The path down to the pristine nature pool

Authentic and unique accommodations

Summer, without a doubt, is not the best time of the year to go hiking in southern Spain. However, if at the end of the walk the reward is a refreshing natural cold rock pool, then things are a little different!


Michael Madsen,

– sharing the authentic with you


The Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park is a perfect location to find these hidden rock pools, thanks to the winter snow and the abundance of rainfall in the area, rivers offer a perfect place to get away from the crowded beaches and enjoy Mother Nature in all its beauty.

The rivers Turón, Verde, Grande and Guadalevín make up some of the rivers in the area, springs and underground aquifers maintain their flow in summer.

Even though in August at the weekend many people head to this area, with the many rock pools to choose from, you can still find pools with few people. Stick to coming on a weekday to make sure you have it all to yourself.

Children playing in the low river water

Children playing in the low river water

One of these hidden gems – El Dique – is found just outside the small whitewashed village of El Burgo – not far from the coast of Marbella and Fuengirola – the dirt track “Carril del Dique” runs along the river Turón. A few kilometers up the gravel road, you will find the trail down to the dike – a little wall that has dammed up the river and created an incredibly beautiful natural rock pool in between the trees.

The hike of just over 2.5 kilometers can be done comfortably on foot. It can also be accessed by car if you are going with small children, there is an area where you can park. The lane guides us through poplars and olive groves following the river bed to El Dique. A few meters further, you can find another dam, smaller in size, and also very popular, El Largo.

The natural pool near El Burgo The natural pool – El Dique

The water is cold, so you cannot bathe for very long. It is, however, shallow enough for young children to stand and splash in, while you relax on the riverbank – this makes it a perfect spot for the entire family.

I´d recommend you to combine the visit to the rock pool with a hike starting at the nearby village of Tolox, where there are more incredible waterfalls to see.

You could drive up from the coast towards Coin, then stop off in Tolox and El Burgo for a hike, swim and or bite to eat. After experiencing Sierra de las Nieves, cross over to the incredible town of Ronda and then head back to the coast via the picturesque town of San Pedro de Alcántara.



Other splendid rock pools to choose from:

  • Charca De Las Mozas, Rio Guadalmina. Benahavís
  • Charco Del Potón Alto, Río Grande, Tolox
  • Poza De Los Huevos
  • El Barranco Blanco
  • El Charco De Las Viñas (not busy)
  • Pereilas River. Coin
  • Rio Grande Guaro
  • Charca De La Virgen, Río De Los Caballos. Tolox
  • El Charco De Las Nutrias


Three unique places to stay near the Sierra de las Nieves:

Castillo de Monda. You found it on! It can, however, only be booked on

See it

B&B Cortijo La Pura. You found it on! It can, however, only be booked on

See it

Finca El Arpa. Book it here on




Unique accommodation away from the crowds that might interest you:

