Las Ubiñas-La Mesa Nature Reserve
View of the Lena Valley. Lena
Diversity in inland Asturias
Situated in the south of Asturias, thanks to its biological wealth and good condition, this Nature Reserve was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2012. It is a mountainous region in which the Peña Ubiña massif stands out - the second highest mountain in the region, over 2,400 m high.
It comprises the municipalities of Teverga, Quirós and Lena. Although the predominant tree is the beech tree, there are examples of more than half the plant species in Asturias here. The Cantabrian wildlife in this area is very well represented, with species such as brown bears.
There is a gorge in Las Ubiñas-La Mesa Nature Reserve formed by the Val de Sampedro River, where Cueva Huerta cave can be found, which has been declared a Natural Monument.
The landscape here has been shaped over centuries because of the use of resources, mainly for cattle farming. So, as well as its archaeological and architectural value, this area is ethnographically rich because its population has known how to preserve local traditions and their own arts and crafts, gastronomy and folklore.
- Type of area
- Biosphere reserve, Nature reserve
- 32.630 hectares
Access and surroundings
This area has one of the richest rock art sites in the north-east of Spain (Abrigos Rupestres de Fresnedo), with paintings from the Bronze and Iron Ages. The "Camino Real de la Mesa" also crosses it - it is a Roman road that used to connect the region with the León plateau. In the towns in this area there are still many examples of traditional architecture from the Asturian mountains, with stone houses with wooden balconies.
Regarding its flora, 11 of the 19 plant series that live in Asturias can be found in the Las Ubiñas-La Mesa Nature Reserve. As well as beech forests, there are oak forests, European oak forests and birch forests. In the vast pasture land there are three examples of endangered flora: the Asturias daffodil, wild daffodil and gentian.
As for wildlife, as well as brown bears, in the Las Ubiñas-La Mesa Nature Reserve we also find species such as golden eagles, Cantabrian capercaillies, otters and desmans. The Cueva Huerta cave Natural Monument is also home to many families of bats.
Information for visits
The Las Ubiñas-La Mesa Nature Reserve has many centres where visitors can get more information on the area. They are situated in different parts of the reserve: Las Ubiñas-La Mesa Nature Reserve Visitor Centre (La Plaza, Teverga), Nature Reserve Visitor Centre at La Fábrica Ethnographic Museum (Quirós), and Nature Reserve Visitor Centre for the Peña Ubiña massif (Tuiza de Arriba, Lena).