November 27th, 2023

Villas with a private pool on the Costa Brava.

Due to the exceptional Mediterranean climate, a swimming pool can be used in the Costa Brava for a long period of the year. Of course, nothing beats a dip in the sea, but since most houses on the Costa Brava are not within walking distance, most owners opt for their own swimming pool so they can enjoy it at any time of the day. In this post I would like to discuss a number of aspects that should be taken into account when purchasing or owning a private swimming pool.

Location and orientation of a swimming pool.

Many owners want the swimming pool close to the lounge and/or kitchen so that they can have a view of the pool from the house and terrace and can easily serve a meal or a drink here.

Swimming pool close to the living room

But there are also owners who prefer to have the swimming pool a little further away so that children and/or grandchildren can play in the pool while they can drink a cup of coffee or take a glass of cava in peace.

Swimming pool in the garden away from the living area of the villa

It is of course important to check whether the swimming pool receives enough sun during the important seasons to keep the water temperature pleasant. It may also be important that the swimming pool is sheltered from the north wind, which can cause the swimming pool to cool down unnecessarily at night.

Different types of swimming pools

Swimming pools are distinguished by, among other things, the construction material used, the method of disinfection, the way in which the water is led through the filter installation and the options for heating the pool water.

Construction material

Most swimming pools consist of a concrete structure, which is then tiled. Sustainability and aesthetics are the most important arguments for this construction method.

A concrete swimming pool finished with mosaic tiles

Liner swimming pools are an interesting alternative from a cost perspective; in general, a mold consisting of iron panels is buried and then protected on the water side by a flexible PVC liner that is held firmly in place by the water pressure.

Prefab glass fiber reinforced polyester baths are also being used more and more. The advantage is that the construction method allows for a lot of freedom in shape, while the smooth finish can also simplify maintenance compared to concrete swimming pools where grouting is done between the tiles.

Provided a PVC bath is of very high quality and contains many features, in all other cases the concrete bath is judged as better and more valuable.


Most pools are disinfected using chlorine. The simplest and most effective form of this is to regularly manually place chlorine tablets in the skimmer, which slowly dissolve and maintain the chlorine level in the water.

A frequently used method is also automatic saltwater electrolysis. This involves providing the pool with salt (in a light concentration) once; when thereafter the water is pumped around the filter, the water also passes a catalyst that separates the salt (Na-Cl) into Chlorine and Sodium.

Less common on the Costa Brava are natural pools. Aquatic plants are planted in the swimming pool or in an annex of the swimming pool which will produce oxygen and break down bacteria. The water is also filtered through a filter bed of small stones placed in the bath to keep the water clear. The application of this on the Costa Brava is limited because the higher water temperatures in summer are not always compatible with optimal functioning of a natural pool.

A naturally filtered swimming pool with plants and stone filter in the basin

Water circulation over the filter

All pools have a water circulation system to remove surface dirt and filter the water. Most pools work with so-called skimmers (built into the wall) that suck the surface-water and filter it over a sand filter. The level of the water is therefore about 10 to 15 cm below the surrounding terrace.

An example of a swimming pool with skimmers

An alternative is to surround the entire pool with a small channel in the terrace around the pool. The circulation pump ensures that the water is pumped over the edge of the pool, after which it ends up in this channel, after which the water is led to the filter installation. In this case, the pool water level is up to the edge of the pool (at the same height as the terrace). This option is used for aesthetic reasons. The price of the bath is considerably higher than a bath with a conventional circulation system.

A covered swimming pool off the coast in Begur with an infinity edge on all sides

A variant of this arises when the channel is only installed on 1 of the 4 sides of the swimming pool so that the water runs over this edge on 1 side (opposite the terrace). This option is often used if you have a sea view from the terrace behind the swimming pool looking at this overflow edge. The pool then "flows" into the sea behind it without visual interruption.

A so-called infinity pool with 1 infinity edge in Santa Cristina d'Aro

Pool heating

Although this is highly personal, a swimming pool on the Costa Brava can be used from June to September, depending on the water temperature. This period can be extended from March to November by actively heating the pool.

The most commonly used technology is an energy-efficient heat pump, but solar panels are also an option.

In both cases it is necessary to provide the swimming pool with a cover to prevent too much heat from being lost during the night.

Swimming pool with a so-called slat cover to insulate the pool.

If we want to use the pool all year round, an enclosure must be placed over the pool. Naturally, we are talking about an important investment here and most homeowners are of the opinion that such an enclosure has a very negative impact on the aesthetics of the pool and the surrounding area.

With an enclosure over the pool you can swim all year round.


In this blogpost we have highlighted just a few aspects that you should pay attention to when buying a house with a swimming pool. It is of course also important to know whether the swimming pool has been legalized and what condition the swimming pool is in.

At Porfinca we have gained a lot of experience with swimming pools over the years and we can provide you with expert advice when purchasing a house on the Costa Brava. Please feel free to contact us if you are considering purchasing a home or thinking about selling your home. We will be happy to assist you with advice and assistance.