This is Spain

Imagine three stunningly beautiful turquoise coloured lakes bordered by pine forests. A tranquil retreat where you can swim or fish, or picnic on the lake shore. West of Alora, Málaga’s “Lake District” is in fact three artificial lakes created by a dam built across the dramatic 200 m high Guadalhorce river gorge, known as the Garganta del Chorro. Watch out for the eagles which continually circle around the sheer cliffs.

From your journey through the Valle de Abdalajis you will arrive at the small village of El Chorro and your first sight of the dam and gorge area. There is a small bridge across the middle of the gorge, built during the construction of the reservoir between 1914 and 1921. The dam was officially opened in 1921 by King Alfonso XIII of Spain and on this occasion he took a walk along the specially constructed catwalk, called El Camino del Rey (The King’s Path), pinned to the face of the gorge some 100 m. above the river.

The Camino del Rey, actually dates back to 1906, by some accounts. It is officially closed to the public pending repairs. On January 21 2006 the regional government announced that there were funds available in the 2006 budget to make repairs to the path.

There are trained guides who do take visitors along the path. However his is not a trek for the faint hearted – or those with vertigo. In addition, climbing and trekking in this area is really only for experienced climbers with proper equipment.

If you simply want to see where the Camino del Rey begins, it can be found by driving across the lower dam into the village of El Chorro, take the track on the left before the railway station, continue past the camp site until you can drive no further. Walk the last few hundred metres. The path drops down and skirts the iron girder railway bridge (take care crossing the line, Von Ryans express was filmed here).

To reach the lakes, drive over the dam and follow the road round to the left of the gorge. Just keep on this road and you will come to the lakes, about 4 km. drive. Even though the lakes are very popular in the summer, their shores are so vast that it is easy to find a quiet place to sunbathe, swim, picnic and camp.