Orbajena del Castillo: turquoise swimming holes on the banks of the Ebro River, Burgos

I’ll keep this short and sweet.

Swimming holes are where it’s at. But the internet makes these special spots less charming. It’s a catch 22; all the information, but with all the visitors.

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If you find yourself on the National Highway N-623 heading north from Burgos, do yourself a favor and stop in Orbaneja del Castillo located in the Sedano Valley. (Hope for heat!)

Home to 47 inhabitants and a dozen turquoise pools which flow right into the Río Ebro*, this quaint town is usually bustling with visitors to snap some pix of this truly magnificent landscape. The waterfall atop the village flows down among mossy rocks and fills the cutest little pools with freezing cold cave water (literally called “La Cueva del Agua”).

*the widest and fastest-flowing river on the Peninsula second to the Río Duero

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Yes there are a lot of people, but most stay clothed… so you’ll get the water all to yourself. We hiked down out of sight and towards the Ebro River to get in a quick dip in the semi-nude. No onlookers. GLORY.

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The surrounding landscape is effing gorgeous. So are the rock formations, the greenery and

THE SNACKS:

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Like I said, should your adventure take you north from Burgos proper, do yourself a favor and stop here. Plus, if you make it all the way up to Cantabria, you’ll pass through the most perfectly traditional Cantabrian mountain villages with the smell of FRESH baked “sobaos” and “quesada” leading you the whole way.

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