Ten incredible natural swimming spots in Spain
Life's a beach if you're spending the summer months on Spain's busy costas'.
Ear-splitting chiringuitos (beach bars), kids kicking sand all over you and early wake-ups to pick a good spot before the beach mob arrives.
The same goes for hotel swimming pools: Germans and Brits engaging in towel wars', the overpowering whiff of coconut oil, and teens pool bombing' incessantly.
Not your idea of a relaxing summer break?
Maybe quieter natural pools are your thing!
Spain has a vast array of beautiful piscinas naturales' spread over its territory and islands, some tucked away in mountain ranges, others just a stone's throw away from the jam-packed playas.
And the best thing? Not even the slightest risk of a jellyfish sting!
Here's our top ten favourites.
Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park, Castille–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.
Charco Azil. 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.
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 tip in the cool fresh waters of Madrid's river. A series of natural rock pools just perfect for jumping into.
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.
Garganta de los Infiernos, Extremadura
These rock pools are at the far western end of the Sierra de Gredos mountain range in Spain's Caceres province. Just the right spot to cool down after a hike.
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.
Fuentes de 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 Alicante province.
Termas A Chavasqueira, Galicia
Photo: Rumbosur/ Flickr
These free thermal baths are in the city of Ourense. A series of natural hot pools on the bans of the River Miño.
Zahara de la Sierra, Cadiz 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. Unforgettable.
Pantano de San Juan, Madrid
Who needs to go to the coast anyway?