The southern Spanish city of Ronda hires Caminito del Rey architect to build a footpath in its famous gorge. The route will enrich the city and do justice to the gorge as a natural heritage site.
The new route will enable visitors to enjoy the gorge, the bridge and the surroundings from a different perspective. Architect Luis Machuca, responsible for the renovation of the Caminito del Rey, the impressive footpath that attracts tourists from all over the world, will work on the project. Machuca visited the area and is in discussion with the Junta, the regional government of Andalucia.
Plans are not new
The plans for the footpath are not new. The idea was mooted years ago, but it led to controversy and the plan was rejected. The reasons for this included the lack of a master plan and the path – on the bed of the river Guadalevín – being subject to flooding.
Ronda will surprise
With Machuca, the city council wants to remove any obstacles and promote this “important tourist attraction” again. Mayor of Ronda, Maria de la Paz Fernández, emphasised “Ronda will surprise” with this footpath and other new projects.
The authoritiy is considering the plans and possible implementation of the walking route. It might be possible to make use of the infrastructure of the former Sevillana electricity company in the area. Also, contrary to the original approach, the path will run along the right bank.
Upgrading the gorge
The footpath is perhaps the most important part of a plan by the municipal council to ‘upgrade’ the gorge. It involves a total of 11 plans, which will happen separately. For example the construction of a river beach, the restoration of an old bathing spot in the Guadalevin and the restoration of the old Arab mills and irrigation channels, from the Arco del Cristo to the mill of the Casa del Guarda. A dam is also being built to prevent flooding. The path through the gorge, from the Casa de Manolillo to the Hermitage of San Miguel, will be the main attraction.
The municipality also intends to build more via ferrata tracks, clean the bottom and rocks along the gorge, restore and improve the traditional gardens, remove power lines, improve the natural swimming pools and set up an information centre.