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The bathing pool at El Puente is located at the roadside between Algatocín and Jubrique. V. Melgar
Inland tourism

Summer season opens with a splash at the bathing pools along the Genal river in the Serranía de Ronda

You don't have to hit the beach to cool off in Malaga province and this inland area is popular with bathers in search of its refreshing waters and lush, natural surroundings

Vanessa Melgar

Ronda

Monday, 8 July 2024, 18:09

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Bathing season is now open for business, and swimmers, in the natural pools on the Genal river in Malaga province. Admittedly, it is a little later than usual as summer has been a long time coming. Along this riverbed, which gives its name to the valley it courses through in this part of the Serranía de Ronda and which is home to some fifteen small villages, it is possible to find pools you can safely dive into, some of them very deep, or just swim in them to escape the heat. One of the most outstanding spots can be found between the two municipalities of Algatocín and Jubrique, where the local councils carry out cleaning work every year and set up the bathing areas for the start of the summer season.

Over the last few summers in these municipalities this stretch of the Genal river has become increasingly popular. More and more visitors are coming to this natural beauty spot, which is noted for its refreshing and clean waters, also for its lush nature, an oasis to just relax and disconnect from the daily routine and stress. However, the busiest times on weekends. On weekdays it is still possible to take a stroll or take a dip almost in total privacy anywhere around this place. The feel of the place simply invites you to lose yourself in nature.

Charco Picao is, together with El Puente, the pool with the most water. V. M.

This stretch of the Genal river can be reached from Ronda along the road between Ronda and Gaucín. Upon reaching Algatocín, take the turn-off signposted to Jubrique, cutting through this village. From here on, although the road is full of bends, it is well worth the effort to wend your way down the valley's steep sides in order to find this vast natural environment. The first of the bathing pools is located right next to the road. From the bridge on the road, you can see El Puente, which is reached by a small path. You can also sample some local dishes thanks to the presence of two restaurants: Venta San Juan and Restaurante Camping El Genal. Accommodation is also available at two campsites (El Genal and San Juan) and in chalets. The river, likewise, offers other activities to swimming: there are great hiking trails, watersports, and even some suspended footbridges that have been installed beside this river in Malaga province.

La Toma is the bathing pool most hidden from sight. V. M.

At El Puente, or rather underneath it, bathers can settle down for a few hours of fun and relaxation, armed with all the usual gear for a day at the beach. At this location, where there is plenty of water, the little ones can really enjoy themselves taking a dip and jumping into the water from the concrete platforms provided.

El Estrecho, a few metres from the Picado, where the river seems to be almost boxed in. V. M.

Upstream, a few metres from the bridge, the Charco Picao appears, the pool with the most water next to the bridge, including a waterfall, thanks to the artificial dams that have been built to trap the water.

Following the river, you reach the Estrecho (by water or on foot), where the riverbed seems to be squeezed between the rocks. A little further up, with your feet in the water, is La Toma, the most hidden pool, which even has a natural jacuzzi. We strongly recommend the use of waterproof, non slip footwear to wade along the Genal. It is also possible to see some fish, although sightings are becoming less and less common. This river still has water, but it used to have much more.

A young boy jumps into the water at El Puente. V. M.

"I love it here"

From Cantabria, Lidia is a regular visitor to the Genal valley, as her mother was from the area, Cortes de la Frontera to be exact: "I've been coming here since I was a little girl, my mother was from Cortes, I remember coming with my aunts and uncles, my cousins, jumping into a pool that was bigger, very clean, I love this place", she says, as she plays with her daughter in El Estrecho. Another bather, in this case from Almeria, is surprised by the lushness of the nature round here: "It's the first time I've been here, it's a spectacular place and the water is not as cold as expected, tomorrow we're going to Ronda, but I'll be back with my son", she said, agreeing with another bather, sitting near La Toma: "I'll be back because there is a to explore in this area."

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