The River Clarino, which runs from the Mariola mountains into the town of Ontinyent in the Valencia region of Spain, passes through a narrow gorge just upstream of the town. Back when the valley had many working water mills, the stream’s path was modified as a part of an effort to control the liquid resource.
The combination of modified and natural rock pools has been adopted, by both locals and tourists visiting the inland area, as an informal place to cool off during summer. It’s also a spot where braver visitors demonstrate their prowess by diving off rock platforms as high as 30 feet above the water.
The place has been popular since the early 20th century at least, but in recent years the local authorities have improved access to the site via a series of ramps and steps. Now, there’s even a small parking area. The authorities also regulated the site to protect the environment, as its popularity was beginning to put it under threat.
When you visit, you’ll find a series of pools with different names, such as the Pool of Slaves, the Clear Pool, the Frozen Pool, the Side Pool, the Dark Pool, and the Pool of Horses. Each has an individual character, giving suitable options for people of all swimming abilities.
Know Before You Go
The site is on a sharp bend on th CV-81 between Ontinyent and Boccairent. Parking can be difficult during the summer months. Be prepared to arrive very early or walk quite a distance. Take some drinking water in a plastic container during summer months, though know that food and glass drinks containers are banned from the waterside. The nearest refreshments are quite a distance away and there are no public restrooms or changing facilities.