Spain is a country renowned for its diverse landscapes and natural beauty, and its waterfalls are no exception. From huge horsetails to calm cascades, there seems to be no shortage of waterfalls in Spain. The question is, which are the star attractions?
In this article, we explore some of the most famous Spanish waterfalls, finding out where one can find Spain’s best waterfalls and what makes them stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Salto del Nervión: The Tallest Waterfall in Spain?
Falling from a height of between 720 and 730 feet, Salto del Nervión is usually cited as the tallest waterfall in Spain. Formed when the Nervión River drops over the rocky escarpment of Mount Santiago, this dramatic cataract plunges into the green valley below. As it does so, it also crosses a border, beginning in the province of Castille and Leon and ending in Basque Country.
Cascada de Linarejos
The province of Jaén is home to several of southern Spain’s best waterfalls, including that of Cascada de Linarejos. Plummeting almost 200 feet over limestone cliffs into bright turquoise waters, the vivid simplicity of this watery wonder makes it one of the most photographed in Andalusia.
Cascada de Orbaneja del Castillo
The town and the waterfall of Orbaneja del Castillo are inextricably intertwined, with traditional stone houses perched along each step of the rocky cliffs over which the waters cascade, as though keeping them company. Together with the greenery that grows abundantly all around, this is one of the most iconic waterfalls in Spain.
Cascada de Gujuli
In the heart of Gorbeia Natural Park, in the Basque Country of northern Spain, the Gujuli waterfall forms a powerful natural spectacle. Also known as Cascada de Goiuri, this roiling cataract rushes down approximately 100 feet, the craggy cliffs forming a cirque around it.
Pozo de los Humos
While the majority of the waterfalls of Spain and indeed the world are named according to their location, Salamanca’s Pozo de los Humos bucks the trend. Translated as the “Smoke Well”, its moniker refers to the thick mist generated by the impact of the water as it falls some 165 feet onto the rocks below. This mist rises high into the air, creating a stunning visual effect that can be seen from miles away.
Salto del Ason
A horsetail waterfall is one that keeps contact with the surface behind it and Salto del Ason is an excellent example of one of Spain’s best waterfalls of this type. Located in Collados del Asón Natural Park in eastern Cantabria, it is also known as the Cailagua Waterfall and as the Source of Asón River Falls or “Nacimiento del Rio Ason”. The latter is a reference to the fact that it is here, at the approximately 165-foot drop over limestone cliffs, that the Ason River is formed.
Cascada de la Cimbarra
Where waterfalls break down rock formations, they can expose invaluable geological finds. And Cascada de la Cimbarra is a prime instance in which Spanish waterfalls have done just that. Located in northern Jaen, this waterfall is where the Guarrizas River plummets around 130 feet, eroding the 500 million year-old sandstone around it and revealing its history.
Cola de Caballo
In the northeastern province of Zaragoza, Monasterio de Piedra Natural Park is home to numerous waterfalls, but perhaps the most famous is Cola de Caballo. Literally translated as “horsetail”, this approximately 165-foot cascade is formed by the waters of the Piedra River.
Salto de la Novia
Salto de la Novia means “Bride’s Falls”, a reference to a legend that surrounds this beautiful waterfall in the municipality of Navajas. The story tells of an ill-fated tradition of couples jumping into the river below the 100-foot high waterfall on their wedding day, in which one pair of newlyweds lost their lives.
Cascada Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo
The Source of the Cuervo River Waterfall descends in silky threads on the mountain range of Cuenca, creating a stunning web of waterfalls in Spain’s central autonomous region of Castilla-La Mancha. Declared a National Monument due to its abundant flora and karstic landscape, this set of cascades also freezes in the winter, creating spectacular ice formations.
Ézaro Waterfall is a stunning natural wonder located in the province of A Coruña, in the region of Galicia, in northwestern Spain. The waterfall is formed by the Xallas River, which drops over 300 feet. In its final 130-foot descent over a rocky escarpment, this breathtaking cascade flows directly into the Atlantic Ocean, and is one of the only waterfalls in Spain to empty into the sea.
Chorros del Río Mundo
We return to the karstic cliffs of Castilla-La Mancha for the Chorros del Río Mundo, yet another of the waterfalls of Spain to mark the source of a river. In this instance, the Mundo River finds its beginnings in a cave, from which it emerges before tumbling around 260 feet. Once a year, a fascinating phenomenon known as the ‘reventón’ or “blowout” occurs, where the waters come out in an explosive burst.
The Waterfalls of Spain
As we’ve seen, waterfalls in Spain appear in a variety of shapes and forms. Some mark the start of rivers, some define towns and all are demonstrations of the power of nature.