Ten incredible natural swimming spots in Spain

The Local has rounded up ten amazing natural pools in Spain where you can take a dip without having to risk the crowds at the pool or secure a socially distanced spot on the beach.

natural swimming pools spain
Chorreras del Cabriel in Cuenca province (central-eastern Spain) isn't in the list below but is just as impressive as some of the other natural swimming pools in the country. Photo: Antonio López/Pixabay
Spain has a vast array of beautiful piscinas naturales and charcas spread over its territory and islands, some tucked away in mountain ranges, others just a stone’s throw away from the jam-packed playas

Here’s our top ten favourites swimming spots in Spain.

Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park, Castilla–La Mancha.

A collection of fifteen lakes set within a natural park in the plains of La Mancha. Natural waterfalls, crisp, clear turquoise waters in an area rich in flora and fauna. 

Cool down in Spain’s inland Castilla-La Manca region by having a dip in the Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park. Photo: Marcos Molina/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Charco Azul. El Hierro, Canary Islands

Created naturally by flowing lava, these fresh water turquoise pools offer protection from the crashing waves of the open sea just beyond the rocks. Charco Azul is one of dozens if not hundreds of natural pools dotted along the volcanic coastline of the eight Canary Islands.

natural swimming pools spain

Want to know what it feels like to swim inside a cave? Photo: Sreuland/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

La Pedriza, Madrid

Just one hour’s drive from Madrid near the town of Manzanares El Real, this is where madrileños in the know go to escape the heat and cool off with a dip in the cool fresh waters of Madrid’s river.  A series of natural rock pools just perfect for jumping into. 
Photo: Nicolas Vigier/Flickr
Less than an hour’s drive north-west of Malaga and a world away from the bustling Costa del Sol is this reservoir. With it’s soft sandy banks this is a great place for swimming, kayaking and enjoying nature.
Embalse del Conde de Guadalhorce

You don’t have to go to the coast to find turquoise waters in Spain. Photo: Malopez21/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Garganta de los Infiernos, Extremadura

These rock pools are at the far western end of the Sierra de Gredos mountain range in Spain’s Cáceres province. Just the right spot to cool down after a hike. 

natural swimming pools spain

Garganta de los Infiernos is the perfect place to cool down in during summer in Extremadura. Photo: Jesusccastillo/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Vía Verde de la Terra Alta, Catalonia 

A 24 km stretch of cycling track south of Tarragona in Catalonia, this forms part of Spain’s network of Vias Verdes (green ways), disused railway lines which have been revamped as natural trails. 

On the Vía Verde de la Terra Alta you can take a break from cycling for a refreshing dip in the Canaleta River, which runs alongside the route.

Photo: Calafellvalo/Flickr

Fuentes del Algar, Alicante

When you get fed up of fighting for a space on the beach in Benidorm, head inland for the tranquility of these natural springs. Undoubtedly one of the jewels of the Alicante province.

natural swimming pool spain

Do go chasing waterfalls at this beautiful spot in Alicante province. Photo: MarthaReLi/Pixabay

Termas A Chavasqueira, Galicia

These free thermal baths are in the city of Ourense. A series of natural hot pools on the banks of the River Miño. 

natural swimming pools galicia

Ourense may not be on the Galician coastline but you can still enjoy a relaxing warm dip in the city. Photo: Zarateman/Wikipedia (public domain)

Zahara de la Sierra, Cádiz province, Andalusia

A reservoir beneath the beautiful Andalusian town of Zahara de la Sierra. Swimming in its cool waters while staring up at the white washed houses clinging to the hilltop crowned by a Moorish castle would be unforgettable.

Incredible views of the Zahara de la Sierra lake. Photo: laurentgraphiste/Pixabay

Pantano de San Juan, Madrid

The Madrid region was awarded a blue flag for its stunning Virgen de la Nueva beach on the San Juan reservoir.

Whether it’s sailing or swimming, the Pantano de San Juan is a fantastic summer getaway for people in the Spanish capital. Photo: Lematraductores/Pixabay

Member comments

  1. I’m confused….aren’t some of these places closed or “prohibited” because of Covid restrictions on freshwater swimming?

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Spain has third most powerful passport in the world

Those with Spanish citizenship are in luck because their passports are the third most powerful in the world, meaning they can travel to many different countries without the need for a visa.

Spain has third most powerful passport in the world

If you want to go on a last-minute break, it’s really only possible to countries that don’t require you to apply for a visa beforehand or issue you with a visa upon arrival. 

The Henley Passport Index is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and each year it reveals the number of destinations that passport holders from around the world can access without a prior visa.

The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations and offers all kinds of information on global mobility, ultimately revealing which passports are the most powerful. 

Each country is scored on the total number of destinations that a holder of its passport can access without a visa. For each travel destination, if a visa is not required, they receive a score of one. This also applies if holders are able to obtain a visa on arrival, visitor permit or electronic travel authorisation (ETA) upon entry.

The rankings for 2023 show that Spain, along with Germany, is in joint third place, meaning that Spanish passport holders can visit a total of 191 countries without needing a visa.

READ ALSO: Why Spain is second favourite country for Americans to move to

In joint first place are Japan and Singapore whose passport holders can visit a total of 193 countries without requiring a visa.

They are closely followed by South Korea in second place, whose passport holders can visit a total of 192 countries.

After Spain and Germany, there are several European countries on the list. Those from Finland, Italy and Luxembourg come in fourth place, able to visit 189 destinations, while those from Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden come in fifth place able to visit 188 destinations.

These are followed by passports from France, Ireland, Portugal and the United Kingdom in sixth place, allowing them to visit 188 countries without a visa.

According to the rankings, only 17 percent of countries give their passport holders access to more than 80 percent of the world without a visa.

The three countries with the least powerful passports are Afghanistan whose holders can only visit 27 countries without the need for a visa, Iraq with a score of 29 and Syria with a score of 30.