Lakeside Andalusian Finca In A Protected Natural Park by The King’s Litte Walkway; The Caminito del Rey
Fantastic Finca for 2-5 Persons With Private Pool, near the village of Sayalonga, east of Malaga
Truly exceptional places to stay away from tourism in Andalusia
Exceptional rural cottage for 4-7 people located in a quiet environment with views of Sierra Nevada
Great Casita For 2-5 People In The Whitewashed Village Of Gaucin, Near Ronda
Fantastic Country House for 3-5 Persons, near Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas. Paradise On Earth
Charming country house for 3-6 people with amazing views, by the Subbetica nature park, near Cordoba
Rural cottage for 2 persons in the whitewashed village of Cónchar, in the Alpujarras
Traditional Cave Houses for 2-5 persons in the cave house area of Baza, near Granada
Country house for 4-6 people with private pool near the whitewashed village of Comares
Cute Little Finca For 2-4 Persons With Private Pool Near Village Orgiva, In The Alpujarras
Other beautiful places to stay away from tourism in Malaga city
Holiday home with private pool near the beautiful Andalusian village of Comares
Relaxing house for 6 persons with stunning view and private pool
Studio Apartments for 2 Persons In Lakeside Andalusian Finca Near The Caminito del Rey
Beautiful places to stay directly in Gibraltar
Beautiful places to stay in or near Tarifa
Romantic Village House With Great Garden For 2 Persons In The Whitewashed Village Of Otivar, near Granada
Incredibly beautiful country house for up to 8 persons outside the whitewashed village of Olvera
Fantastic village house in the super-beautiful white village of Comares
Love Nest For 2 Persons, Between Seville And Cordoba. A love nest, wide and comfortable, full of charm, details and comforts.
Great And Cosy Finca With Pool For 2-5 Persons Outside Of Frigiliana, Near Nerja
Stone Cottages In A Peaceful Valley Near The Whitewashed Village Of Alajar
Traditional Country House For 4-6 Persons In The Heart Of The Alpujarras
Penthouse Apartment For Up To 7 Persons In The Center Of The Whitewashed Village Of Algodonales
Super Nice Cottages For 4-6 Persons Directly By The Viñuela Lake, East of Malaga
Cortijo Apartments For 2-3 Persons In An Old Restored Farmhouse In The Mountains Behind Malaga
Great Townhouse For 2 Persons With A Wonderful Patio Located In Olvera, Between Cadiz, Seville And Malaga
Other beautiful places to stay away from tourism in Marbella
Fantastic Townhouse For 3-5 Persons In a Tranquil Area Away From The Hectics Of The Coast
Beautiful apartment located in the center of Seville, in Plaza del Museo, everything within 10 minutes walk
Luxury Apartments For 4-6 Persons In A Fantastic And Tranquil Resort Away From The Hectic Of The Coast
Fantastic Apartment For 2-4 Persons, In A Charming, Historic House In Jerez de la Frontera
Villa For Up To 6 Persons With Waterfall In The Private Pool
Fantastic Luxury Villa For 8-12 Persons With Private Pool And Lots Of Beautiful Details
Beautiful Country House For 10-15 Persons With 3 Independent Accommodations And Great Views Over The Valley
Cottage For 2-4 Persons In A Pine Forest Directly By The Lake And The King’s Little Pathway; The Caminito Del Rey
1-, 2- And 3-Bedroom Bungalow Apartments With Sea Views In The Hills Behind The Coast
Great Manor House For 2-6 Persons In the Santa Cruz District Near The Center Of Seville
Stylish And Spacious Apartment For 2-3 Persons In The Trendy Soho District Of Malaga City
Great Duplex For 4-7 Persons With Terrace, Swimming Pool And Wifi, Next To The Mezquita Of Cordoba
Luxury Penthouse For 4-5 Persons In The Heart Of The Old Jewish Quarter Of Cordoba
Nice apartment for 2-4 Persons in a cozy mountain village near Granada
Great Apartment For 6 Persons In A Tranquil Complex Just A Few Minutes From The Atlantic Coast
Perfect House For Families Of Up To 5 Persons – With Private Pool And Complete Privacy
Large House For Up To 14 Persons – With 3 Independent Accommodations Near The Atlantic
Apartment For 2-3 Persons Located In The Old Town And Near The Beach
Cosy Little Cottages For 2-3 Persons In A Fantastic Nature Area By The Caminito Del Rey
Charming urban style apartment for 2-6 persons in the center of Granada city
Tranquil Villa For 2-4 People With Pool On The Seaside By Nerja
More Options Within The Cadiz Province
Other beautiful places to stay in Conil de la Frontera
Other beautiful places to stay away from the crowds in Granada
Other beautiful places to stay away from the crowds in Seville city center
Other beautiful places to stay away from tourism near Nerja and Frigiliana
Finca Apartment for 2 People With Amazing Panoramic Lake Views From Your Own Terrace
Places to Stay in El Chorro – for climbers and other nature lovers

Don´t take our word for it! Hear our guests´ opinions:

“Our stay and Rikke and Michael’s place was incredible!”
“Our stay at Rikke and Mikes was fine”
“We stayed here as part of our Andalucian bicycle tour”
“El Arpa is a truly exceptional place”
“Rikke & Michael’s place was a perfect base for us to climb, walk and explore the gorgeous surrounding area”
“You rarely go to a place where the photos don’t do it justice, but this was just that.”
“Rikke and Michael’s place was perfect”
“Extremely peaceful”
“Amazing spot by the lake”
“The lake is beautiful and extremely peaceful.”
“Very very nice place”
“This place makes you connect with the nature its so beautiful there”
“Thank you both”
“My husband and I were traveling to Spain for a climbing holiday and stumbled upon El Arpa”
“Michael & Rikke were the most attentive and wonderful hosts you could imagine”
“Beautiful location”
“Great location for climbing”