A visit report by Rob Fryer

The best place to find a swim in a Spanish river is often in the mountains near its source. Lower down, the rivers are frequently either too fast ot too big or, in the summer months, too murky or simply dried up (so in low lying areas it seems that people often swim in reservoirs). I am told that in Estremadura, where you might think that it is extremely dry because its name & its position right in the middle of the Iberian peninsular, many villages have a mountain river pool nearby. Most likely other mountain villages in other Spanish provinces are similarly blessed, unless perhaps the mountains are exceptionally high. Several years ago I spent a month in July in the western Pyrenees & only found icy fast & furious melt-water rivers.
I went to western Andalucia in March/April 2005 to discover an excellent mountain stream area.
  • Jimena de la Frontera. 36Km north of Algeciras. Behind the town.
  • Igualeja 15Km south of Ronda. A plunge pool at the source of the river, below a waterfall. Cold & clear. Not visited.
  • Algatocin south of Ronda. If you don't like the crowds in the bridge pool, walk 100 yards upstream to a more scenic pool on a bend by a cliff. This is an excellent snorkelling site with an abundance of fish to follow in the 10ft deep channel by the rock. Room for picnics & games. 60°F in early April.
  • Gaucin south of Algatocin By the bridge at the bottom of the valley. Just upstream of the bridge a waist deep pool. Alternatively you could cross the river & walk 400 yards downstream to the cliffs.
  • Lomo Redondo Mountain Pool, about 12 Km along the MA557 running north from the centre of Estepona to Ronda via Jubrique in the Sierra Bermeja.
  • Castellar de la Frontera 16 Km north of Algeciras, in a lake.
  • Baņos Romanos, Manilva. 11Km SW of Estepona. Cold sulphur pool.
  • The Rio Genal 150 yards above Algatocin bridge. Good snorkelling among the many fish. 1032
    10 miles or so down the Genal at Gaucin bridge 1039
    Gaucin bridge, different view of the same spot! 1045
    Looking up the Rio Hozgarganta from the ford behind Jimena de la Frontera. 1059
    The town watering hole at Jimena de la Frontera, about 400 yards down from the ford and near the site of a cannon ball factory. Warm water even at the end of March. A great place. 1063