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Lake Bolera and Why it’s a Good Day Out in Jaén

Lake Bolera and Why it’s a Good Day Out in Jaén

Lake Bolera, located near Pozo Alcon [Jaén] is surrounded by natural beauty and well worth an explore not just for the reservoir itself but natural attractions too, if you like being at one with nature Bolera is a must.

Lake Bolera is somewhere we have driven by many times in the past – it has always been busy. The ’embalse de bolera’ [reservoir] has quite a lot going on around it which means it’s popular with both tourists and locals especially in the summer season. Unlike many other bodies of water in the area lake Bolera has a large waterfall nearby which is a huge attraction – if you are looking for‘Cascada de Guazalamanco’ then refer to this post where we’ve written a full review. [it’s well worth a visit]

The Reservoir

The drive to lake Bolera from Castril involves a winding road at elevation, you also drive past the dam in Castril which is worth a quick stop – keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife in the surrounding hills. On the approach to Bolera the road is surrounded by pines and you will eventually cross the bridge from which you can see the dam wall.

37.7799° N, 2.8964° W

There are various places of interest to stop and a handful of places to pull in and take photographs, look out for the signs and don’t be afraid to explore what look like dirt tracks that vanish into the woodland from the main road.

lake bolera
The dam at lake Bolera [embalse de Bolera]


Camping ‘Bolera’ is a campsite that is close to the road on the way past the reservoir, it is a site that we have not stayed at yet but plan to do so in the future out of season when it’s quiet, that is assuming we can find out when it reopens after the winter. The site has mixed reviews, mainly good and from what we could see it looks clean and tidy with plenty of space for tent camping.

Recreation Areas

There are several recreation areas around the reservoir, our choice on our last visit was ‘zona recreativa la bolera’, it also has a sign calling it ‘area recreativa hoyo de los pinos’, in either case this recreation area is situated opposite the campsite and set in woodland.

There is a small area in which to park just off the road, if like us you prefer to be admist the woodland then you can also get your 4×4 into the woods where there is ample space to park.

k90 overland
parking in the woods for a bite to eat

You have all the usual picnic tables, walkways and bbq cooking areas and also with this one you get a toilet block [the first we’ve seen] and also a childrens play area. It’s touristy for sure but in winter the place is deserted so you have it to yourself, it’s a decent stop to use the services and for a quick bite to eat.


Anywhere you go in areas like this and you are going to see signs for ‘mirador de…..’. These lookout points can be really interesting places and there are several around lake Bolero including ‘Mirador de Peña Quesada’ which is worth a visit.

Embalse de Bolera from the viewpoint
Mirador de Peña Quesada
Views over lake Bolera [winter’s day]

The mirador is reached from the main road down a dirt track which is suitable fo cars too, the end of the track reaches a wider open space near the lake. The position is elevated and I cannot stress enough that there are no barriers at the top – you hardly notice the drop until you are right at the edge so one to watch especially if you have the kids with you or dogs.

That said, the views across the water are pretty spectacular even in the winter and it’s a nice area to rock up and make yourself a coffee or simply stretch your legs.


The biggest attraction which is probably bigger than the reservoir itself is the waterfall ‘Cascada de Guazalamanco’, it can be reached by dirt track where you will find parking at the end. There is a fantastic hike to the large waterfall which is at the end of a 2k trek, on the way there are numerous smaller waterfalls and the scenery is some of the best we’ve seen in southern Spain.

Cascada de Guazalamanco
Cascadas de Guazalamanco
k90 overland
Exploring waterfalls in Andalucia

By far the best way to enjoy this area is go out of season, it is absolutely packed in the summer so late Autumn/winter is when you can have the place to yourself.

Overall lake Bolera is well worth a visit, it is geared up for tourists so if you prefer to avoid that aspect of things then it will be best to visit out of season for sure. There is enough to warrant a full day or an overnighter here and travelling further east you can also check out the water at Castril as well as San Clemente reservoir which make up this trio.


1600 900 Mac


K90overland is Mac and Gayle, they lived in Andalucia for 19 years before moving back to the UK. Overlanding since 2019 the pair have built up a 'budget rig' and now enjoy a relaxed approach to discovering Scotland and the north of England.


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