Sequence of spectacular crystalline-turquoise swimming holes, sculpted on a steep rocky ravine. Located near Ontinyent village in Valencia (Spain).
Pou Clar sits on top of a powerful spring source, where Río Clariano (Clear River) starts. The narrow ravine, original rock formations and clear water give this place a unique beauty. It lies in the mountains l’Ombria-Pou Clar. It has been declared a protected natural area (‘Paraje Natural’).
Over the generations, locals (from Ontinyent and other villages nearby) came to swim in these natural pools. Yet, due to its outstanding beauty, it has started to attract many visitors from Spain and other countries. To protect the area, it has currently been regulated (see the section Restrictions below). During the summer, it gets especially crowded. The rest of the year (when the water is much colder) it’s much more relaxed.
Each natural pool has its watercolour, size and name: Pool of Slaves, Clear Pool, Frozen Pool, Fence Pool, Dark Pool and Pool of Horses.
Attention! The access points have changed, and the parking lots have been relocated. During the months of July and August, you will have to book in advance (see below).
Road CV-81 starts to meander as it gets closer to Pou Clar.
The mountain slopes at the side of the road become increasingly steeper. The parking lot is behind these limestone rock giants.
The aqueduct and the pool of the slaves (‘Pou dels Esclaus’) to your left. This pool has greenish water. Swimming in it is not recommended.
To your right, you’ll see Clear Water (‘Pou Clar’) pool. This place is named after this natural pool. which has the most crystalline water.
This pool lies exactly on top of a natural spring. River Clariano starts here.
Next to it is Pou Reixa (Fence Pool), the biggest of the 6 natural pools.
You can easily swim 20 meters laps at El Pou Reixa (when it’s not too crowded).
In the background, you can see road CV-81.
The ravine is so steep that the sequence of pools, road CV-81 and the footpath run parallel to each other.
There is barely space for the footpath and there are few spaces where you can sit down on the rocks. This image shows the magnitude of Pou Reixa.
The last swimming hole is rounded and it’s called Pool of Horses (‘Pou dels Cavalls’). Its shore is made of sandy soil (not rock as all the other pools). A small waterfall appears after it has rained.
Pool of Horses has a sidepath leading to ‘Pineda de Galindo’ recreational area. It is 100 m away from the natural pools and has tables under pine trees.
Once you have passed the 6 pools, you can keep on walking along the riverbank and enjoy the original rock formations of the limestone ravine.
and the oleanders.
Bocairent is nearby. Its old village centre is worth visiting after your swim. It’s famous for its 50 medieval caves carved on a huge rock.
I got the wrong turn and bumped into this cute, friendly, smiling donkey. He was very happy someone was talking to him and definitely deserves a place here.
Read these Tips
when Wild Swimming
Keep it Clean!
HOW TO GET TO - Pou Clar
It is not accessible by car or any other motor vehicle anymore. You can only go to Pou Clar by bike, on foot from Ontinyent, or by bus on weekends in July and August from Ontinyent (see the How to Get There section below).
How to Get There
Motorized vehicles – El Pou Clar cannot be accessed by car or any other motorized vehicle! You can park in Ontinyent village (see Parking section below).
On foot – The nearest car park is at the Ontinyent Sports Center (‘Polideportivo’). Another option is the car park at the Ontinyent University Campus. Both are free of charge. Then you will have to walk approximately 2 km to reach the Pou Clar area. See the walking route on Google Maps.
There are many other hiking routes from the surrounding villages that pass through Pou Clar such as the hike from Bocairent village to Pou Clar.
Cycling – You can access it with your bike. The Pou Clar has a parking point for bicycles.
Bus – On weekends in July and August, the Ontinyent Town Hall provides a free bus service that will take you from the Sports Center (‘Polideportivo’) to Pou Clar. The exact address is Carrer Vicent Lluís Montés Penadés, 46870 Ontinyent, Valencia. Look on Google Maps.
Bus schedules Saturdays and Sundays in July and August:
Sports Center → Pou Clar
Pou Clar → Sports Center
The entry points by Galindo, ´la escala` and the ramp will remain closed. It can only be accessed by the path of l’Alba (senda de l’Alba).
They have removed the car park next to the Pou Clar, which was normally very full. There is now a car park near the Polideportivo (Sports Centre) in Ontinyent (with 95 spaces). The exact address is Carrer Vicent Lluís Montés Penadés, 46870 Ontinyent, Valencia. See Google Maps.
From here it is less than 2 km to reach Pou Clar. These should be done on foot, by bike or on the bus that the council has made available in the busier months (see the How to get there section above for the bus timetable).
It’s 1.9 km walk from the parking to El Pou Clar. A good way to enjoy nature!
Walking Time to Swimming Holes
It takes about 25 minutes walking to reach the Pou Clar.
