Agaete and Its Natural Pool
Agaete is a privileged place due to its stunning nature, with many natural resources that attract visitors from all over the world throughout the year, also due to its mild climate with an average annual temperature of 22 degrees.
What is a natural pool?
In the Canary Islands, we are fortunate to have a rugged orography in many cases, shaped for thousands of years by the wind and waves. The Canary Islands are part of a volcanic archipelago that emerged approximately 30 million years ago, during which many volcanic tongues that reached the sea were gradually accommodated by the incessant beating of the waves.
Natural pools are rocky formations without human intervention located on the coastline that, thanks to the action of the tide, manage to retain water inside them. In some cases, these pools do have some human intervention in terms of accessibility to facilitate swimming and resting areas.
This is the case of the natural pools of Agaete, which have different access points and also a resting area where we can sit, sunbathe, or leave our belongings while swimming.
What are the natural pools of Agaete like?
There are three independent pools that are connected to each other by three underwater tunnels that allow the tide water to flow between them. The first pool we find is the shallowest one, and we can practically walk around it except when the tide is too high. The other two pools have an approximate depth of 2 meters, and the water is usually a little cooler.
On the outside of the natural pools, there are different entrances with stone stairs and railings to facilitate swimming, as well as a couple of metal stairs if we feel like jumping from the rocks (always with caution). We can also find a wide outdoor area to leave our towel, rest, and sunbathe.
Are they safe for swimming?
Agaete is located on the west coast of Gran Canaria and receives direct waves from the Atlantic. This wave action can be significant on some winter days, so on days of high waves that coincide with high tide, we must exercise caution. It is possible that on these days, the waves may surpass the natural barrier that separates the pools from the open sea.
On the rest of the days, which are the majority, there won’t be any problem for a calm swim in any of the three pools. Even if the tide is very high with wave action, there is no need to worry since this only affects the pool closest to the sea. The other two pools remain isolated from the onslaught of the waves. In the summer months, the pools have a lifeguard service.
Why are they called “Las Salinas” natural pools?
The natural pools of Agaete are called “Las Salinas” because of their historical use for salt extraction. Salt was highly valued for its ability to preserve food, and in the 14th century, there were approximately 50-60 extraction points for this mineral in the Canary Islands. Today, there are only about 9 remaining salt extraction points in the Canary Islands, and the process is quite simple: seawater fills a series of pools during high tide and is left to evaporate over a long period of time to obtain the salt.
These places are popularly known as “Salinas” in the Canary Islands, and from the 17th century until around 1960, the Salinas de Agaete were used for this purpose. The recreational use of the natural pools of Agaete is a recent development, and the site’s unique energy has gained popularity in recent years.
How to get to the natural pools of Agaete?
If you are coming from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, drive in the direction of Agaete on the GC2. Once you arrive in Agaete, enter the first roundabout and follow the sign for “Puerto de las Nieves.” About 100 meters later, you will reach a second roundabout. Take the small, unmarked road on the right-hand side, which has a steep descent and leads to the ravine. From there, continue straight ahead until you reach the end.
Is there parking at the natural pools of Las Salinas?
Yes, there is parking available and it is also free of charge. The parking area is not very large and we will mostly park on the sides of the ravine, so before arriving, we will see the number of cars parked and can estimate whether we need to drive all the way to the end of the ravine or not.
It can be a bit difficult to turn around the car if we reach the end of the ravine and everything is already full of parked cars, so it is a good idea to park as soon as we see the first parked cars. It will take us a couple of minutes to walk to the natural pools from there, at most.
If we don’t mind walking, we can also park in any other area of Agaete and take a leisurely stroll to the Puerto de las Nieves. This way, we can also enjoy the other tourist attractions in this area of Agaete.
Is the weather good in the natural pools of Agaete?
Agaete is a climatically privileged place, with mild temperatures that allow outdoor activities to be enjoyed most days of the year. In winter, the days are shorter and therefore the hours of sunlight are also reduced, although there are days almost as warm as in summer when temperatures can easily reach 25 degrees Celsius. During these winter days, the heat usually concentrates in the central hours of the day, so if we visit the natural pools between 12pm and 4pm on a sunny day, we will undoubtedly be able to enjoy a good swim. Some people go for an early morning swim, while others come to watch the sunset as it is quite a spectacle.
In summer, we have more hours of sunlight, so we can go practically anytime during the day. The water temperature throughout the year does not vary much and is usually between 19 and 20 degrees Celsius, so in winter it is not excessively cold and in summer it is very pleasant for refreshing dips.
During the months of July and August (mostly), the trade winds strengthen, but for the rest of the year, we can mostly enjoy calm and sunny days.
Is there really a big difference between summer and winter? The truth is NO, the Canary Islands are a privileged place and outdoor activities can be enjoyed throughout the year. Obviously, if it rains, we may not want to go to the natural pools, but believe me, the rain does not last long and during your visit, you can surely enjoy a good swim in these wonderful natural pools of Las Salinas.
Where can I find more information about the pools?
In this post, we have tried to summarize all the doubts that people usually have before visiting the natural pools of Las Salinas. However, we also have additional information on our website about the location, user reviews, and other points of interest nearby that you can visit here.