Neila Mountains with its beautiful glacier lakes
Situated in a nature park, lakes were formed during the last glacial period called the Würm glaciation creating a splendid environment in order to enjoy a hiking day in Spain.
Our (me and my girlfriend) hiking weekend started at the village Santo Domingo de Silos, from there to here, it is just about 1h driving, small roads, a lot of curves and crossing many small villages, making the trip not so boring.
We made a stop at the village Quintanar de la Sierra not to lunch but to buy foods because our main idea was to do a picnic near to one of the lakes. There are 6 lakes, 1 at the foot of the mountain and 5 at the top.
We wanted to see a lot of them so we drove to the top until the end where there is a parking. Although it was july and a sunny day, the wind was cool so even staying at the sun, the weather was a little cold, I said that in case if you are sensitive to the cold, in this case, I will recommend to have a summer jacket.
The Neila Mountains (Sierra de Neila) are part of the Demanda Mountains (Sierra de la Demanda) where some scenes have been filmed for the movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) by Sergio Leone. The area is also famous for 2 of its lakes, the Black Lake (Laguna Negra) and the Waterfall Lake (Laguna de la Cascada).
Unfortunately, we didn’t visit the second one and from where we went, there is no way to take a good picture of it neither but let’s start at the beginning because I’m jumping to the second part of the day.
After leaving the car, we went to the starting point where there is a map of the 3 itineraries, one going to the left, one to the middle and one to the right. The middle goes to the top for a great panoramic view, the right goes to the Black Lake and Long Lake (Laguna Larga).
We went to the left walking directly to the Linnet Lake (Laguna de las Pardillas) and we stopped to the Duck Lake (Laguna de los Patos) to find a place to eat. Playing the adventurers, we tried to find an area where we would not be bothered by the cold wind so we did an off-piste going to the other side and staying near to the water.
A lot of frogs on the shore taking a sun bath but every time, I tried to be closer, they jumped and disappeared into the water, no way to play with one of them !!! After lunch, we kept doing off-track and went deeper in the wood where there are a lot of trees, mainly, beeches and scots pines.
We reached the Rough Lake (Laguna Brava) then trying to find the secret backtrack towards the Black Lake but without success so we had no choice than to go back to the main piste and back to the starting point.
Due to the late hours, we decided to end this day with a scenic view by taking the middle path. Walking up and more up and more more up, we found different spots where to take nice picture. At the end, we were not at the top of the world but of the Campiña, with a splendid view of the full area and much more.
Although the sunset in summer is around 23h, it was already about 20h when we arrived to the top so we decided to leave because the time to drive back to our hotel for a shower and to find a good local place for dinner in a village, it would be very late.
If you plan to go, try to stay until the night, you will have a great sunset experience and please, keep your trash because there are no garbage cans. We had to throw them when we reached the first village once out of the nature park. Next adventure, the canyon of lobos river (cañon del rio lobos).