Pou Clar

Spain - Valencia
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Pou Clar

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.

Getting to El-Pou-Clar-(swimming-hole)Roas passing through Mountain range when arriving to El Pou Clar swimming hole (Ontinyent)

Road CV-81 starts to meander as it gets closer to Pou Clar.

How to get to El-Pou-Clar-(swimming-hole) - Road CV-81 arriving to El Pou Clar

The mountain slopes at the side of the road become increasingly steeper. The parking lot is behind these limestone rock giants.

Getting to El Pou Clar (swimming hole) el Pou dels Esclaus (esclavos) - pool of the slaves

When you arrive, you’ll descend via a staircase. You’ll see an aqueduct and the pool of the slaves (‘Pou dels Esclaus’) to your left. This pool has greenish water. Swimming in it is not recommended.

When arriving down the stairs el Pou dels Esclaus (pool of the slaves) is to the left & El Pou Clar is to the right.

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.

El Pou Clar (swimming hole) crystal clear, tuquoise water

This pool lies exactly on top of a natural spring. River Clariano starts here.

Great natural swimming pools at El-Pou-Clar-(swimming-hole

Next to it is Pou Reixa (Fence Pool), the biggest of the 6 natural pools.

wild swimming at El-Pou-Clar-(swimming-hole)

You can easily swim 20 meters laps at El Pou Reixa (when it’s not too crowded).

Clean crystaline water at El-Pou-Clar-(swimming-hole)

In the background, you can see road CV-81 and the small parking lot.

Enjoying a walk next to El-Pou-Clar

The ravine is so steep that the sequence of pools, road CV-81 and the footpath run parallel to each other.

Path along El Pou Reixa (swimming hole) has the biggest and most cristaline, crystal clear, tuquoise water of all the 6 swimming holes.

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.

Pou dels Cavalls (Pool of Horses) - the last swiming hole of El Pou Clar is rounded and has a kind of shore almost all around it. It has also got a small waterfall at one side.

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.

getting to El-Pou-Clar-(swimming-hole)

Pool of Horses has a sidepath leading to ‘Pineda de Galindo’ recreational area. It is 100 m away from the natural pools and has picnic tables under pine trees.

Going for a hike at the river's edge - Original rock formations of the limestone ravine at El Pou Clar

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…

Near El-Pou-Clar-(swimming-hole)-Enjoy a walk passed the Pool of Horses to walk along the riverside

and the oleanders.

Bocairent is famous for its Moorish caves (Covetes del Mors). They consist of around 50 man made caves that date back to medieval times set into a huge rock

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.

Happy smiling Donkey on sideroad of the CV-81El-Pou-Clar-(swimming-hole)---Ontinyent,-Alicante---Spain--2-00537

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.

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HOW TO GET TO - Pou Clar

Getting There

Transport Options

You can get to Ontinyent on public transportation but not to Pou Clar itself. You can walk from Ontinyent to Pou Clar (the route is 4 km parallel to the river).

Your own vehicle is the most convenient way of getting to Pou Clar.

Getting There

Roads CV-81 and CV-655, both cross Pou Clar.

There are hikes from the nearby villages. The hike from Ontinyent to El Pou Clar is about 2 km along the riverside of River Clariano, which flows through both Ontinyent and Pou Clar.
There are also hikes from Bocairent village to Pou Clar.

Parking

During the summer and weekends, it will be hard to park at the car park next to Pou Clar. There is a car park a bit further away (near Ontinyent).

Location

Spain, Valencia

Villages Nearby

Ontinyent (2 km), Bocairent (8,6 km), Banyeres de Mariola (18,3km), Sierra de Mariola

Difficulty Level

Very Easy. If leave the car next to Pou Clar you’ll just have to descend via a staircase. If you leave it at the other parking lot, it’s a short walk on a flat paved road before the staircase. 

Walking Time to Swimming Holes

1 minute if you leave the car next to the swimming holes.  6 minutes if you leave the car at the car park near Ontinyent.

