Swimming near Ronda
The Pools of the Alto Genal Valley
When all the pools of the Alto Genal opened on the first of July for the summer season, John and I decided we would visit them one by one to inform you about the possibilities for swimming near Ronda. And here is our considered report of both the pool and the food available. All totally subjective of course, and we take no responsibility for anything – the quality of the food on offer which may vary or you may not agree with the points awarded 🙂
One point to add is that each pool has a disabled pool lift.
In Ronda, just 15 or 20 minutes drive away, there is a beautiful indoor heated pool which is open to the public during parts of the day. If you are anxious for a swim and its not July or August, we recommend it and can help you with the hours for the general public.
Farajan is the first we visited and is one of the most remote of the six undiscovered villages of the Alto Genal. Rafa and Isa, who have a bar in the village, take over the poolside bar for the summer and do a great job. Consequently it is always quite busy particularly on the weekends. The food is excellent and the pool is quite large and surrounded by grass and a few shady trees.
Pool 10/10 Food 9/10 Entry to pool: 1 euro pp
Alpandeire stands out as the only salt water pool. It is very popular and there is a strict “aforo” or number of people allowed in at the same time. Third attempt lucky and we got in. It is a wonderful space with the biggest pool of the valley and lovely trees for shade. Quite the best in the valley. We have also been trying to eat at the associated bar but it´s always packed. On a quiet Monday we had a delightful meal. Just standard Andalucian salads but nicely done – fresh and tasty and pleasant service.
Pool 11/10 Food 10/10 Entry to pool: 3 euros pp
This is the one discovered village among the seven undiscovered villages of the Alto Genal because it´s blue, not white. The why can be read here.
We didn´t particularly enjoy the pool or the bar and I wouldn´t recommend it. The lifeguard is cute though and very sweet with the children. He´s a Cartajimeño – maybe that´s why!
The food was expensive and not very good. What more can I say!
Pool 8/10 Food 4/10 Entry free.
Parauta we liked a lot. The pool is large and, when we were there, not very populated. Weekends will tell a different story however. The people were very friendly and the food, whilst minimal, was good and cheap. A stunning feature of the drive down to the pool is the solar powered street lamps that we liked a lot
Pool 10/10 Food 6/10 Free Entry
Igualeja, the largest of the Alto Genal pueblos blancos, has a pool that is part of the nacimiento complex i.e. the source of the River Genal where bursts through into the open air from a dark cave. I think the law is that there has to be a lifeguard on duty when people are swimming (not everybody bothers about this) and we happened to arrive during lunch time. But I´m sure the pool is lovely. The food was very expensive and very ordinary. I fear we were charged “extranjero” prices.
Pool 9/10 Food 5/10 No entry fee
Pujerra is on the other side of the valley so a bit of a hike. The pool is 3 kilometres outside the village – the closest bit of flattish ground presumably. Consequently not very well frequented. We had a lovely quiet swim and ate a salad which was about all there was. It was OK. Very cheap.
Pool 9/10 Food 3/10 No entry fee
Last of all our own village, Cartajima. Perhaps one of the smallest pools but the largest restaurant/bar which serves up a complete menu. The quality varies strangely from quite good to otherwise. Not cheap but not unaffordable either and certainly more sophisticated than any of the others with the possible exception of Farajan. The main feature is the incredible views of the surrounding mountains from the glassed-in restaurant area.
The lifeguard this year is a bit tricky. Very whistle happy so no running and diving or you´ll get into trouble.
Pool 10/10 Food 5-9/10 No entry fee