famous for mountain climbing, it was continued to be used by climbers.  After several fatal accidents happened due to the poor state of the path, it was closed off.

A year ago, the regional government began to renovate and reconstruct this path. It has been a very complicated work to get the pathway reconstructed, but now it is finally set for opening.

The trail is 3 km long and made of wooden beams which are drilled into the mountain with iron bars. Some places along the path have glass floor so you can see the gorge and the river hundreds meters below you.
Work on Caminto del Rey

To get an idea of the heights where the path goes, then take a look at this beautiful video. We are sure that even with the worst fear of heights you want to take the walk or perhaps, not …?

Watch here the video how the royal path was reconstructed.

The official opening is being planned so that it is open for Easter, but so far the set day has not been published. In order to visit the path you must reserve online (the website is still not published), as it only allows groups of 25-30 people at a time to go on the trail with a guide. The first 3 months the entrance will be for free.

As soon as we hear where and how you can reserve online for a visit to El Caminito del Rey, we will let you know via our newsletter or Facebook.

Caminito Gossip! The trail was named the “royal pathway” after the king Alonso XIII went along the path during his inauguration in 1921 of a water reservoir.  It also featured in the 20thCentury Fox film called Von Ryan’s Express and until its repair was known as one of the world’s most dangerous hikes!  Antonio Banderas has already been to see it with the Mayor of Malaga.  Day 2 of the Cycling Tour of Spain will wiz around the Caminito area on  the 22nd of  August!

Click here to see the official website of the El Caminito del Rey.

How to get to El Chorro:
From Malaga take the A-357 towards Cartama and at km 22 follow the signs for  El Chorro, Embalses. Here you can either stop at El Chorro – or continue and follow the directions for a walk along the trail Sendero de Gaitanejo which is a circuit of 5.5 km.

Photos: Diputación de Málaga

Castellar Zoo, a different zoo in the province of Cádiz

26/01/2015

Zoo de Castellar

 

How about a visit to Castellar Zoo, a zoo that differs from others you have seen?  This is a great day trip for all animal friends and families with children.

 

Castellar Zoo is in reality an animal rescue centre for exotic animals and is one of the great unknowns of Andalusia.  Partly because it does not advertise as much as other larger zoo´s, however everyone who has visited it will recommend that it is worth their time.  It is just a small zoo which opened to the public in 2002.

Castellar Zoo began as a private initiative where it took care of exotic animals that had been confiscated by the authorities or animals that have been kept as illegal pets.  The animals were cared for and given the best conditions of life possible, considering that they had already been removed from their natural habitat.   A few years after the rescue centre opened up, the owners decided to open it to the public so that people could enjoy and learn from these animals.

The big difference between Castellar Zoo and others is that, being a small zoo and born as a rescue centre, it is a very familiar zoo.  People can touch and play with the animals and even feed them – always with the guidelines from the animal keepers. This makes the experience for both children and adults, so much richer.  In the Zoo de Castellar you can amongst others see Adon (a white tiger), Sasha (a Bengal tiger), Bambina (Baby antelope) and Daniel (a white parrot).

The opening hours of the Zoo de Castellar is from 10.00 am to dusk (closing time is later in summer than in winter), and is open every day of the week.

The ticket price is 9 euros for children and 15 euros for adults (11 for pensioners).

Coming from Malaga airport, then take the A-7 and head for Estepona.  At Sotogrande take the exit 130 Guadeira/Castellar, and follow Crta. De Arenillas/A-2100.  After about 11km from this exit you will find Zoo de Castellar.

The address is Cerro del Moro s/n -  11350 Castellar de la Frontera The trip from Malaga Airport will take approximately 1hour and 40 minutes if you take the toll motorway.

 

Read more here about the Zoo el Castellar  and we wish you a great day out.

 

Shopping centres on the Costa del Sol

13/01/2015

Shopping center

As everywhere, you will find some amazing sales in all shops during January, but do you know all the shopping centres that are available on the Costa del Sol? Here is a brief overview of shopping centres on the coast, so if you are you looking to buy Spanish fashion, shoes or jewellery or to have some tantalising tapas then visit one of the shopping centres.

La Cañada in Marbella
La Cañada shopping centre on the outskirt of Marbella is one of the largest on the Costa del Sol.  There are over 150 stores with a wide selection of clothes, electronics, shoes, furniture etc.  There are also restaurants, a cinema and a large supermarket. One advantage of the La Cañada shopping center is it has free parking for outdoor as well as in the massive underground parking. The shopping center is open from Monday to Saturday from 10-22h and during the summer high season and December month the shopping center will also open on Sundays. If coming from Malaga airport, then head for Marbella and take exit 184 from the A-7 motorway to get to La Cañada.

El Corte Inglés
Harrods is to London as El Corte Inglés is to Spain … its part of the countries shopping culture.  The department store is in most cities around the country and has a rich variety of all kinds of products ranging from clothes of famous brands to hairdressing salon and travel agency.  They say if you can’t find it in El Corte Inglés it’s because it doesn’t exist!

In Malága there is an El Corte Inglés department store in the center of Malága city and just outside the city of Malága next to the conference center.  In addition, there is El Corte Inglés Mijas Costa which is located at the bypass by Fuengirola and there is a smaller version of El Corte Inglés in the center of Fuengirola town.  In Puerto Banus, Marbella, there is yet another, which is probably the coast’s largest department store.

