Nature reserve of the lagoons El Llongar, Altillo Grande and Altillo Chica

The largest lagoon complex in Spain

The El Longar, Altillo Grande and Altillo Chica lagoons nature reserve is in the municipality of Lillo (Toledo) and covers an area of 407.07 ha. The lagoons of El Longar, Altillo Grande and Altillo Chica are located within the saline endorheism of the central La Mancha plain, which is the most extensive and important in the Iberian Peninsula.

The lagoon of El Longar is the largest of the group and is located near the town of Lillo. Due to this location, the lagoon has undergone significant changes, although the marginal vegetation on its banks is made up of interesting plant formations, such as halophyte formations of annual and perennial plants, like the albardinales, considered to be the best preserved and most extensive in the province of Toledo.

Main attraction.

With its 400 hectares, this is the largest and most important salt lagoon complex on the Iberian Peninsula. These lagoons are ideal for walking along their shores, or for swimming and windsurfing in El Longar. The presence of aquatic and steppe birds among meadows of albardín - a plant with saline soil similar to esparto grass - are its main attraction.

What we will see

The lagoon of El Longar has one of the best colonies of black-bellied sand grouse, and white shelduck all year round, among large albardinales. It also has a bird observatory, with explanatory signs. Los flamencos suelen desplazarse de unas lagunas a otras, y el encuentro con ellos siempre es espectacular.


From Lillo and through the CM-3001 road, the three lakes are connected. Leaving Toledo take the CM-410. Access is free of charge.

Best time to visit. What to bring

All times of the year are good to visit this nature reserve. Binoculars, comfortable shoes and a camera are a must.


The main faunistic value of the area is the aquatic birds, mainly during the reproductive period in the lagoon of El Longar, where most of the birds are concentrated, the other two being satellite localities. There is also the presence of endangered steppe birds and interesting halophilic terrestrial invertebrates.