Updated: March 9, 2023Published: December 12, 2022
Do you want to know the best lakes just a few kilometers from Barcelona?
Spain has paradisiacal beaches and incredible rivers, but what about its spectacular lakes? Suppose you don’t have a beach or pool. In that case, a beautiful lake is a perfect option to take a refreshing swim while enjoying postcard scenery!
Barcelona has some artificial lakes, but just a few kilometers away, you can find some natural pools that will leave you speechless!
I have prepared a list of the best lakes in Barcelona and the closest ones, so if you want to discover what they are, how they are, and what you can find in each of them, keep scrolling down!
Ohh! And I just remembered, I have included a map with all the places, so you will stay aware of the location!
P.S.: I have ordered the lakes according to how close they are to the city of Barcelona, and I also have included the time it takes to get to each lake from the Barcelona city center.
Table of Contents▼▶
1. Parc de la Ciutadella Lake
Distance from Barcelona city: A few steps from the city centre
The lake is located at the idyllic Parc de la Ciutadella in the neighborhood of El Born, probably the greenest oasis in Barcelona.
The Parc de la Ciutadella is the largest park in Barcelona, with a surface of 31 hectares.
In this park, you will see fantastic things such as the city zoo, the Parliament of Catalunya, a few museums, a large fountain designed by Josep Fontserè, and the fabulous lake.
One of the pleasures offered by the Lake at Parc de la Ciutadella is a boat ride in front of which stands the monumental waterfall with Venus in the center. Gaudí collaborated in the design of some of the decorative elements that form part of it. The architect who was in charge of the creation of Ciutadella Park was Josep Fontseré.
if you want to know more about the most famous Spanish architects and some of the wonders they designed, don’t miss these articles!
I’m sure you know this lake and the fountain as it is the third most popular fountain on Instagram, only surpassed by the iconic Trevi Fountain in Rome, which ranks first, and the Jet d’Eau, one of the largest in the world located in Geneva. So take your phone out, take a picture, and post it on Instagram!
Why do I recommend this great lake? This lake is a good choice; it’s surrounded by an interesting collection of trees. One, in particular, stands out, the “Bald Cypress,” which grows inside the water, an American species that has taken root here and only lives in the water. Although you should know you can’t swim in the lake! But no worries, you can do many other things, like as I said before you can rent a boat, people doing yoga, dancing, flea markets, families walking or cycling, people reading, others making soap bubbles…
2. Llac Petit de Terrassa
Distance from Barcelona city: 36 km (50 min)
This beautiful lake is located a few kilometers from Terrassa and is ideal whether you like to swim or not. The views of the lake during the day are stunning. Still, at night everything changes, and it becomes a mysterious and even terrifying place, at least so say those who have dared to enter it.
All kinds of urban legends circulate around this reservoir due to the lake’s numerous events (deaths and disappearances of people).
You can’t swim in the lake, but you have some great activities around it (remember only during the day!!) you can go for a walk, do some jogging or ride your bike.
If you have a dog, I recommend you take it with you, as it’s an excellent route to take with your pet.
First, the history of its construction is a mystery since the only thing known for sure is that it was built in the early 20th century. And it is very curious that with as many historians as we have had in the city, we are still waiting for someone to fix the exact date of its construction.
Although there’s a theory that it was maybe the same owner of the farmhouse of Can Bogunyà, perhaps to supply his vast fields of land. Some say that the water from the lake was intended to be channeled to reach the neighboring city of Sabadell, which we know is true.
The best time to go is spring because everything is full of beautiful flowers!
3. Parc de l’Agulla Lake
Distance from Barcelona city: 59 km (1h)
This artificial lake is located in L’Agulla Parc, specifically in the Spanish city of Manresa. The lake began to be built in 1966 by making a dam and was filled in November 1974. If you are looking for a place to disconnect from the chaos of the city, Parc de L’Agulla is an excellent option.
The primary water source of the lake is the Sèquia de Manresa canal (of medieval origin). Its main goal was to bring water to the city of Manresa. It tries to preserve the charm of the era in which it was built, respecting the original constructions.
Since 1974, its central lake stores the water that flows into the Sèquia and serves as a reservoir for Manresa’s households. If you are looking for water-related activities, this is also your place! You can go fishing, boating, canoeing, sailing, or kayaking in this lake. There is a small bar where you can go for a snack or have a picnic if you are thinking of spending the day there. Surrounding the lake, we have L’Agulla Park; it has more than 600 trees of 20 different species, making this park one of the most visited ones in the region.
The L’Agulla Parc de is in the region of Bages, very close to Manresa. It’s the largest park in Bages and the place of entertainment par excellence in the city of Manresa.
L’Agulla Parc also organizes and manages educational, leisure, and entertainment activities related to the importance of water for human development and is oriented to school and family audiences.
4. Lake Santa Fe de Montseny
Distance from Barcelona city: 77 km (1h 20min)
This stunning lake is located in the Montseny Natural Park, an ideal place to admire the magic of the seasonal changes of nature. This natural park is the oldest in Catalonia, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1978.
Sante Fe de Montseny is located about 50 kilometers from Barcelona, between the regions of Osona, Vallés Oriental, and La Selva. The proximity to Barcelona makes it an easily accessible place for families looking for a different plan near the city!
