Spain has its own ‘Loch Ness’ – the Laguna Negra

by Lorraine Williamson
Laguna Negra

PROVINCIA DE SORIA – Spain has many mysterious places. Think of abandoned buildings, fairytale forests and ghost villages. The Laguna Negra (the Black Lagoon) in Castile and León is another such place. 

The lagoon is located near Vinuesa, a village in the province of Soria. It belongs to the “Parque Natural de Laguna Negra y circos glaciares de Urbión”. Just like Loch Ness, the lake is not only mysterious but also beautiful. It is located in one of the most beautiful places of Soria at an altitude of 2,000 metres and is surrounded by immense pine forests and high granite walls. 

Legends and mysteries 

For decades, Laguna Negra has fascinated all its visitors. The name also hints at mystery. There are many legends about the lake, one more horrifying than the next. 

See also: Spain leads the world with 27% protected nature area 

The most famous is ‘La Tierra Alvargonzález‘ by the Spanish writer and poet Antonio Machado. It is a long romantic poem from the year 1939. It tells the story of two boys who kill their father and then throw his body into the lake. A little later they regret it and return to that place. Once there, they fall into the lake and are swallowed by the bottomless waters of the lagoon, according to the poem. 

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Related post: A quick guide to Spain’s national parks 

But even before this poem, namely in 1921, another Spanish writer, Pio Baroja, already described this place in his book ‘El Mayorazgo de Labraz’. This lurid story is about a woman who lives at the bottom of the lake and kills anyone who comes close. Anyone who looks into the water gets pulled into the lake and cannot tell the story. 

It doesn’t stop there. The Laguna Negra has always been the subject of stories like this. Stories that it has no bottom, that a monster lives there, that incomprehensible storms would rage regularly or that a mysterious mist rises from the water… These are just some of the myths similar to that of Loch Ness which have become part of the huge collection. 

How do you get to the black lagune? 

Taking an excursion to this lagoon is a magical experience. You can drive to a nearby carpark and walk the last bit. In the summer months, however, the vicinity of the lake is prohibited for private vehicles. You have to leave it behind on the somewhat further Paso de la Serrá. From here you can walk the rest of the trail or continue on a bus that departs from there. 

You can also reach the lagoon via a longer walking route. This leads you through a forest of silver firs and the Revinuesa valley. Once at the lagoon you can enjoy the beautiful view. You can also walk through the surrounding coniferous and beech forests. For the real go-getter, there is the possibility to climb to the mountain top Pico de Urbión at an altitude of 2228 metres. 

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