Amazing lake hike to Estany de Font Viva in the French Pyrenees

By December 7, 2018NATURE, TO DO
Estany Font-Vives

It was a beautiful Indian summer day, so our little family decided to walk to the Font Viva lake in the Pyrenees. The bluest sky and the colourful fall foliage made this an extraordinary hike. I was completely blown away by the most amazing landscape! Once at the lake in Font Viva, the scenery was even more picture-perfect. It looked like autumn reflected in the lake.

Autumn palette

Normally this hike takes about 45 minutes to the lake and the same time to walk back. Apparently, it is also possible to do a circular trail, walking around the Font Viva lake. We took a bit longer as we also walked up and down the lake. The changing colours of the leaves painted the landscape in an autumn palette. And I just couldn’t stop taking pictures.

Estany Font-Vives

Sunniest part of France

L’Etang de Font Vive, as it is called in French, is situated in the Porté-Puymorens valley of the Massif Carlit, part of the Cerdagne area. Known as the sunniest part of France, La Cerdanya belongs to both France and Spain. The first part of the hike gave us a great view over the Lac du Passet. A promising start!

Estany Font-Vives

Tingling bells

The hike only got better. There was a bit of climbing to do, but not too much. All of a sudden we heard the ringing of bells. Which made me burst into song “The hills are alive…”. It all fitted so perfectly. The kids, however, weren’t so thrilled. Then, suddenly we were surrounded by cows. A lot of cows. Luckily, these gentle animals continued on their way peacefully.

Estany Font-Vives

Scenic panorama

We continued at a leisurely pace. The children did twice the distance I guess, as they ran, clambered over rocks, came back to us and went off again. Tireless energy! As we climbed higher, we were surrounded by the most scenic panorama. Everywhere we looked, we saw green and yellow dots in the landscape, ringed by the mountains of the Massif Carlit. What an amazing view!

Estany Font-Vives

Mirror-like lake

Then we saw the lake in the distance. The water was so crystal clear that the trees reflected in the mirror-like still water. Truly breathtaking. And the perfect picnic spot. While eating our lunch, we humbly absorbed all of nature’s beauty.

Estany Font-Vives


The hike to Estany de Font Viva, or Etang de Font Vive, took us about 1.5 hours without our lunch break. The lake is at an altitude of 1,896 m. When following the yellow signs, you can also make it into a circular walk of a bit more than 5 kilometres that takes about two hours. For more info about this hike visit the Visorando website (in French).


We parked our car in the Tyrovol parking lot, a zip-line and aerial adventure park. From here you can walk to the start of the hike, on the left side of the road (with the Passet Lake on your right).

Office de Tourisme de Cerdagne
1 place du Roser
66800 Saillagouse
+33 (0)4 68 04 15 47


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