The history of this lake started at the beginning of the 20th century when Ramón de Montaner bought the Santa Fe valley. His primary purpose was to build a luxury hotel, which was started in 1910. To obtain electricity, he made a dam in the Santa Fe stream, a few hundred meters downstream from the Hotel Santa Fe, in a place known as Estanyol. But, he soon realized this would not be enough, so in 1920 he undertook the construction of the present reservoir, which was completed in 1935.
If you go in the summer, I recommend wearing appropriate footwear to avoid slipping and protect yourself.
Other natural pools where you can go for a swim
5. Paratge de les Fonts de les Deus
Distance from Barcelona city: 59 km (1h)
The Fountains and Caves of Les Deus is not considered a lake but there are one of the most attractive places in Sant Quinti de Mediona, a small town of 200 inhabitants in the Alto Penedés region, 40 kilometers from Barcelona.
This small natural area is composed of lakes, pools, caves, and waterfalls.
Sant Quinti de Mediona is a small village characterized by the natural environment shaped by the Mediona River. Here you can find the 23 famous fountains and enjoy an adventure park (which kids love to go to).
The creation of springs is due to the exploitation of the river’s water resources, both agricultural and industrial, by the village’s inhabitants.
To achieve more efficient use of the resources, an essential network of canals and structures, such as the Les Deus mill or the Bàrbara textile factory, was built to take advantage of the river flow.
In the highest part, you will find a restaurant and a bar on a terrace overlooking the springs. In the lower area, a few meters from the 23 fountains, there is a picnic area managed by the restaurant, which can be accessed by paying for a table.
Numerous signs inform that it is not possible to picnic under the trees. But having the opportunity to have a picnic thanks to the restaurant is excellent! By coming here, you will be able to relax, go for a walk, or disconnect from the city!
6. Riera de Merlès
Distance from Barcelona city: 108 km (1h 20min)
The Riera de Merlès is a fluvial stream that descends from the Catllarás mountain range in Barcelona.
If you don’t want to miss the most famous mountain ranges in Spain, click on this article:
Here you can make several hiking trails and excursions. Its routes vary in difficulty, so it is a perfect choice for families, as the paths are well-conditioned, marked, and easy to follow.
The waters of this lake come down clean and crystalline, and it is possible to take a bath in many of its easily accessible pools, making it a trendy place in summer.
If you are in the summer, I recommend you go during the week, as it will be less crowded.
But where is it located? It’s 1 hour and 25 mins from Barcelona, and The Riera de Merlés passes through the regions of Bages, Osona, and Berguedà. So, is it even worth it going? It’s a place that has not been modified by man’s hand, so it offers a place to enjoy nature in its purest form, which I believe is one of the best feelings in the world!
Although it’s a little far away from Barcelona, it is worth going. If you prefer you can stay in a camping area, which is available for those, who want to spend the night in contact with nature.
Many people believe what the legend says. Many years ago, they were witches who practiced witchcraft, and the place where they secretly met was the Riera de Merlès. This is something that I find very, very interesting and I didn’t know about!!
You should take into account that the area has very little coverage, so it is likely that the GPS will not work!
7. Foradada de Cantonigròs
Distance from Barcelona city: 98 km (1h 30min)
This natural pool is one of the most beautiful places in the Collsacabra Valley, Cantonigròs, close to Barcelona.
The route to get there is very simple and ideal for the whole family. You can start your track from the village of Cantonigròs or from l’Esquirol.
In the warm summer months, the natural pool at the foot of the waterfall invites you to take a dip. Because of the easy access and limited space, the place can fill up quickly, especially on weekends and holidays.
Don’t miss the best waterfalls that Spain has to offer by clicking in the following article!
Outside the summer, the Foradada de Cantoningròs is quieter, and the waterfall receives more water, especially in spring and autumn. Still, the water is too cold for swimming! That is why it’s popular to see it crowded during the summer.
Let me tell you a story that has been going on for many, many years, from generation to generation… Some people believed fairies were living in the water, in the pool of La Foradada. These fairies lived in the depths of the water, where they had what they called their kingdom. When there were full moon nights, they would come to the surface to feel the softness of the air on their skin. During those moments out of the water, they would take the opportunity to comb their long silky hair while they would delight in singing sweet and melodic tunes.
Soon the townspeople began to talk about the incredible beauty of these fairies but also about the danger that their gaze could pose! The people used to say that if a fairy looked at you, you would turn into a stone instantly.
After hearing this story, are you encouraged to come?
Here’s a map so you can get to all these natural pools without any problem!
Have you ever heard of any of these lakes before?
Barcelona has a lot to offer and many activities to enjoy the city. But if you want something different, rent a car and drive a few kilometers to take a dip in one of its amazing lakes!
Inigo Navarro is a seasoned travel writer with a deep understanding of Spain's cities, culture, people and language. Born and raised in Spain, he has spent years exploring the country and is currently one of the most-read Travel Bloggers about Spain. Inigo is also an experienced digital marketer, a father to 4 beautiful children and a huge Real Madrid Fan. ¡Hala Madrid!