Marboré Lake

  • Type of landscape :Associated with harnessing water.
  • Sector :Pineta Valley.
  • Municipality :Bielsa
  • Altitude :Marboré Lake 2,590 m




    The area where Marboré Lake, also known as Marmorés Tarn, is located is considered one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the entire chain of the Pyrenees. It is also a special place as regards the history of mountain climbing in the Pyrenees and the scaling of the highest peaks in the chain.

    The source of the Cinca River is on a high plateau at an altitude of 2,500 m, hidden by the peaks of the Monte Perdido massif to the south, the Astazu peaks to the west and the ridges running along the border to the north.
    The melt waters from various snowfields feed Marboré Lake, which lies at an altitude of 2,590 m, and so its surface remains frozen until late June.

    A young stream flows out of the lake and is joined by melt waters from the glaciers on Monte Perdido and Marboré. When the water reaches the Balcón de Pineta, it rushes off the rocky escarpments of the huge cirque, giving rise to the Cinca Falls.
    Tucked away in a small gap next to the lake is Tucarroya Refuge, which stands in a rocky pass, the Forqueta de Tuca Roya, marking the border between France and Spain. When the great explorers and mountaineers such as Ramond de Carbonnières, Schrader and Lucien Briet reached this spot after climbing up a challenging chimney to Estobet Cirque, they were dazzled by the fascinating landscape that stretched out before them.

    Even though this lake lies at an altitude of 2,612 m, a dam was constructed to form a reservoir of stored water here.
    In 1925, construction work began on the dam, which was not completed until 1938. The concession was awarded to the Sociedad Hidro Eléctrica Ibérica, which was commissioned to build a dam, a weir and a spillway in order to increase the capacity of the lake up to 1.7 hm3 and to regulate the flow of water during thawing. The project was one of a vast complex of dams and pipes at the heads of the Cinca, Cinqueta, Barrosa and Real valleys, all of which culminate at the Lafortunada y Laspuña power station.
    This particular dam is a gravity dam. It is 7 metres high and 70 metres long. The reservoir of accumulated water covers an area of 16 hectares.

    Even though it did initially come into service, it has not met its expected purposes due to the continual loss of water and the impossibility of completely sealing the outlet tunnel.

    When the law to enlarge the area of the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park was passed in 1982, it stopped any kind of renewal of concessions or use of the waters within the park boundaries.


    - Access: From Pineta car park, take the track up to the La Llari Plains. Once you have crossed the Cinca River, follow the path up to the Balcón de Pineta. Marboré Lake is 20 minutes from this point.

    - Location of the site: At the head of the Pineta Valley and at the foot of the north face of Monte Perdido mountain, you will find the last glaciers in the National Park.

    - GPS coordinates of the site: Dam 31T 257517 4731019

    - Location of the recommended observation sites: One of the observation points is on the lake dam itself. If you want to walk further to find a more sweeping panoramic view of the area, climb up to the Tucarroya Refuge.

    - GPS coordinates of the recommended observation sites:

    • Dam 31T 257517 4731019
    • Tucarroya Refuge: 31T 257560 4731492


    Protected status

    • Pyrenees-Monte Perdido World Heritage Site.
    • Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park.