By Rund Abdelfatah
AS the mercury rises around Andalucia, nothing is more refreshing on a sweltering summer day than a cool dip in one of the region’s many inviting swimming pools.
Besides the numerous public and hotel pools on offer, there are also a wide range of extraordinary beauty spots to enjoy, far away from the hustle and bustle of the beach.
Whether you are seeking adventure or relaxation, family-fun or a romantic getaway, here the Olive Press picks out some of Andalucia’s finest swimming spots.
El Nobo Hotel, Gaucin, Malaga
Clinging to the side of a hill, this infinity pool blends the worlds of man and nature.
The expansive view stretches across the valley to the Mediterranean, with Gibraltar and Africa in the distance.
Finca Buenvino, Aracena, Huelva
This Palladian style hotel pool overlooking rolling oak hills is truly spectacular.
Buenvino is a long-established country retreat run by Sam and Jeannie Chesterton who built it from scratch in a distinct Italianate style with matching pool house.
Alqueria de Morayma, Alpujarras, Granada
Located a bit off the beaten track, this quiet hotel is the perfect escape from the chaos of city life. Overlooking the Sierra Nevada, the pool transmits an atmosphere of earthy tranquility and relaxation.
Fuencaliente Pool of Orce, Granada
This public pool deserves recognition for its uniquely fresh water.
Funnelled from Fuencaliente, a nearby natural spring, Orce’s public pool sustains a comfortable year-round temperature of 21C and keeps the water perfectly clean without any treatment or maintenance.
The secret? A small natural source at the base of the pool that constantly bubbles away beneath the surface.
Cueva del Gato, Ronda, Malaga
Enter into the cat-shaped cave and discover a remarkable cove literally carved into the limestone.
Tucked away in the Serrania de Ronda, this pool is unconventional to say the least.
The cave’s naturally produced pool marks the end of an underground river that has travelled four kilometres from the Rio Guadiaro, bringing crystal clear water into this hidden enclave.
For the adventure seeker, the cave provides the perfect challenge. But the water is very chilly.
Junta de los Rios, Almunecar, Granada
Known colloquially as the ‘Junta’, this coastal treasure features a beautiful gorge at the juncture between two rivers.
As they merge together, the winding rivers form an elegant network of inlets and waterfalls, eventually making their way past the towns of Otivar and Jete and touching the sea at Almunecar.
This natural waterpark, with its unbelievable scenery, promises a memorable outing and fun for all.
Cascadas del Hueznar, San Nicolas del Puerto, Sevilla
This breathtaking spot is a natural haven for swimming enthusiasts.
Situated on the central channel of a river that cuts through the Sierra Norte Natural Park, the intimate getaway overlooks a forest of willow, elm and ash trees.
El Ancla Restaurant, San Pedro de Alcantara, Malaga
Beside the sea, this famous salt water pool gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘surf and turf’.
Spend the day eating delicious food and swimming seaside whilst surrounded by ornate gardens.
But if this popular destination is booked, just make your way to one of the other dazzling salt water pools in the area like those featured at the Bora Bora beach club, the Goyaba Chiringuito or Taberna del Alarbadero.
Diva Espana, Comares, Malaga
Situated opposite Mount Maroma, this hotel’s salt water pool falls against an absolutely striking backdrop that generates a calming environment.
But one key provision prevents just anyone from diving in: the hotel only accommodates lesbians.
Therapeutic pools, Alhama de Granada, Granada
This ancient spa town has perfected the art of aqua therapy.
Just like in Roman times, therapeutic springs are channelled into thermal baths, which funnel the hot therapeutic water into a series of thermal pools that overlook the Sierras de Tejeda and Almijara.
Aire de Sevilla, Sevilla
Located in the heart of Sevilla, these transformed Arab baths invoke the tradition of relaxation through water.
Amid the unique ambiance of stuccoed and tiled walls, clay works and bronze lanterns that dimly illuminate the bathhouse, you encounter history like never before.
On the 90 minute tour, you travel to baths of varying temperatures and environments for a truly holistic experience.