Drinking Water Spots
USEFUL INFORMATION - Pou Clar
Handy Things to Know
When to Go
Most people go in the summer and it can get very crowded. Avoid weekends if possible. You will be able to enjoy this place more and help protect it. You’ll have to make a reservation to be able to access Pou Clar during the summer on this website: https://reservespouclar.es/es/
In spring, autumn and winter this area is very different. There are not many people, and you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty of this place much more. The water is colder, but you might still see someone swimming laps in the water.
Wild swimming. Outside the summer months, the water is so cold that it’s rare to see people swimming, but some do! 🙂
Tombstoning into the swimming holes. The heights and depths here are considerable. Some points of the swimming holes can be up to 5 m deep after it has rained. People jump more than 10 meters high from natural trampolines. Water levels may vary to a large extent, so be extremely cautious. When in doubt, don’t jump!
Walking on the riverbank
WC – Portable toilets are available in July and August.
In the entire Pou Clar area (Pou Clar, l’Alba path and Galindo pine forest) it’s forbidden to bring pets from the 1st of June to the 30 of September.
– Access to the site with motorised vehicles
– Access with pets (from 1st June to 30th September)
– Picnicking in the whole area (from 1st June to 30th September)
– Bring tables, chairs, coolers or furniture
– Build fires or light barbecues
– Using music equipment that disturbs the tranquillity of the site
– Entering with glass bottles or alcoholic beverages
– Leaving rubbish or chewing gum behind
– Spitting, urinating or defecating outside the authorised toilets
– Camping or bivouacking
– Disturbing the fauna of the site
– Cutting, uprooting or damaging bushes or trees
– Fishing (from 1st June to 30th September)
Unfortunately, many people do not follow the rules to protect the site. If you see someone not respecting the rules above, you could tell them politely that it is forbidden. You can also call 96 066 21 60 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9 am to 2 pm. Protecting nature is the responsibility of every single one of us!
Things to Do – Pou Clar
Things to Do
Bocairent is famous for its medieval Moorish caves (‘Covetes del Mors’). They consist of around 50 man-made caves set into a huge rock face (around 300 m from the village). The caves are interlinked inside through a series of openings in the rock. You have to pay an entrance fee for this.
Ontinyent is famous for its spectacular Moors & Christians ‘fiesta’ (end of August) and textile factories. The old neighbourhood and view from the Pont Vell or Santa Maria bridges to the coloured houses a lovely. You can also take a walk along the riverbed. It has been recently revamped to make urban areas greener.
Check out other amazing natural pools & places to swim in the province of VALENCIA!
Salto de Chella is a 25 m cascade which is awesome. There is also a viewpoint that at the top of the village of Chella. The views of the waterfall, swimming hole, countryside and surroundings are impressive. You can visit the historic centre of Moorish origin, called Barrio de la Peña.
In the village of Anna, there is a beautiful and well known Lake called ‘La Albufera de Anna‘. There are also 3 waterfalls at the other end of Anna, which can be enjoyed doing the 3 waterfalls hiking route. The best waterfall for swimming is the awesome Gorgo de la Escalera.
For wild swimming, check out the impressive Chorradores de Navarrés waterfall. It’s on the outskirts of Navarrés. It also has a signposted route that is easy to do on foot with young children.
In the village of Bolbaite, there are a series of amazing natural pools in the river.
Where to Eat
There are no places in Pou Clar itself to buy food.
There are plenty of bars and restaurants in Ontinyent and Bocairent.
To enjoy rural life in Valencia, you could stay in Ontinyent or Bocairent. Don’t miss their old neighbourhoods. They also have plenty of hiking routes.
All swimming holes are relatively small, except the Fence Pool and Pool of Horses.
Maximum Water Depth
After it has rained, some places can be 5 m deep. Yet most places are a few meters deep or less.
Minimum Swimming Level
During the summer and on weekends it may be hard to park your car at the parking spots next to El Pou Clar. There is a car park specifically for visits to El Pou Clar closer to Ontinyent.
Just after midday, the swimming holes start to be in the shade.
How clean is the swimming spot?
The city hall of Ontinyent do their best to keep it clean, but unfortunately, the area often has some cigarette buds and plastics wrappers on the rocks.
Visibility is exceptional at the Clear Pool, Frozen Pool and Fence Pool. It’s less good at the Pool of Slaves (where the water is stagnant and people don’t swim), the Dark Pool and the Pool of Horses. You can see tiny fishes and crabs.
The water is very cold. River Clariano is much colder than the sea. Hence most people only swim in Pou Clar during the hot summer months.
How clean is the water?
Similar Swimming Holes in Alicante
Similar Swimming Holes
Check out the best Swimming Holes & Places to Swim INLAND!
Salto de Chella
Chorradores de Navarrés
Salto de Millares
Cortes de Pallás - Reservoir
Cortes de Pallás - River
Gorgo de la Escalera
Charcos de Quesa
Azud de Tuéjar
Pozas del Ral
Keep it Clean!
Read these Tips
when Wild Swimming