Natural Pools in Extremadura

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The 7 best natural pools in Extremadura

Extremadura has a great diversity of landscapes and nature in its purest state. Much of its surface is covered by forests. Extremadura surprises: it has the largest extension of ‘freshwater beaches’ in Spain. That is more than 1,500 km of inland coastline in natural pools, lakes, rivers and waterfalls! Water has a permanent presence here.

In Badajoz, the areas with the most places to swim in nature are La Siberia, La Serena, Merida and its surroundings. In Cáceres, the regions of La Vera, Jerte, Ambroz, Las Hurdes and Sierra de Gata are the best for taking a dip. The amount of places to choose from in Extremadura is incredible! Discover the 7 best places:

1. Garganta de Cuartos

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Garganta de Cuartos is the gorge with most water in all this area of La Vera. The gorge is about 6 km long. As it descends through the mountains, it has created many areas with crystalline natural pools.

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Its best-known spot is the Roman bridge next to the EX-203 road (the road that runs through La Vera). Young locals jump from the bridge, although it is forbidden and punishable by fines of € 300. It has several campsites, beach bars and restaurants next to it. There are also many hiking trails in the area. The nearest village is Losar de La Vera, another quaint village of La Vera.

 

2. Los Pilones

swimming-holes-Extremadura

In the heart of the Jerte Valley, in the Natural Reserve ‘Garganta de los Infiernos’ are the best known natural pools of Extremadura: Los Pilones. This series of beautiful pools were polished in the rocks by the force of water and ice for centuries.

These rock formations are unique, and the water is crystal clear. All around you can see only green valleys and mountains. Los Pilones hiking routes begin at the Interpretation Center of the Garganta Nature Reserve. The short hike is a 40-minute hike between oak groves.

 

3. El Trabuquete

swimming-holes-Extremadura

The spectacular Charco del Trabuquete is amidst the mountains, in the Jaranda Gorge. The 45-minute trail starts at the village of Guijo de Santa Barbara.

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The hike offers beautiful views of the Sierra de Gredos, and has some steep climbs! But you will be rewarded when you take a dip in this stunning rock-carved natural pool.

 

4. Garganta de Alardós

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This beautiful gorge is one of the most visited areas of Cáceres during the summer. There are six bathing areas Along its route: the Horco Dam, the Natural Pool (with the well-known Roman bridge) and four pools: San Cristóbal, El Cardenillo, El Negro and La Paloma.

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These natural pools have paid parking (blue zone) in the high season. You can also park in the village and take a walk. The village Madrigal de La Vera is 2 km away. There are plenty of restaurants, hotels, campsites, and beach bars where the road EX-203 crosses Garganta de Alardós.

 

5. El Recuéncano

swimming-holes-Extremadura

The Charco del Recuéncano is a natural oval pool with a slide carved in stone. This swimming hole is in the middle of nature. It lies in the gorge La Hoz, which comes down from the Sierra de Gredos mountain range.

The Recuéncano is between the towns of Villanueva de la Vera and Madrigal de la Vera, and can be accessed from both. Getting to this natural pool is not always easy. The forest track you have to take is not very well signposted. Besides, it is not very clear where to park and the route from there to the pool can get complicated if you don’t know the trail. You have to jump over gigantic boulders and climb a little. Yet, once there, you will be compensated as you indulge in the beauty of the place and splash in the water.

 

6. Navaconcejo

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In the middle of the Jerte Valley and its cherry trees lies the village of Navaconcejo, which is affectionately nicknamed ‘Benidorm’ of Extremadura.

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You can bathe on the main beach of the village in the Jerte river and also in 2 bathing areas in the same river: El Pilar and El Cristo. Their chilly meltwaters, surrounded by trees, have areas with facilities for the whole family and access for the disabled.

 

7. Garganta La Olla

swimming-holes-Extremadura

Garganta la Olla is a village in Cáceres, a few kilometers from the Monastery of Yuste. It is surrounded by splendid nature: gorges, natural pools and mountains.

swimming-holes-Extremadura

The natural pools that stand out are the pools of ‘Las Pilatillas’, divided into ‘Pilatillas de Abajo’ and ‘Pilatillas de Arriba’. ‘El Calderón’ (with a beautiful waterfall), the pool of ‘La Valentina’ and the pool ‘Tinajón’. In the past, it was frequented by the women of the village to wash their clothes (before it was known how harmful soap is for rivers and the environment).

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