Lake Engolasters in Andorra

If you’re planning a holiday to Andorra, you’ll surely know that the principality’s main attractions are the Andorra ski resorts, which welcome tourists from all over the world every winter. That said, the European microstate has so much more to offer beyond its famous ski resorts, as the scenery in this part of the Pyrenees Mountain Range is uniquely breathtaking.


One underrated part of the country’s geography is the picturesque lakes of Andorra, as the microstate boasts more than 80 lakes within its borders. In the summer months, you can even swim in a few of them or simply enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the shores.

In terms of what is the biggest lake in Andorra, that is Juclar Lake with its 21 hectares. However, Juclar Lake isn’t the most popular lake in Andorra, since it isn’t so easily accessible. Instead, the most popular lake in Andorra is Lake Engolasters. Also called Engolasters Lake, or Llac d'Engolasters in the original Catalan, this body of water has a surface area of seven hectares and is much more popular thanks to its lower altitude and its location close to Andorra la Vella, the capital of Andorra.

Hiking trails around Lake Engolasters

On a nice sunny day, sitting by the shores of the Engolasters lake is the perfect way to relax and to pass the time. Formed in a glacial depression, Lake Engolasters has some awesome geographic features and is located in Encamp, right in the middle of one of the most scenic parts of the country. This is also near Andorra la Vella, the capital city, which is just 10 kilometres away from the lake, a 20-minute ride by car.

The River Valira drains into the Engolasters lake, and there are two main tributaries in the form of the North Valira and the East Valira. All of this combines to make a Lake Engolasters Andorra day trip a must during your time in the principality, especially if visiting during the spring, summer or autumn months.

If you’re visiting Andorra, the chances are that you enjoy a more active type of holiday than simply sitting by the side of a lake. And, the good news is that a Lake Engolasters Andorra day hike is one of the highest rated activities among tourists.

There are two main Lake Engolasters Andorra hiking routes and the first of them is a walk which takes you to the lake from Carrer de la Vena in the town of Encamp. From there, there is a lovely two kilometre walk to the northern tip of Lake Engolasters, one with an elevation of only 408 metres, making it manageable for the whole family. Even better, the return journey is completely downhill, which is ideal for getting back home after a day out.

The other walking route by the Lake Engolasters is to follow the Carretera D'Engolasters, which runs along the side of the lake. This path is covered by many trees, making it more sheltered and a nice escape from the sun, but you can still see the lake the whole way. It is important to note, though, that the Carretera D'Engolasters is a road, however the few cars passing along this route do so at slow speeds and there are always spots to step out of the way.

Exploring the beauty of Lake Engolasters

As well as the hiking trails around Lake Engolasters, there are several other ways in which you can also enjoy the beauty of this Andorran lake. For example, at the northern end of the lake you’ll find a children’s space where the young ones can play, while there is a slightly more sophisticated adventure course at the other end of Lake Engolasters too. There is also a biking area, and the walking trail to reach the lake can also be cycled along, making this a fun space to visit on two wheels.

This area of Andorra is famous for bringing together several of the most common species of Pyrenean flora. This includes the Dianthus hyssopifolius, known locally as the fringed pink. This will absolutely brighten up your day hike.

If you’re interested in history and legends, this is also a fun part of the country to visit as there are several myths about witches related to Lake Engolasters. The story goes that one village was once completely engulfed by the water and that witches used to bathe in the lake. It is said, though, that the witches left at the beginning of the 20th century, so you probably won’t find any on your day trip!

One important point to note is that Lake Engolasters is absolutely not a lake for swimming in nowadays. Bathing is strictly prohibited in Lake Engolasters and the reason for this is that the lake is used for water storage. A rock fill dam was built at the southern end of the Engolasters lake in the 1930s, creating a huge water reservoir. If you’re interested in this aspect of Andorran life, the nearby Electricity Museum actually puts on guided walking tours which explore the Engolasters Dam.

With a mix of fascinating history, Andorran culture, outdoor activities and beautiful scenery, Lake Engolasters and the surrounding area is well worth visiting during a holiday to Andorra, especially if you’ll be in the country in the sunnier months. And, if you like what you find on the shores of Lake Engolasters, you’ll be glad to know that there are dozens more lakes around the microstate which you can pay a visit to as well.