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Estany de Montcortès

A few hundred meters to the west of Cavalls Wakan, we find Lake Montcortès.

Located at an altitude of 1,065m above sea level, it is an area of great scientific and scenic interest for being the only lake without a recluse in the Pyrenees of Lleida, and the only one that does not have a glacial origin but is fed mainly by waters water tables that flow through a network of underground conduits developed by dissolution of calcareous rock (karstic system), with a depth of about 30m.

Due to its biological and landscape exceptionality, Lake Montcortès and its surroundings are protected by special legislation, both at the level of Catalonia,  Plan of Areas of Natural Interest of the Generalitat de Catalunya, and Europe, Nature 2000 Network .

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We are facing an almost virgin lacustrine ecosystem and very little altered. This means that, around l'Estany de Montcortès, there is a great diversity of flora and fauna with particular characteristics. 

The area welcomes, mainly in autumn and spring, a large number of migratory birds, being a paradise for fans of "birdwatching" and nature in general.

Apart from aquatic birds such as the mallard, the osprey or the woodcock, it is easy to observe scavenging birds, being one of the few places in Europe where the four species of European vultures coexist and can be seen; the common vulture, the black vulture, the Egyptian vulture and the magical bearded vulture.

Any nature lover will enjoy an environment where it is easy to discover birds of prey such as the red kite and a great variety of mammals, foxes, wild boars, badgers, roe deer and even marvel at the bellowing of the deer in autumn.

Tradition tells us many legends about the lake, such as that of the Virgin Mary of Gerri, who blinded the Count of Pallars for not fulfilling the promise she had made to him, by asking him for help to cross the frozen lake after a piece of game. I did not recover my sight until I donated its best lands to the Virgin, in this case to the Romanesque Monastery of Santa María, in Gerri de la Sal.

Other legends speak of the ancient city of Pallars, submerged at the bottom of the lake for not offering anyone food, Jesus Christ disguised as a beggar, and on the night of San Juan, the voices of its inhabitants drowned in its depths can still be heard.

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