Whichever province you’re in you will find a place in Andalucia for wild swimming. The entire region is dotted with lakes and reservoirs, criss-crossed with rivers and, of course, is skirted by a long coastline. The locations tend to be secluded without facilities and you often have to walk through woodland or over hills to find your ideal dipping spot.
In the Sierra Norte, Seville, 2 kms from the village of San Nicolas, are the Cascadas de Hueznar. The series of small waterfalls, “Las Chorreras” have been formed over peculiar 30,000 year-old limestone formations that are known as “travertines”. As the water falls it creates a number of small pools, all of them swimmable. They are still only really known to locals and Sevillanos who escape the summer heat and head down the Sierra Norte for respite. You couldn't hope for a more idyllic setting with crystal clear waters, abundant vegetation and all within one of the most carefully protected areas of the Sierra Norte Natural Park.
The Iznájar reservoir, also known as the "Lake of Andalusia”, stretches across the provinces of Cordoba, Granada and Malaga. It was completed in 1969 and belongs to the Guadalquivir Hydrographic Confederation. The stunning 30 km reservoir has a beautiful beach and over the years a hotel, a camping site, wooden cabins, a hostel and a restaurant have been built.
In the heart of the Sierra de Aracena Natural Park and Picos de Aroche in Huelva province, Canaveral de Leon is a small aquatic treasure. The lagoon is a natural pool, whose waters are fed by the town’s spring water that makes this place a Site of Cultural Interest. An oasis for its residents and quite a tourist attraction, it has the perfect beach.
La Balsa de Cela, Almeria is a thermal water spring located on the boundary of the municipality of Lucar, and at an altitude of 720 meters above sea level. The waters emerge naturally with a constant flow of 42 liters per second and a temperature that is maintained in the different seasons of the year between 22ºC and 24ºC. These waters have medicinal properties for different types of diseases. This natural pool goes from 50 centimeters to 2 meters deep.
Jaen province has possible wild swimming locations at Segura, and Tranco de Beas Reservoir on the Guadalquivir in the Sierra de Cazorla, where you'll also find Lake Achuricas, near the meeting of the rivers Segura and Madera. The tumbling Rio Borosa – Cazorla has many beautiful spots for jumping off and bathing in, a delightful swimming spot is at the Charco de la Cuna.
One of the best provinces for wild swimming is Malaga, with its many lakes and rivers. Malaga’s Lake District is three stunningly beautiful emerald lakes bordered by pine forests. The lakes were created by a dam built across the dramatic 200 m high Guadalhorce river gorge known as Garganata del Chorro. This tranquil retreat is west of Alora and here you can swim, fish or picnic on the shores.
Benaoján is in an idyllic spot that is a very short distance from Ronda. The natural pool located in front of Del Gato Cave is set in a beautiful mountain setting and boasts crystal clear and freezing cold water. Its water springs from an underground complex that runs for 5 miles.
If you are looking for something completely different and only 8 kms from Istan then a visit to Charco del Canalon is the place to go. A natural pool, one of the larger river pools in the Rio Verde River, crystal clear mountain water, waterfalls, hidden rock pools, schools of fish swimming with you and quite simply a paradise.
Quiet and wild, the beach of Bolonia, Cadiz province, is best known for its fine sand beach, dunes and crystal clear waters. However, just a few meters away, known by few people, is a natural fresh water pool completely isolated from the world. Access is only by walking and on the way you will find this spectacular place surrounded by dunes, close to the Great Sand Dune.
In Cadiz Lake Zahara is so blue is looks like it could have been photo shopped. The water is warm and clear and sometimes you can see fossilized trees from years ago before the reservoir was made. Another reservoir for swimming in is the Lago de Arcos next to Arcos de la Frontera.
Also in Cádiz province is an attractive inland beach in Bornos. The Bornos Reservoir has been declared a Natural Site, as well as Special Protection Area for Birds. Its clean, clear waters are ideal for bathing and the area is also a fishing heaven for enthusiasts.
Next to Arenas del Rey you will find one of Granadas’ inland beaches situated at Las Bermejales Reservoir, surrounded by trees with low mountains as the backdrop. The water is clear, clean and warm and slides have been installed in the bathing zone. You can also practice water sports, such as rowing, or hire a paddle boat to take a relaxing spin around the reservoir while gazing at its beautiful surroundings and abundant vegetation. Slightly off the beaten track are the beautiful river pools in La Resinera and the start of one Andalucia's most beautiful hikes - along the Rio Cebollón.
Lake Negratín, near Zujar, is a dazzling aquamarine lake beneath Mount Jabalcón, set within a vast plateau; El Altiplano de Granada. This beautiful unspoiled area is part of the natural parks of Sierra de Baza and Sierra de Castril. You can swim in the warm waters of the lake from the inland beach or enjoy the therapeutic waters Baños de Zújar, followed by a meal at Los Baños restaurant.
Just some of the wild swimming places inland Andalucia. There are many more, some so secluded and remote it takes a long hike to reach them, but all of them have one thing in common - crystal clear cold water in stunning idyllic settings yu will feel you are in Paradise.