Tour of Montcortes Lake
We discovered the Lake of Montcortès: a place of great beauty and an exceptional geological and faunal interest located between Pallars Sobirà and Pallars Jussà.
The route does not have any difficulty, since we go around the lake and the terrain is very flat. If we want to walk around the perimeter an adult can take half an hour at a quiet pace, visiting with the whole family and children can take about 45 minutes.
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The pond of Moncortès, of karstic origin and located in a unique spot of the Pallars Sobirà, has a very remarkable landscape and wildlife wealth. Together with the Basturs and Banyoles ponds , they are the only natural lakes of non-glacial origin with permanent waters throughout Catalonia.
At Lake Montcortès, you can arrive by road from La Pobleta de Bellvei (5 km, going towards Vall Fosca, the detour is on the right), or from Gerri de la Sal passing through Peramea, Bretui and Montcortés (11.6 km), going to Sort, the detour is on the left side of the village).
The lake can be seen from the same road and we can park the pass of Sant Antoni, where there is the detour that goes down to the shore and continues towards Cabestany, or, better yet, take the paved detour and park at the first crossing that is at hand left, where there is a parking area with a fountain and from where you can see the same lake of Montcortès.
Once we are in front of the lake what is most surprising are the mountains reflected in the waters of the lake, and the presence of aquatic birds so close to the Pyrenean mountain range. A peculiar natural treasure, quiet, and accessible, embedded in a high mountain region.
The legends of the pond
Like many other places in Pallars, this lake has its own legends. They say that in the pond of Montcortès there would be a city engulfed under the waters. Pallars, which was the name of the city, was swallowed up by the waters when its inhabitants denied food to Jesus who passed dressed as a beggar.
Another of the most popular legends with tin as the protagonist is that one winter, the Count of Pallars, all hunting, went into the ice sheet that covered the water chasing a prey.
He had such bad luck that the ice broke and he almost drowned. If he did not do so, it was because he invoked the Virgin of Gerri, promising him a donation of land. But the count's rogue, having come out of the trance with the virginal help, thought that everything was in nothing and, when his squire asked him what he wanted to do, he said: "Last water, Virgin deceived", meaning that he did not think to give the earth.
Once he went blind, and did not see again until he fixed his accounts with the Virgin. The doctors already gave him solutions, but he did not prove them, convinced as he was to know the origin of his illness.
According to the legend, the town of Conde, not too far from Montcortés, would be the place where this noble retired after making the donation of his best lands, those of the forest of Peina.