As soon as you step into the water in La Lajilla natural pool the fish come to say hello. Lie down in the shallow water and the bravest of them swim over and nibble your feet. Drop a bit of bread by your toes and it’s like being at one of those fish spas; except these fish are living free in the saltwater pool.
With a big area of decking, golden sand beach, poolside cafe and clear, tranquil water La Lajilla pool is something of a hidden treasure. Unlike the busy beaches at Anfi, Puerto Rico and Amadores, La Lajilla is rarely crowded.
The quiet side of south Gran Canaria’s Coast
To me, one of the coolest things about Gran Canaria’s south coast is that matter where you stay, there’s always a spot close by that slips under the radar.
In Playa del Inglés almost everyone heads to the vast golden beaches at Maspalomas but the sand at Meloneras and Pasito Blanco just down the coast is often bare.
Close to Puerto Rico, Tauro and Playa del Cura are quiet and even the coast next to Puerto de Mogán has small, quiet beaches like Medio Almud.
Local Arguineguín gets better and better
What is unique about La Lajilla is that it’s a quiet spot inside a built up area. Arguineguín is south Gran Canaria’s biggest local town and still has a strong local feel. It’s fishing fleet still dominates the harbour and Spanish is still the main language you hear on Las Marañuelas, the main town beach.
That said, Arguineguin does get plenty of visitors; mostly Scandinavians who come for several weeks or months at a time to escape the northern winters. As longer-term visitors they tend to integrate much more into local life and this helps to preserve the local atmosphere of the town.
Despite its laid back atmosphere, change is coming to Arguineguín thanks to several renovation projects. The harbour is to be divided into fishing and recreational zones and connected to Las Marañuelas beach, the coastal path that connects the town to Anfi resort to the west is being refurbished in sections.
The La Lajilla natural swimming pool was refurbished recently as the first part of this coastal project. It’s now much prettier and there’s plenty of sand on the beach. The changes haven’t affected the fish in the pool. If anything, they are friendlier now than they were before the changes. It’s well worth jumping in with a mask to what else has come over the wall of the pool with the last tide.
There’s always an octopus or two lurking in the deepest bits of the pool by the outer wall and plenty of bream and pretty blue damselfish.
Exploring the coast around Arguineguín town
When you feel like a break from the beach, have a coffee a spot of lunch at one of the terraces overlooking the pool. If you can bring yourself to eat them after playing with the fish in the pool, the grilled sardines are excellent.
Or head west along the coast towards Anfi beach and you’ll see why this area is so popular amongst Gran Canaria’s loyal Scandinavian winter visitors. The sky is almost always blue and the sea clear and calm.
Another alternative is to head east to the harbour and hop on a ferry for a tarmac-free tour of the coast with stops at Anfi, Puerto Rico and Puerto de Mogán.
Getting to Arguineguín and La Lajilla
Almost every bus that runs along the coast between Puerto Rico and Maspalomas stops inn Arguineguín. The La Lajilla pool is on the coast right in front of the Whale Tail roundabout (you can’t miss it). You first see it from the little viewpoint as you walk down La Lajilla street.
Visit Arguineguín on a Tuesday and you’ll find the town at its busiest thanks to the weekly flea market at the east end of town. However, even on market day most people don’t walk across the town to the area around La Lajilla.