Written by Sr. Sylvia Jopillo, r.a.
After a leisurely four-hour drive from Madrid, the noise suddenly ceases, and an 8-km winding narrow road opens from the Sanabria town in the province of Zamora into the mountains. Snaking through a secondary forest of white birches, willow, ash, and yews, along with scrubs carpeted with ferns and moss, glimpses of the serene lake peek through the trees' branches. How quiet everything is!
The Lago de Sanabria is a glacial lake fed by the river Tera. Forming part of a vast 22,365 hectares of natural park with its mountain ranges and forest, the lake appears like a tortoise jewel in the heart of the park.
It covers 3.48 square kilometers spanning 3.3 km long and 1.47 km wide. Its deepest part is at 51 meters which is suitable for boating and fishing.
The water is incredibly clear in summer, with gentle breezes occasionally rippling through its surface.
The tranquility of the lake is soothing, and I leave behind the noise and summer heat of Madrid! The lake view is a visual feast that compensates for the long drive from the city.
The small town ambiance with its slate-roofed houses and cows browsing on the scrubs completes the quiet that pulls me to contemplate the holy hocks blooming on a doorway and the flowering chestnut trees carpeting the grounds with their dry blooms.
Driving along the lake's perimeter into the Ribadelago town provides another refreshing stop. There is a beach to bathe in and enjoy the warm lake water!
Families come and spend vacations staying in rented quaint rural houses a walking distance from the beach. One can pitch a day tent and enjoy bathing and sunning.
Ribadelago is so tiny but with a combination of wonderful amenities. An accessible sand beach, precious lake views, a jetty for those who wish to swim in deep water, and boating facilities. Even with family vacationers enjoying the beach, the place strikes me as quiet and uncrowded.
It has a few café bars, a simple hostal, and a restaurant with an ample Terraza! I love my lunch of Caldo Gallego, a soup with grelos (a vegetable eaten only stewed), pork bits and chorizos, and a whole grilled trout with a side of lettuce and tomatoes!
Lunch is complete with the local Tinto chilled to perfection and ice cream cake for dessert.
What is impressive is the enormous servings of everything!
Families on vacation frequent the Terrazas and café bars for breakfast and lunch and order bocadillos de jamón for their beach outing. Relaxing 2 to 3 days on the lake is ideal, but my day trip pays me a considerable dividend.
The tranquility of the lake reflecting the blue sky on a clear day makes me feel an inner joy that time stands still, and I can see forever, so I'm coming back for a more extended stay.
Where is Lago de Sanarias?