In a land which is rich with natural ponds and swimming pools, few places offer visitors so many and varied entertainment options as Casas del Monte, located on top of the Ambroz Valley. This is a locality in the north of Extremadura, west of Madrid and close to bordering Portugal. The place holds many and varied spaces for the visitors, from natural pools, excellent for swimming or dipping, to a number of individual tubs or bath holes formed by the erosion of rocks, or small waterfalls that act like a natural Jacuzzi.
A place called “Garganta Ancha” (Broad Throat) rises from the mountains of the Central System and shelters the town of “Casas del Monte” which has a long history from ancient times, but now houses a population of 700 inhabitants. The locality is now dedicated to tourism and sports. Shortly before reaching “Casas del Monte” visitors will find the bathing facilities with ample parking lots, three shaded Cafeterias or Restaurants, and three large pools with many smaller ponds leading up to them. Visitors can also enjoy, relaxing spots on huge rocks that allow sun bathing while the cold water embraces and refreshes bodies.
The recreation area has several shaded grass terraces of different sizes. All have a view to the pools. From some of the terraces you can also enjoy views of the “Valle de Ambroz” (Valley of Ambroz), the Tierras de Granadilla (Lands of Granadilla) and in the distance the Reservoir of “Gabriel y Galan”, brimming with silver water.
Novelties that are trendsetters
A recent renovation lead by the “Dirección General de Turismo de la Junta de Extremadura” which is the general tourism office of the regional government of Extremadura has created a great demand among the public. They provided the park with a wooden walkway along the bathing areas, which helps the movement of the public from the bathing areas to the touristic areas. Also, a number of wooden ramps facilitate the access of visitors to the general area. They also built a beautiful wooden bridge that adds a special charm to the lowest part of the swimming pool and connects the two shores of the pond. The construction of a new pond allows for more swimming areas and the construction of stone terraces surrounded by grass adds to the relaxing solarium experience for visitors.
The hostel and some of the guest- houses and country cottages and inns are close to the bathing area. These accommodations feature a playground area, with a shaded lawn that delights children.
The natural pool of Casas del Monte has a special touch, not only for its beautifully organized bathing areas, but also because of the unique corners, that can be easily reached by steps and bridges. For example the small waterfall along the end of the main pool is a shady corner where birds sing, lizards and butterflies share an ambient, the sound of falling water can be sensed while contemplating nature.
Another great advantage of the natural pool of Casas del Monte is that they are located just a few kilometers from the “Ruta de la Plata” highway, where you should take exit 446 towards Casas del Monte. Once in the village there are small wooden sign that will direct you to the pool, which is located in the highest part of the town. GPS Coordinates 40.201297, -5.955642
Original article by Marian Castillo
Translated by Susana Windt
Published in july, 2016