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Aceredo, underwater for 30 years, extreme drought has brought this Spanish village to the surface

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

The village of Aceredo had been underwater for thirty years. Due to a lack of water, the dam has stopped, and the houses are reappearing.

The village is called Aceredo, in Galicia, in the northwest of Spain, close to the Portuguese border. On 8 January 1992, when the Alto Lindoso dam was put into operation, its inhabitants were evicted and the village was submerged underwater.

Except that since the autumn of 2021, the level of the reservoir has not stopped falling. It is below 15% of its capacity and the 70 or so houses of Aceredo have reappeared: the remains of collapsed frameworks, but also stone walls that are still standing, almost intact, and a whole grey and muddy jumble of old cars and half-rusted objects, including... a crate of beer bottles.

That is why they call it the Atlantis of Galicia!

It quickly became a tourist attraction in Galicia, as both Portuguese and Spaniards want to see the ruins of Aceredo.

We wanted to take a peek at the most famous ghost village at the moment, and we tell you all about it in this article.

Things to see in the old village of Aceredo

When you see Aceredo for the first time, there is a mixture of feelings. On the one hand, the wonder of discovering a place that was hidden underwater, and on the other, the horror of abandonment and water shortage.

Aceredo looks like a ghost village, with ruins of houses and mud that turns to dry dust when the water evaporates.

The houses are still in relatively good condition, considering they have been underwater for three decades.

Most of the houses keep their walls intact and the streets appear to be normal. Be careful when exploring the ruins of the submerged village, as accidents have happened recently.

A few meters from the village you can see perfectly the old cultivation fields as well as a bridge.

What impressed us most was the water source that still gushes out regardless of the fact that nobody lives there.

To get a good view of the village, stop the car at the viewpoint at Encoro de Lindoso just before the bridge, or go to the viewpoint at the old village of Aceredo on the right-hand side of the road as you start down into the village.

Global warming

The water level has dropped due to an exceptional drought that is now breaking. In Galicia, January 2022 is considered the second driest and warmest month since 2000. According to meteorologists, only a quarter of what should have rained during this period was recorded. This lack of rainfall was already felt in the autumn.

The reappearance of Aceredo is not a first. In 2017, during another episode of severe drought, the same phenomenon occurred. Other villages are also affected, both in Spain and in Portugal.

Aceredo has thus become a very concrete symbol of global warming. In fact, since the reappearance of the ruins, there are regular traffic jams on the road to the dam: hundreds of visitors come to observe the site with a mixture of fear and fascination.

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