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Lonely Planet names Caminito del Rey in its Top 30 hottest new Thrills

Lonely Planet names Caminito del Rey in its Top 30 hottest new Thrills

Mar 07, 2015
Popular travel website and publisher of travel guide books Lonely Planet included the Costa del Sol's Caminito del Rey cycling and hiking route in their top 30 hot new experiences around the world for their 2015 listings. Although residents in Marbella and Costa del Sol holidaymakers are yet to see the official opening of the new trail, Lonely Planet has already named it among its 26 most thrilling new attractions.

Works are still ongoing at the new route, which is just weeks away from being inaugurated. One of the first well-known organisations to give the thumbs up to the new trail is the 2015 Vuelta Ciclista. The organisers decided to start the second leg of their cycling race in Alhaurín de la Torre and finish the second stage in the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes in El Chorro, which allowed travellers around the world to see pictures of Andalucía's most spectacular gorge on their TV screens.

Although the Lonely Planet write-up assures that the new trail is much improved compared to the "white knuckle ride" it was prior to the route's restoration, they did point out that Caminito del Rey does lead across sheer rock face along one of Spain's deepest gorges.

Thrill-seekers should head to Andalusia

Lonely Planet's authors described Caminito del Rey as "one of the world's scariest hiking routes", a comment sure to attract thrill-seekers from around the globe! The travel portal said that the route is one of Spain's most spectacular walking routes, "no longer the preserve of professional climbers and adrenaline-seekers" but will now be open to a wider public. "The views, however, continue to take your breath away," the travel guide concluded.

Now that travel guide providers Lonely Planet have included the gorge trail in their listings, the Caminito del Rey route will receive even greater international attention, not just from hiking and cycling fans but also from tourism experts and tour operators.

Caminito del Rey made it into the 26 hottest new thrills almost against all the odds. When one has to compete against international attractions like a four-hour zip line ride across parts of South Africa or New York's One World Observatory, tourism boards have to pull out all the stops. Caminito del Rey was placed fifth among the 26 hottest destinations, where travellers can enjoy an unforgettable experience - a thrilling result for Malaga Province and all those who have long advocated alternative tourism as the way forward to increase off-peak season tourism at the Costa del Sol.

The 2015 mini guide is free to download from the Lonely Planet website (

The Guardian newspaper also turned its attention towards the Malaga Province in recent times, naming Caminito del Rey as a great 2015 attraction for travellers preferring adventure holidays over resort tourism.

What does that mean for resorts like Marbella?

Tourists are becoming more discerning. Never has there been so much choice in the types of holidays people can book. Resorts like Marbella have worked hard since the 2008 world-wide economic crisis to come up with a new tourism strategy, one that fuels the local economy year-round, instead of providing merely temporary employment for a limited number of local residents.

While golden beaches and natural beauty will always tempt visitors back to the Costa del Sol, it is the type of experience they have while being in Spain that really counts. Thrilling adventures like mastering the Caminito del Rey route in Andalusia or exploring caves on Mallorca are experiences that will stay with Spain visitors for a long time - exactly the type of holiday that will be mentioned again and again on social networking sites and travel blogs and attract even greater numbers of thrill-seekers to Spain the following season.

For those who are thinking of relocating abroad and buying a permanent rather than a holiday home in Spain it will mean a wider range of services they can offer, when they start their own business. Widening what is on offer in the alternative holiday segment of the tourism sector also means greater opportunities for Marbella's unemployed residents.

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