Trekking. From lagoon to lagoon by Sanabria

He Sanabria Lake It is the largest freshwater (non-artificial) surface of the Iberian Peninsula. Counted by Travel by Free in other occasions, it is the starting point of several routes that usually end in another series of Lagos, since the Natural Park is a paradise in this aspect. In case of bad weather, we can always taste the gastronomy of San Sebastián, such as beans and boletus.

Our route today begins in the town ofRibadelago, sadly famous for the break in 1959 of Vega del Tera Reservoir, ending the life of 144 people. Following this disaster, the town was divided into two, Ribadelago and Franco's Ribadelago, being in the vicinity of this first where our route will begin.

Trekking. From lagoon to lagoon by Sanabria

Before arriving in Ribadelago, there is a detour towards the Moncabril Power Station, where, in addition to the existence of said plant, there are a number of villas that have turned this area into a small urbanization. It is here that we will have to leave our vehicle.

The trail is located at 1000m of altitude and it is glued to the small river from which the Power Plant feeds, leaving it on your right side. This road was built to communicate Moncabril with the buildings above, although today it is used more to visit the area of Pico del Fraile. Currently it is quite well preserved and wide enough to walk two people in parallel. At the beginning it is flat, but it quickly takes a certain slope that we will not leave until we reach the houses located in the upper part of the mountain. These booths belong to Moncabril.

In the direction of Pico del Fraile

As we walk, we will go through a aqueduct of stone in ruins and some pipes that lower water towards the power station. At our back we will see how Lake Sanabria is getting smaller and smaller and taking advantage to take some full-size photos. The road is smooth despite its inclination, running through a series of zig zags.

On Route

At 1400m altitude we will find snow on the road. Luckily, it was quite soft, with hardly any ice and walking on it was simple ahead.

Upon reaching the top, the first thing we find is a series of houses that belong to the Power Plant. This is where a series of dirt tracks begin, adapted for motor vehicles. Its use is only allowed to the workers of the Central or under permission. If we follow the track, we will quickly find the first lake, totally frozen, the Pavón Lagoon, with the Fraile's peak at the bottom.

Laguna del Payón

Without crossing the lagoon, we take the dirt track that goes to the right to climb a series of small steep hills. After about 750 meters we will reach the next lagoon, much larger than the previous one and dammed on one of its sides. The Mancas Lagoon.

On Route

We cross it completely, passing over the small dam. In the background at the top of a hill we see several landmarks and a geodetic point that marks the highest point we are going to reach. From there we will have good views of the Moncalvo as well as the Picture Lagoon.

Picture Lagoon
Picture Lagoon

We go to the latter to its shore and take a west direction until we reach a dirt track. If we follow it until we reach the Garandones Reservoir and turn left, we will return to the first Laguna, the Pavón, making a circular section. Touch return to RibadeLake and we will do it from the booths of the Central stopping where the pipes go down.

Sanabria Lake

Practical data

When to go?

It is a cold area during the winter with mild temperatures during the Summer. Ideal area to spend a weekend in the mountains and visit the beautiful town of Puebla de Sanabria. Between the months of December and March we will find many icy lagoons with abundant snow in the mountains and in summer We will have many visitors who make the Laguna de Sanabria an ideal destination for the bath.

How to get?

Located on the highway A-52, between Benavente and Ourense, it is situated Puebla de Sanabria. From here we will find numerous signs to the Sanabria Lake. Past the side in the direction of Ribadelago, we will arrive at the electric station of Moncabril, where we will leave the car and start our route.

What to wear

In winter it is advisable to take warm clothes, leggings, hiking boots, crampons in some cases and even a ice ax. Everything will depend on where we move. In summer it would be advisable to take water, sunscreen and a swimsuit in case we wanted to take a dip in some lake. However, even if we go in winter, there are always areas where snow is scarce and we can walk without complications. Let's not forget that at Fish Lagoon He climbs by car.

Where to sleep?

In Puebla de Sanabria and surroundings there are numerous hotels and rural houses, but the most demanded in summer, are the magnificent campsites located on the shores of Lake Sanabria.

Campsites List:

  1. Puebla Island
  2. Camping el Folgoso
  3. Camping los Robles
  4. Camping Peña Gullón