Hiking in El Chorro, the Arabic Staircase - Escalera Arabe

Regardless of your level of experience or your comfort as an outdoor adventurer, an afternoon spent navigating the Arabic Staircase is highly recommended for travellers seeking a traditional sense of Andalusian life.

This particular hike attracts many travellers year-round with its rich history, breathtaking views, and its wide range of difficulty. It is approximately eleven kilometres in length, and takes roughly five hours at moderate pace to complete.

The Arabic Staircase

This historic attraction is named after the ancient stairway built pre-1500, and has fostered international recognition for its preserved state. Despite the phenomenal conservation of these steps, it remains important to note that they should be ascended slowly and with caution.

The view earned by those willing to ascend the Arabic Stairs is well-worth the effort. This destination is where many choose to take a break while enjoying the dynamic view.

A day spent following the winding limestone steps of the Arabic Staircase is an excuse to visit the delightful community of El Chorro, and a great activity for any group, family or individual wishing to spend time in the celebrated charm of Andalusian landscape.

Arabic Staircase, El Chorro

Step-up your exploration of the Costa del Sol by climbing the steps of the Arabic Staircase. With outstanding views of earth, wind, and water, this straightforward trail will ignite the inner historian that hides within every eager adventurer.

Getting to El Chorro

Located approximately forty kilometres from the centre of Málaga, the train station in El Chorro is a very popular meeting spot for travellers as there are many cliffs, hikes and bike trails suitable for a varied range of ability that surround this central site. 

The restaurants around this station offer many resources that help navigate the trails of the area, including that of the Arabic Staircase.

Travelling by Train

Travelling by train from Málaga to El Chorro is very simple, with trains departing as early as 7:40 and departing as late as 16:48. The longest travelling time between Málaga and El Chorro is approximately 1 hour and 54 minutes, and the fastest journey is roughly 45 minutes.

There are usually four trains per day, although this may change on weekends and holidays. Consult the train schedule when making arrangements.

Arabic Staircase

Arriving by Car

Drive alongside the picturesque lakes that frame the A448 highway from Ardales to El Chorro by following signs for Desfiladero de los Gaitanes. 

If travelling from the town of Alora, simply follow signs for El Chorro. When making this commute, take a moment to admire the Caminito del Rey, which attracts many thrill-seekers year-round to its notorious trail.

Caminito del Rey, El Chorro

Upon arriving in the El Chorro community, drive across the hydro-electric dam and turn left into the barriada, following signs for the 3-star Garganta hotel and the RENFE railway station. 

Hiking the Trail

Beginning from the train station in El Chorro, hikers will walk a straightforward forestry track. After several kilometres of gradual incline, the walk becomes increasingly challenging as it narrows in several sections that require care.
Follow the forestry track for several kilometres until making a left-turn that is easily missed by many. The photo below captures this tricky turn, and the GPS coordinates below provide a detailed description of the path.
Arabic Staircase, El Chorro
Though the trail roughens with tangled terrain, the path is relatively easy to navigate as it climbs the mountain. This allows plenty of opportunity to enjoy the stunning views that the height of this pathway famously offers. 
Once reaching the top of the staircase and enjoying the spectacular view, simply return the same way that you came.