Baños de Vilo y Molinos hidráulicos del Guaro (Baths of Vilo and Water mills in Guaro) [Hydraulic Heritage]
• Heritage Value: Medium
• Landscape Value: High
• Condition: Medium state of repair
• Type of hydraulic structure: Baths
• Stage of the Great Málaga Path: Stage 9: Periana - Alfarnate
• Where to find it: Periana
• Period: possibly of Roman origin
• Architect: Unknown
• UTM Coordinates: 392560,2708, 4090087,35
HOW TO FIND IT
They are located in the Baños de Vilo farmhouse, on the right side of the Guaro stream—about 2 km away from town, on the north side of the Periana-Riogordo road.
The site included:
- Two cold water pools for men and women respectively (today only one remains).
- Two warm water and one hot water pools.
- Hospital and guest houses.
- Bridge and gallery.
Facilities have been restored recently, and there is only one natural swimming pool remaining, which fully blends itself into the environment.
There is still a small stone bridge that allows safe crossing of the river.
The water in these Arab baths contains extraordinary sulphur, magnesium, calcium and nitrogen components. It flows out of the ground at 21ºC and is believed to have healing properties, especially for skin infections.
The site is undergoing a complete restoration at the moment. It is some 2.5 km from Periana and occupies a privileged position as well as having sulphurous water with healing properties. It is not clear when it began to function as such, but it is known that in the second half of the 18th century many people used to come to bathe in the water in the hope of being healed on numerous complaints.
A building with bedrooms attached was built in 1828 near to the water hole along with a bathing lodge. The place was closed for some time due to disputes over the property rights, and during this time the building fell into a state of disrepair. The Local authorities of Vélez-Málaga, Periana and an individual were the three parties who were fighting over the rights to the property in the past.
At the end of the 19th century, the then owner Emilio de San Martín carried out a series of improvements, but a storm in 1907 almost destroyed the installation. The Local Authority bought the baths in the nineties and from then on works on restoring the Baños de Vilo to their original state for tourism purposes.