Miramar shopping center in Fuengirola
From Malaga to Fuengirola on the A-7 take exit 208 to get to the shopping center Miramar.  In Miramar there is a large selection of stores such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Adolfo Dominguez and Primark.  With over 3000 free parking spaces it is easy to get to and do your shopping.  It also offers a large Eroski supermarket, cinema and restaurants.  For children’s entertainment there is the Miramar club which is open from Wednesday to Saturday for children aged 4-12 years so while you do your shopping the children can play. Miramar shopping center is open from Monday to Saturday from 10-22hr, and also on Sundays during the summer season and in December.

Shopping centers east of Malaga
East of Malaga you will find the shopping center “Rincon de la Victoria” which you access from the motorway A-7 or from MA-24.  Here you will find over 60 shops, a cinema and a large supermarket – and of course there is free parking.

If you continue to drive a little further east of Malaga, you will come to the shopping center El Ingenio, located next to Torre del Mar. Remember to take exit 272 from the A-7.  You can actually see the shopping center from the motorway. El Ingenio offers free children’s club for children between 3-12 years while you make your purchases.  There are over 100 stores in the center, a cinema and a large supermarket.

Shopping centers in Malaga city
In the center of Malaga city, there are 3 shopping centers relatively close to each other.

The shopping center Larios Centro is located parallel to Avenida de Andalucía which is the access road to the center of Malaga.  At the roundabout for El Corte Inglés you turn off towards Avda. de la Aurora. In the shopping center you will find a great selection of shops, a cinema, and a large supermarket and there is free Wi-Fi in the restaurant area.

Another shopping center is Malaga Plaza also located parallel to Avda de Andalucía (on the street called Armengual de la Mota). You will find specialty stores, Fnac and there are often arranged fashion shows, concerts and art exhibitions in the center.

Finally, there is Vialia, the shopping center located at the main train station in Málaga.  Also here is a great selection of shops, a cinema and restaurants.  Vialia is located at Avda de la Estacion and is not far away from Larios shopping center.

At the back of the city, not far from the football stadium you will find the shopping center La Rosaleda on Avenida Simon Bolivar de Malaga.  Here you will find over 120 shops, restaurants, a cinema and a large supermarket for your shopping.

Plaza Mayor malaga

Shopping center next to Malaga Airport
Plaza Mayor shopping center
Finally, we have the Plaza Mayor shopping center which is only a five minute drive by car from Malaga airport.  Plaza Mayor is located on the MA-20 and you should take the exit “Parador de Golf”.  The shopping center is built in Andalusian style as a mini village where you walk around outdoors.  There are a wide variety of restaurants and tapas bars to try and a cinema.  It is easy to park outside and a very popular place on weekends to go out in the evening and enjoy yourselves.

 

Sierra Nevada – the ski season has started in Granada!

2/12/2014

Sierra Nevada family

The ski season was officially inaugurated in Sierra Nevada on the 28th of November. Unfortunately, there is currently not much snow and only 10 km ski slope is ready for skiing. Therefore during this first week only a daily maximum of 500 skiers will be allowed.  The ski station has over 105 km of slopes available when weather conditions are optimum.

Sierra Nevada is about 2 1/2 hours’ drive from Malaga, and can easily be visited during a day trip.  Head for Granada and then take A-395 towards Sierra Nevada.

The ski resort is ideal for all ages. There is a separate section for children and families with play area and ski school which you can read more about here.

Or perhaps you are into snowboarding? Then you should try the snowboard park Super Park Sulayr which offers different zones according to the difficulty level. Click here for more information. (Unfortunately only in Spanish)

Sierra Nevada night time

You also have the opportunity to try the slopes in the evening with artificial lighting.  Every Thursday and Saturday evening from 19.00h to 22.00h 6 km ski slope is lighted up.

Check out here the snow situation and how many km slopes are ready for skiing before you head off.

Have a fun time!

Photos:  www.sierranevada.es

 

New parking machines in Fuengirola

1/12/2014

Parking machine

Are you going to visit Fuengirola and plan to park in the blue parking zones?  Then we would like to inform you that Fuengirola town has set up new parking machines which have new features from the old ones.

In order to get your parking ticket, you first have to press  “1″ on the screen. Next step is that you enter your rental car’s number plate number and you pay with coins or credit card for the time you want to park.  Finally press the green button and the parking ticket will now be printed which you can place inside the car´s front window.

Should you be so unlucky to get a parking fine, press “2″ to cancel this fine and then enter the car’s number plate number. The machine will indicate the amount to pay which can be done with cash or credit card.

The new feature is that you have to enter the number plate number, so keep the Helle Hollis car key ring at hand where you will find the number plate number and it will be easy for you to pay for the parking.

Christmas lights switch on in Malaga city

27/11/2014

Christmas lights Malaga 2013

Every year the city of Malaga has a spectacular Christmas decoration with millions of LED lights.

This year 2014 the Christmas lights will be switched on,  on the 28th of November at 20 h. The same evening , around 19.30h. , a free concert will be held at the Plaza de la Constitucion with the Spanish singer Chenoa.

Get into the Christmas spirit and stroll along the shopping street Calle Larios and the surrounding streets. You may also want to see the nativity scene at Malaga Town Hall with free admission -and of course there is plenty of opportunity for Christmas shopping.  Shops are celebrating “Black Friday” sales the 28th of November with lots of offers.

Book your December car now and experience the magical Christmas atmosphere in Malaga.