Around three kilometres from the village of Periana is the old Moorish pool in the little hamlet of Baños de Vilo (Baths of Vilo).
During the 18th and 19th centuries this pool was considered one of the most important in Andalucía, so much so that in 1892 its waters were declared “medicinal mineral”. The magnesium, calcium and nitrogen found within the waters offered healing and therapeutic properties to those with skin complaints, and people flocked for miles around to bathe in the sulphurous-smelling pool.
Despite it’s popularity, there was much squabbling over ownership of the pool and even though some improvements were made, the facility was wrecked in 1907 when a huge storm ripped through it. Subsequently, the baths fell into disrepair.
The Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) of Periana acquired the property in the 1990s and restoration work began to recover the Baños de Vilo for tourism purposes.
Where to find Los Baños de Vilo:
Soon after you leave the village of Periana, heading north-west on the A7204, there is a split in the road. Stay on the A7204 towards Riogordo and Colmenar. A few hundred metres after the 10km road marking, look out for a tiled sign on the right-hand side of the road. Turn here and after about 100 metres you will cross a narrow bridge over the river Vilo.
Continue up the road for a further two hundred metres, until you see a sign on a white wall on the left. I parked my car here.
It isn’t obvious where to go, but you should head through the large iron double gates into a patio area, which looks like you are going into someone’s garden – but you’re not!
Ahead of you to the right is a path covered with flowers growing over an archway. Walk through the flowering arch and you will see a little stone bridge leading you across the river, with a small construction of walls and a stone tower on the far side.
Here you will see the turquoise water shimmering in the sunlight and you’ll probably also notice the smell of the sulphur, normally associated with natural thermal pools.
Here’s a cool video of Los Baños de Vilo
Can you actually bathe in these pools?
Yes indeed – there are steps into the water.
Looking forward to the thunderstorms. Hope we get lots and lots and lots! But I won’t deny I LOVE the heat too.
I’m not fond of extremes of weather – but the change of seasons are always welcome 🙂
I wish I were there right now, Marianne. How lovely it looks. 🙂
Thanks Sylvia 🙂
I like your posts, they are so informative. Thank you for sharing this ‘secret’ gem:-)
So secret that only I was there! It’s a very special place though 🙂
Looks great Marianne. Can’t wait to see! Thanks also for your recent cost of living survey. Awesome as always. Just 3 weeks to arriving from nz to live in Spain. Can’t wait! Hope you’re enjoying the sun
PHEW! It’s been a very hot summer this year, Aaron – there may be big thunderstorms around the time you arrive! Hottest summer on record – 38C most days and only just dipping below 30C overnight.
Three weeks huh? You must be SO excited 🙂
It looks like a beautiful site and a splendid hike. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures and directions.
You’re most welcome 🙂
Really interesting, so glad its been restored!
I’ve been meaning to visit these baths for years – glad I finally got there 🙂
What a wonderfully secret gem. Thank you for an introduction to this beautifully preserved piece of local history. On my radar for a morning visit very soon
Morning is a great time during August, Robert. We went there last Friday morning – and then took a detour to Alfanate and Alfanatejo. The limestone mountains are pretty spectacular 🙂
Wow! So beautiful! I have hiked through Guaro, on the Gran Senda de Malaga sector from Perana to Pulgarín Alto, but wasn’t aware of the Baños de Vilo. I am so appreciative of your posts! I will check it out this Fall when hiking weather returns. Many thanks, Ron
I love being able to show you places you don’t know, Ron 🙂 It’s VERY pretty at the moment with all the gorgeous purple flowers.
Well done the Town Hall for ensuring the restoration and preservation of such an important place.
xxx Huge Hugs xxx
I think the local Town Halls like to spend lots of money that come in by way of European grants, David! That’s how we have such FABULOUS roads in Spain 🙂
What a great find! Spain has all kinds of interesting spots tucked away.
I’ve known about this place for ages, but only managed to get there last Friday! It’s a kind of “secret” place that not many folk know about though. Thanks for getting in touch, Darlene 🙂
Please tell me where in Andalusia is Banus De Vilo?
This is in an area to the east of Malaga city, known as La Axarquia. The Baños de Vilo are near to the village of Periana.
Looks really beautiful over there ! Another item on my todo-list ! Thanks for all these great ideas !
I like to keep you busy, Caroline 🙂