Antela Lagoon

Antela Lagoon:
The lost lagoon

In this place it is very common to find fauna and vegetation typical of wetland or flood zones, due to the fact that in the past, one of the most important wetlands of the Iberian Peninsula existed here. We are facing one of the greatest mistreatments of the natural environment in the history of Galicia.

Its surface area was approximately 42 square kilometres, with depths of between 0.5 and 2 metres, and in winter it was up to 7 km long and 6 km wide.

Without a doubt, to see what little is left of it you should walk around here, the so-called “central channel” of the lagoon and go to its only current lagoons, which have bird observatories where you can observe the relicts.

Distance from this QR to the remains of the Antela Lagoon


The best area to observe its remains

Prepare your binoculars, you may find interesting birds.

Don’t disturb the fauna, and protect it, it is up to us to maintain what remains

Nearby places:

Torre da Pena (9Kms to the east)

A Carballa da Rocha (natural monument) (8 kms to the west)

Dólmen Casiña da Moura (26 Kms to the south)

Salas reservoir (25,6 Kms to the south)

Roman baths of Bande (25 Kms to the southwest)

Nearby QRs:



Websites of interest:



More information:
The Antela Lagoon was an immense lagoon, known for thousands of years (as treasured by the menhir located there 4,000 years ago), so much so that legend claims that in its bosom lay the ancient city of Antioquia.

The lake covered an area of approximately 3,600 hectares and occupied several villages in the municipalities of Xinzo de Limia, Sarreaus, Vilar de Barrio, Xunqueira de Ambía, Sandías, Vilar de Santos, Rairiz de Veiga and Porqueira. It was situated at an altitude of 615 metres above sea level and covered an area of 42 square kilometres. During the winter season it was 7 km long and 6 km wide.

The depth varied from 0.5 to 2 metres, although in some areas the pools could reach 3 metres. Because of these dimensions, it was considered one of the most important wetlands in the Iberian Peninsula, with a great biological richness in which several ecosystems converged, with their own fauna and flora. A large lagoon, one of the largest on the Iberian Peninsula, of which almost nothing remains.

Although today the lagoon is considered a very important ecological area, in its day it was not given the value it had. Attempts to drain the lagoon have been known since 1827, but it was finally in 1958 that the draining work began.


After the draining, the drained land was used to grow high quality potatoes (such as the Kennebec potato, with Designation of Origin; Protected Geographical Indication “Pataca de Galicia”). Other crops include wheat and, to a lesser extent, onions. The problem began with the onset of drought, where farmers had to channel water to reach their fields. Nowadays, another problem is the continuous use of herbicides and chemicals, which cause long-term problems, but are less visible. Cancers, Alzheimer’s and other diseases arise from their use, but it seems far more important to be able to have money today than health tomorrow, which is noticeable when you ask local people how they feel about the loss of their pond.

Like so many others, this is an issue that could be debated, but what is clear is that the lagoon will remain lost forever.

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