Drinking Water Spots

None

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USEFUL INFORMATION - Pou Clar

Handy Things to Know

Entrance Fee

None

When to Go

If possible, avoid summer weekends. You will be able to enjoy the place more and protect it at the same time. It’s always open.

Activities

Wild swimming. Outside of the summer months, the water is so cold that it’s rare to see people swimming.

Tombstoning into the swimming holes. 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. Be extremely cautious.

Walking on the riverbank

Facilities

There is no lifeguard. From the last pool (Pool of Horses) a staircase leads to ‘Pineda de Galindo’ recreational area. It has picnic tables under pine trees (in the shade!) and drinkwater. From here you can walk along the ravine until Ontinyent.

Kids

Yes, if they can swim or otherwise go for a walk on the edge of the river for a beautiful stroll.

Dogs

No, unfortunately dogs are not allowed

Skinny Dipping

No

Wheelchair Access

None

Restrictions

Pou Clar is very popular. Many restrictions have been implemented to protect it.
 
It’s forbidden to bring: Food, iceboxes, glass bottles, tables and chairs.
 
It’s forbidden to litter and remove plants.
 
Fishing is forbidden from June to September.
 
The number of people that can access the swimming holes at once has been limited to a maximum of 245 persons (and 980 person maximum per day). From the 27th of June 2020, only 2 entrances will be used (path of ‘el Alba’ and via the Galindo recreational area). Security guards will control this.
 
Remember that soap and detergents should not be used in rivers and pools. Also, most sun creams contaminate the water, try to apply them well before taking a dip.
 
(Scientists have found that sunscreen releases significant amounts of titanium dioxide, which damages aquatic life. Soaps have phosphates, are also non-biodegradable and harm the environment).

Managed by

City Hall of Ontinyent – 96-2918200 – Call for latest news & Covid

Things to Do – Pou Clar

Things to Do

Banyeres de Mariola has a castle and a recreational area next to the river called Molí l’ombria. The Natural Park of the Mountains of Mariola (Sierra de Mariola) has many hiking routes.

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.

Other incredible natural pools in the rivers of Valencia, are Bugarra and Gestalgar.

 

The province of ALICANTE is some km to the south of Valencia. Check out Toll Blau , El Barranco de la Encantada or the Algar Waterfalls, close to Benidorm.

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. Remember that eating at Pou Clar is only allowed at the Pineda de Galindo picnic area (100 m away).

Accommodation

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.

Geography

Altitude

392 m. (1286 ft)

Size

All swimming holes are relatively small, except the Fence Pool and Pool of Horses.

Under Foot

Limestone rock under all the swimming holes except the pool of horses which has earth on its shore. Hence it was handy in the past to bring horses to drink.

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.

Shade

Just after midday, the swimming holes start to be in the shade.

How clean is the swimming spot?

Unfortunately, the area often has some cigarette buds and plastics wrappers on the rocks.

Water

Underwater

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.

Water Temperature

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.

Water Colour

The water is extremely clear at the 3 central swimming holes and blue-green at the first and last swimming holes (Pool of Slaves & Pool of Horses).

How clean is the water?

Extremely clean and fresh. The water is coming straight from a natural spring.

Similar Swimming Holes in Alicante

Similar Swimming Holes

in Alicante

El Salt de Xixona swimming hole!

El Salt de Jijona

swimming-hole El Barranc de la Encantada, Alicante, Spain

Barranco de la Encantada

natural pools -alicante

Algar Waterfalls

WILD SWIMMING
IN ALICANTE

 Wild-swimming-in-the-ocean--beaches-and-coves

Check out the best Wild Swimming spots on the COAST!

Cala Granadella
Cala Portitxol
Playa del Carabassí

Keep it Clean!

The Rules

Clean the swimming holes!

Swimming Safety

Read these Tips
&
be Safe
when Wild Swimming

DESTINATIONS

UK
Spain
Bali
Belize
Mexico
Trinidad and Tobago
Costa Rica
India
Martinique

SWIMMING SPOTS

Best places to swim in nature in the world

Check out the best places to go wild swimming, by the TYPE of swimming spot

Swimming Holes
Lakes
Rivers
Waterfalls
Sea

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