Complete guide to explore Engolasters Lake and its surroundings in Andorra

Lake Engolasters, located in the parish of Encamp in Andorra, is an idyllic destination for lovers of nature and outdoor activities. With its stunning scenery and multiple leisure options, this lake and its surroundings offer a unique experience that deserves to be explored in depth. In this comprehensive guide, we provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your visit to Engolasters Lake, from how to get there to the best activities to do in the area.

Lake Engolasters is an artificial reservoir located 1,616 metres above sea level. This lake, fed by the Madriu river, is not only known for its natural beauty, but also for its historical and cultural importance in Andorra. The creation of the lake dates back to the early 20th century, when a dam was built to generate hydroelectric power. Today, Lake Engolasters is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors looking to enjoy its natural surroundings and its diverse recreational activities.

History of the lake

The history of Engolasters Lake dates back to 1934, when the dam was built to harness the waters of the Madriu River to generate electricity. This project was fundamental for the economic development of Andorra, providing a sustainable source of energy that boosted the modernisation of the country. The construction of the dam also led to the creation of a network of trails and paths that today are used by hikers and cyclists.

Geography and Climate

Lake Engolasters is surrounded by mountains and forests of pine and spruce, creating an impressive alpine landscape. The climate in the region is typical of high mountains, with cold winters and mild summers. During spring and autumn, the lake and its surroundings are filled with vibrant colours, making these seasons an ideal time to visit.

2. How to get to Engolasters Lake

From Barcelona

If you prefer to use public transport, there are bus options such as Andorra DirectBus that will take you from Barcelona to Andorra la Vella, the country’s capital. The journey takes approximately 3 hours, and then an additional 15 minutes by taxi or bus to the lake.

From Andorra la Vella

Lake Engolasters is only 7 km from Andorra la Vella, making it easily accessible by public transport. Buses run regularly from Andorra la Vella to Encamp. From Encamp, you can even walk to the lake, depending on your preferences and energy level. The walking route from Encamp is picturesque and allows you to enjoy the scenery as you make your way to the lake.

Walking from Encamp

For hiking enthusiasts, one of the most popular routes is the Camí de les Pardines, which runs from Encamp to Engolasters Lake. This route is of moderate difficulty and offers spectacular views of the valley. The trail is well signposted and is suitable for hikers of all levels. The walk takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on your pace.

3. What to see and do at Lake Engolasters


Engolasters Lake is a perfect starting point for several hiking trails. The Engolasters Lake Circuit is an easy hike that circles the lake and offers breathtaking views. This trail is ideal for families and people looking for a quiet and scenic hike.

Popular Routes

Mountain Biking

The routes around the lake are ideal for mountain biking. The well-marked trails and varied terrain make it an exciting experience for beginners and experienced cyclists alike. You can rent bikes in Encamp and explore the various routes around the lake.

Cycling Routes

Nature Watching

The area around Lake Engolasters is rich in flora and fauna. Bring your binoculars and enjoy watching birds and other wildlife. The pine and spruce forests are home to a variety of native species, and during the spring and summer months, the area is filled with wildflowers.

Common Species

Picnics and Relaxation

There are designated picnic areas around the lake, perfect for enjoying an outdoor meal with stunning views. Bring your own food and enjoy a relaxing day in nature. Picnic tables and benches are available at various points around the lake.

Water Sports

During the summer months, Engolasters Lake is ideal for water activities such as kayaking and fishing. While swimming is not permitted in the lake due to its use as a reservoir, these activities are a great way to enjoy the water and scenery.

Activities Available

4. Nearby attractions

Sanctuary of Meritxell

A few kilometres from the lake is the Sanctuary of Meritxell, a place of great religious and cultural importance in Andorra. This sanctuary dedicated to the patron saint of the country is a place of pilgrimage and offers impressive architecture. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1972, but was rebuilt and redesigned by the architect Ricardo Bofill, combining modern and traditional elements.


The Funicamp cable car in Encamp is a great way to explore the surrounding mountains. In winter, it is a gateway to the ski slopes of Grandvalira, one of Europe’s largest ski resorts. In summer, Funicamp offers access to hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as spectacular panoramic views.

Casa Cristo Ethnographic Museum

Located in Encamp, this museum offers a fascinating look at Andorran rural life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Casa Cristo is a house museum that preserves the original structure and furnishings, offering an authentic insight into the history and culture of Andorra.

5. Practical advice

Best time to visit

Lake Engolasters is accessible all year round, but the best time to visit is from spring to autumn, when the weather is milder and the routes are in better condition. During the winter, snow can make some routes inaccessible, but the winter scenery also has its charm.

What to bring

Rules and Regulations


6. Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival & Initial Exploration

Day 2: Activities and Excursions

Day 3: Nature and Relaxation

Lake Engolasters and its surroundings offer a unique and rejuvenating experience in the heart of the Pyrenees. With its spectacular scenery, hiking trails, mountain biking and water activities, it is a perfect destination for any nature lover.

Whether you’re looking for an active adventure or a quiet place to relax, Lake Engolasters has something for everyone. Get ready to explore and enjoy this wonderful place.