The natural, rock-strewn bathing pools at Bolonia. L.V.
A dip with a difference: unmissable bathing spots in Andalucía's Sierra de Cádiz

A dip with a difference: unmissable bathing spots in Andalucía's Sierra de Cádiz

For those who prefer to cool off inland or perhaps seeking an alternative to the same old beach scene, then try these recommended places, surrounded by nature and away from the hustle and bustle - perfect to enjoy this summer

La Voz


Wednesday, 22 May 2024, 20:55

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The temperatures will start to creep up in the south of Spain in a few days and a dip in the water could be on the cards. A pool appeals especially on those days when strong winds stop you from enjoying the beaches. Taking the plunge is a great way of coping as the mercury rises so it is useful to know that there are even better alternatives for those who want to escape the coast and cool off in the midst of nature.

Here we take you through the best natural bathing zones and public swimming pools in the Sierra de Cadiz if you want to get away from the crowds and swim amid nature.

To draw up this list we used the Tripadvisor site that publishes the users' favourites, ranking them according to how travellers have scored them.

1. Arroyomolinos beach, Zahara de la Sierra

Playa artificial Arroyomolinos.
Playa artificial Arroyomolinos. L.V.

In third place, Tripadvisor users chose the bathing area near Zahara de la Sierra, known as Arroyomolinos, open during peak season every summer. It is an artificial beach with a great natural charm, lawned areas, clean and icy waters, set in a wooded location between mountains. The whole area provides all kinds of services such as a kiosk, restaurant/cafe, parking and areas for water and climbing activities, or you can take your own picnic.

To reach this secluded, concrete beach, located approximately 300 metres from the Cueva del Susto (popular for caving and canyoning), take the Grazalema road (CA-2300) that loops around Zahara reservoir and follow the signs to the ARA, Área Recreativa de Arroyomolinos (Arroyomolinos Recreational Area).

2. Municipal pool El Tajo, Grazalema

Piscina municipal 'El Tajo'
Piscina municipal 'El Tajo' L.V.

In the beautiful white village of Grazalema we find El Tajo, the municipal swimming pool, a refreshing option to take refuge from the heat and admire its spectacular surroundings. Open from 12 noon - 3.30pm and again from 3.30pm to 7pm, it is best to book through the website to ensure you gain entry. With views of the Guadalete valley and the village, it is adapted for people with reduced mobility and offers sun loungers and a bar where you can have a drink.

3. Tarelo lagoon, near Sanlúcar

Laguna de Tarelo, Sanlúcar.
Laguna de Tarelo, Sanlúcar. L.V.

Although it is not a pool per se like the previous two that were made for bathing, in fifth place we find this large lagoon known for being an ideal place for bird-watching, in the pine forest called Pinar de la Algaida, next to the agricultural colony of Monte Algaida (Sanlúcar de Barrameda).

While the vegetation is not abundant, there is a great variety of birds that can be observed here, such as the little grebe, great-crested grebe, common coot and little egret, making it an ideal habitat for the birdlife from the nearby Doñana protected nature area. A recommended excursion for nature lovers.

4. Municipal pool, Villaluenga del Rosario

Piscina municipal de Villaluenga del Rosario.
Piscina municipal de Villaluenga del Rosario. L.V.

Another of the public swimming pools that can be enjoyed with a heavenly landscape is the one in Villaluenga del Rosario. Located in the lower part of the village, it has a grassy area and a picnic area. It also has a bar that offers a wide range of options for food and drink. And as if that wasn't enough, there are beautiful views of the Sierra de Grazalema. Opening hours are from 12.30pm to 7.30pm.

5. The bathing rockpools of Bolonia

Piscina natural de Bolonia.
Piscina natural de Bolonia. L.V.

As far as natural pools go, we are fortunate to have one of the most beautiful treasures in Cadiz province: the natural pools amid the rocks of Bolonia. They are located at the eastern end of the popular beach.

This is a beautiful cove in the municipality of Tarifa, with rocks emerging from the water forming rows of crystal clear pools. It is advisable to visit it at low tide. .

You can reach them via a path that runs along the coast amid pine trees, heading in the opposite direction to the main part of Bolonia beach. The most incredible thing about these pools is that they have therapeutic possibilities, as the fusion of the natural saltwater with the slate rock forms a mud that helps soothe and moisturise the skin.

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