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A description of life in a village in the Andalusian mountains

Village life in the Andalusian mountains

Wild swimming in lakes in Andalucia
03 July 2018 @ 14:17

Every summer there is the usual scramble to the open air swimming pool (every village has one, open during the school holidays, Pruna has an excellent one!), but there are other options, and these are open all year round, and are free,: wild swimming in the many Andalucian lakes. I am using wild swimming to mean a place where you can swim but that will have no facilities such as changing rooms or lifeguards, so always be careful.

Close to Pruna are some of the best wild swimming lakes in all of Spain. Here are my favourites:

Cueva del Gato

Just a short drive from Ronda this pool and cave river has clear cool water and is set in a beautiful mountain setting, ideal for picnics. It is easy to access and reportedly can be popular on the weekends, but we have always had the place to ourselves on our week day visits. Leaving Ronda take the road to Seville, and turn off at the Benaojan-Montejaque signpost, four miles later you will see a sign for the Hotel Cueva del Gato, follow the sign and park there (I have never seen the hotel open), then cross the river on the wooden bridge and enjoy. A comment left below has made me check, and in fact there is now a charge of two euros to cross this bridge.

Embalsa de Zahara de la Sierra

A lake so blue that you would swear someone had photoshopped it! I tend to park at the Mogote sports center, at the beginning ot the bridge (or end if you are coming from Ronda) and have a drink and snack at the restaurant, then I walk down the slipway into the water. The water is warm and clear, sometimes you can see the fossilised trees from years ago before the reservoir was made.

Friends prefer the swimming from a point marked by a KM 8 sign further along the road, and walk down the footpath to the lake.

Lake Zahara also offers full moon kayacking! A fabulous night out! 956137072 / 653214666 / 603613468
descubre@discoveryaventura.com

The Malaga Embalses

there are three different reservoirs that offer excellent swimming in Malaga,  Embalse de Gaitanej; Embalse del Conde de Guadalhorce and the  Embalse del Gualdalteba-Guadalhorce. But my favourite is the biggest of the three, the Gualdateba Guadalhorce. The lake is mostly surrounded by pine trees which gives it a very Swiss look, surreal! the lake is calm, warm, and at the many entry spots is easy to get into the water. There are a couple of good and surprisingly cheap restaurants and this makes a wonderful day out.

Right by the town of Ardales, signposted as Embalses de Guadalhorce. Difficult to get parking weekends, but relatively quiet during the week.

Lakes further afield

I cannot write this piece without mentioning the Cascades de Hueznar, the waterfalls were made a national Monument in the year 2000. As the water falls it creates a number of small pools. All of them swimmable. The water is clear but icy, but all waterfalls cause currents, so keep small children away and be careful.

You can walk up to the top of the waterfall by using the steps, a long long trek upwards, not for the faint hearted.

A long way from Pruna, but worth the drive, Cascades de Hueznar is in the Sierra Norte, by the village of San Nicolas. Interestingly you can access it through the Sirra Nort Greenway, the old railway line that has been refurbished for walkers and cyclists. 

Embalse de los Bermejales

This is a huge reservoir and there are several places that you can stop at and swim from. Surrounded by trees with low mountains as the backdrop. The water is clear and clean and warm. Only the area around the beach restaurant and bar is busy, and has a small pier that children love to jump from, the rest of the lake is generally tranquil.

The nearest village is Alhama de Granada. Three roads take you there, the A334, GR4303 and the GR3307

The joy of wild swimming is that all these places are open all year round, the Spanish think anything less that 28C is too cold for swimming but we hardy northern Europeans can swim if the sun is out. Nothing is colder than the North Sea!

Any more places for wild swimming that you have found, that I have nor mentioned, please please put in the comments below. 



Like 3




6 Comments


Jaime said:
07 July 2018 @ 11:55

Cueva del gato is not free to swim any more



HammyDave said:
07 July 2018 @ 14:19

Jaime, Is there a charge, or just not possible?


christineinseville said:
07 July 2018 @ 14:25

A quick search that there is now a two euro charge to cross the bridge. This was not the case when I was there last month, so many thanks Jaime for letting us know about this fee.


Michael Buck said:
16 July 2018 @ 16:10

I love swimming with the fish at Negratín Reservoir but would love to find waterfalls and pools in the area but no luck so far. Does anyone know of a place in the Baza area?


Christine Jones said:
30 September 2018 @ 18:13

Hi Chris
You mentioned in one post that there is a bus which runs from Olvera to Moron de la Frontera, but I've searched the internet and can't find any details of it. Is it definite? Do you know a link to the timetable or bus company etc? Kind Regards, Christine Jones


christineinseville said:
30 September 2018 @ 20:03

Hi Christine, this is the link from the Moron De la Frontera council. In the eight years I have lived here the timetable has not changed. The buses leave from the San Sebastian Bus station (Seville has two bus depots, Las Armas is for further afield) When you click you will see the buses that run from Seville to Moron. And you will see that two, the 1pm and the 7pm go from Seville to Olvera, and the 6.39am, and 4.15 pm go from Olvera to Seville (but moron is just thirty minutes drive away, so quite easy to get lifts) http://www.diariodemoron.com/index.php/horario-de-autobuses


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