10 great lakes and reservoirs in Spain

If you prefer to be lakeside than beside the sea, we show you where to go in Spain. They've even got lakes/reservoirs in the dry zones of Andalucia and Extremadura. Here are 10 we particularly recommend visiting.

Embalse del Negratín

Lake Negratin, Granada Province 

Located in Freila, part of Andalucia's Granada province, this reservoir is one hell of a breath thief. Explore its cobalt waters by canoe or sailing boat. Alternatively, enjoy its tranquility with a picnic or meal at a lakeside restaurant.

Lago de Sanabria

Mountain Sanabria, Zamora 

8km to the north west of Puebla de Sanabria in the Castile and Léon province of Zamora, you'll find the Iberian Peninsula's largest glacial lake. Trust us, you'll soon fall in love with each of its 368 hectares. After all, that's Zamora.

Estany de Banyoles 

Banyoles, province of Barcelona 

Environmental awareness comes easy in Catalonia's Banyoles. For Mother Nature and mankind embrace as the town enjoys an enviable lakeside setting. The lake's a member of the Plan for Spaces of National Interest (Pla d’Espais d’Interès Nacional). And in 2003, it was namechecked by the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. Talk about a great lake.

Embalse de La Viñuela

Lake Viñuela, Malaga Province 

In 1983, they dammed the Guaro, Velez, and Seco rivers. Three years later, this spectacular reservoir was born. Beat the heat in Málaga province with a cooling dip where you'll join thousands of carp who were introduced to clear the water of pesky weeds.

Lagunas de Ruidera

Ruidera Natural Park, Albacete and Ciudad Real provinces

Not one body of water but rather a network of small lakes in the Campo de Montiel, sandwiched between Albacete and Ciudad Real provinces. A place where you're as likely to see a mountain goat as an otter. This is Castilla-La Mancha at its most captivating.

Lagos de Covadonga

Asturias - Covadonga lake - Picos de Europa

Three's the magic number in the mystical Picos de Europa mountain range which adorns Asturias. Get your natural highs by visiting Lakes Enol, La Ercina, and El Bricial. Whether you explore the area by bike or by foot, you won't forget your trip here in a hurry.

Embalse de Ullíbarri-Gamboa

Ullibarri-Gamboa lake, Alava

There are few more picturesque water supplies than this Basque reservoir. Servicing both Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteiz, this Arrazua-Ubarrundia Alava location boasts two beaches in Landa and Garaio. It's also an excellent area for twitchers, as well as hikers and windsurfers.

Embalse de Navacerrada

Navacerrada, Madrid

45 minutes away from the city of Madrid, Navacerrada's home to the Comunidad de Madrid's only ski resort. The reservoir itself is located 1,200 metres above sea level. Brace yourself for a taste of the high life.

Embassament d'Ulldecona

Catalonia - lake Ulldecona, Senia river

The Ulldecona Dam get its name from the fact its construction was financed by farmers from the town of Ulldecona. But if you want to see this Valencian beauty close up, travel from nearby La Sénia. For a quiet spot, head to the abandoned village of Mangraner, at the reservoir's north-west shore.

Embalse de Alange

Alange, Badajoz

You could be sitting in perfect solitude on the banks of Alange's reservoir. Before you're startled back to the 21st century by a leaping bass, carp, or pike. 20km from Mérida, it's located on the rio Matachel and forms part of the Guadiana River Basin.