Even though Barcelona is a beautiful city, sometimes you just need to get away from it all and immerse yourself in nature. Luckily, Catalonia has a number of rivers and lakes that are worth a visit and make for a perfect day trip or weekend away outside of the city. Prepare to be amazed and awed by all of the natural beauty and wonder of Catalonia!
Estany de Banyoles
Located north of Girona is Catalonia’s largest natural lake, Estany de Banyoles. This lake was the site of the rowing competitions back in the 1992 summer Olympics and is popular with enthusiasts of water sports to this day. Here you can take out a kayak or a canoe for a spin to explore the lake and get an up-close look. This lake is popular with open-water swimmers in the summertime and those looking to escape the heat for a bit. You can take a walk through the routes around the lake to get a view with a drier perspective. Estany de Banyoles is quite large and reaches a depth of almost 50 feet. Be sure to check out this lake for amazing views and a fun day of water adventures.
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Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici
Located in the province of Lleida is Catalonia’s only national park, Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici Park. This park is located in the Pyrenees mountains and it has more than 200 lakes, including the lake that is the namesake of the park, Estany de Sant Maurici. This park covers about 40 square miles and includes a number of paths for hiking, trekking, and biking. The two rivers that are found within the park are the Riu Escrita and the Riu de Sant Nicolau, which branch off into a number of smaller streams. The mountains and bodies of water within the park were made by glaciers, so here you can find many interesting rock formations. This park is great for hiking but it can be a bit chilly due to its high elevation. If you’re not visiting in the summer months, be sure to bring a jacket!
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Estany de Puigcerdà
Estany de Puigcerdà is a large, man-made lake that is located in Girona province, north of Barcelona. This lake dates all the way back to the 13th century when it was created to help irrigate the surrounding farmland. Today, this lake is the site of many open-water swimming competitions and events. In addition to swimming, you can enjoy other fun activities like fishing and boating on the lake. You can go on a boat tour to learn more about the lake and the surrounding town. The area around the lake has many hotels and homes for rent so that tourists can take advantage of all that Puigcerdà has to offer, including hiking, biking, and enjoying the open water.
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