In Spain, the general tendency when it comes to beating the heat is to head to the beach. However, there are also hidden treasures in the mountains that are worth visiting. Can you imagine going for a swim surrounded by trees in the middle of a forest? There are many lakes, reservoirs, and pools that offer a unique sensory experience for nature lovers. Since we know that many of you are planning your next vacation or weekend getaway, we’ve gotten to work putting together recommendations of the best lakes in Spain for taking a dip:
Banyoles Lake, located in the Catalonian province of Girona, boasts the title of largest lake in Catalonia, and it also tops our list of the best lakes in Spain. It has areas for swimming, a wooden dock, a yacht club, and a lawn where you can stretch out for some peaceful sunbathing. The best part is the dreamy natural environment in which the lake is found.
But watch out! Legend has it that, like Loch Ness, Banyoles is also home to a monster that is said to be some sort of water dragon. Will youdaretotake a dip?
Despite the cold, northern Spain also has places that deserve to be on our list of the best lakes in Spain. Watersports are a popular summertime activity and can be done all over Spain, including the mountains of La Rioja. This aquatic paradise is found at an altitude of 1,000 meters in the middle of a vast pine forest in the Iregua Valley. Alongside the lake isEl Rasillo Yacht Club, which offers top-notch sporting and catering services. There is a picnic area, an area for rowboats and sailboats, and in the middle of the water there’s a floating platform with a slide and trampoline. You’re guaranteed to have a good time if you visit this spot in La Rioja.
Zahara de la Sierra Beach (Cádiz)
Amidst a mountainous landscape you’ll find the beautiful Zahara Reservoir in the Grazalema Mountains. As soon as you see the water you’ll want to dive in, and the best place to do it is the Arroyomolinos Recreation Area, which has a parking lot, snack bar, and lifeguards to ensure swimmers’ safety. It isn’t a big beach, nor is it full of sand and salt water, but if you spend a day there you’ll be able to enjoy the water and the countryside at the same time. For that reason, we highly recommend it for anyone from Seville looking to escape the high temperatures.
Encompassing three kilometers, Sanabria Lake is the longest lake in Spain and one of the largest glacial lakes in Europe. Its beauty is spectacular. It has several artificial beaches, some sandy and some rocky, which are flanked by oak trees. These enclaves are suitable for swimming, especially Custa Llago Beach. This aquatic paradise found in Zamora isn’t only an ideal place to spend a wonderful day, but it also has several campsites where you can spend the night and stay for a few days to explore this beautiful area. All of this is what makes it one of the best lakes in Spain.
Ruesga Reservoir (Palencia)
This reservoir is located in the town of Cervera de Pisuerga in the province of Palencia. Every summer it sees the arrival of crowds of swimmers looking to submerge themselves in its waters. There is a sandy area and a garden where you can lay down and relax as well as a pedal boat rental for those who want to sail for a little while. It’s also possible to spend the night at Cervera de Pisuerga Campsite.
Iznájar Reservoir (Cordoba)
In the middle of the Genil River you can find Iznájar Reservoir, the largest reservoir in Andalusia and the third largest in all of Spain. On the righthand side of the reservoir is Valdearenas Beach, a perfect spot to spread out your towel and enjoy a nice dip in the water. This area invites relaxation, but it’s also a good place to partake in watersports. The space is also set up for campingso you can spend several days cooling off in the middle of nature. Although it isn’t technically a lake, it’s worthy of being included on our list of the best lakes in Spain.
Orellana Reservoir (Badajoz)
In Badajoz you can find the first non-coastal riverside beach in Spain to earn the Blue Flag designation. This area is known as Costa Dulce (Sweet Coast) and is prized by everyone who lives nearby, since it helps them combat the extreme temperatures in this part of Spain. It’s perfect not only for cooling down and spending a nice day with friends or family, but also for practicing watersports such as windsurfing, kayaking, and sailing.
Text: Carolina Cárcamo Villar