El Chorro I and II Hydroelectric Power Station’s canal (Álora and Ardales) - El Caminito del Rey Path [Hydraulic Heritage
• Heritage Value: High
• Landscape Value: High
• Condition: Medium state of repair
• Type of hydraulic structure: Canal
• Stage of the Great Málaga Path: Stage 20. Embalses de Guadalhorce - Estación del Chorro
• Where to find it: El Chorro
• Period: 20th century
• Architect: Rafael Benjumea Burín
• UTM Coordinates:
- 339424,8486, 4088931,21 through Gaitanejo
- 342513,1295, 4086706,179 through El Chorro
HOW TO FIND IT
By train: Málaga-Bobadilla line, El Chorro station. By car: A-357 road from Málaga up to the Pizarra and Álora diversion to the MA-404 road for about 5 km beyond this town until crossing a beautiful brick and stone bridge similar to the El Chorro dam (nowadays known as Conde de Guadalhorce). This road will lead you to the El Chorro hydraulic complex. If you are driving from Antequera, take the A-343 road and take the turnoff at Valle de Abdalajís to El Chorro.
The water canal included:
- A curved, masonry diversion dam in the Gaitanejo area.
- A 4-km canal consisting of gallery, aqueduct and open-air sections. Average gradient: 1/30.
- Canal control elements: gates, sand traps, among others.
- The Ribera Aqueduct Bridge featuring a lowered arch with embedded rigid beams.
- Water storage tanks
- Penstock for 100-metre power station
- Chorro I power plant
- Service road: Caminito del Rey Path
Today the canal partially continues to provide the service for which it was built by supplying water to the Nuevo Chorro power plant. El Caminito del Rey Path remains under the new walkway, allows visitors to admire the spectacular scenery of the Gaitanes Gorge.
Back then, the canal commenced at the water intake of the Gaitanejo dam, at an altitude of 281 m above sea level. From there on, the route would mostly wind its way through the mountainous massifs of the gorges in the Guadalhorce canyon.