Los Ancares (León and Lugo provinces) Biosphere Reserve
Well preserved countryside
The Regions of Galicia and Castile and León share the Los Ancares nature reserve, which received the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation in 2006.
Los Ancares is located in north-eastern Spain, on the border between the provinces of León and Lugo. The part that falls within León covers an area of 56,786 hectares and takes in the villages of Candín, Peranzanes, Vega de Espinareda and Villafranca del Bierzo. Meanwhile, the Lugo part covers 53,664 hectares and includes the villages of Navia, Cervantes and Becerreá. Los Ancares is an excellent example of a Cantabrian Mountain ecosystem, where local inhabitants have been making wise use of the natural resources for centuries, with the resulting, spectacular landscape. Diversity is a notable characteristic of this place, where you can find small valleys tucked deep between mountains reaching more than 2,000 metres above sea level, glacial formations, and forests and meadowland whose conservation is closely linked with human activity. This reserve is, furthermore, an important area for the survival of some endangered species, such as the capercaillie and the brown bear. Los Ancares marks the south-westernmost limit of their European habitat.
Type of area
Area: 110.450 Hectares
Information for visits: From the cities of Lugo, León and Madrid, you get to Los Ancares on the A-6 motorway. For information on this reserve, go to the Los Ancares Visitor Centre in the village of Cervantes, in Degrada (Lugo province). Otherwise, you can also go to tourist offices in different towns and villages in the area. Activities available include hiking, mountaineering and hunting - Los Ancares has the National Hunting Reserve designation.
Environmental information: Here you will find forests and highly varied vegetation, with trees such as oak, birch, holm oak, holly... Up to fifty autochthonous species of flora have been registered in the reserve. It is also outstanding for the large number of birds of prey to be found there, and the presence of species autochthonous to the Cantabrian mountains such as the grey partridge and the Broom hare.
Cultural information: Until relatively recently, access to this area was difficult, allowing traditional customs and ways of life to survive. The "palloza" is significant in the traditional architecture of Los Ancares: they are circular, stone constructions with thatched roofs, of pre-Roman origin, used to house people and livestock alike. In the different local villages you there are interesting monuments and historic buildings, such as in Villafranca del Bierzo, which is also on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.
Tel.: +34 982181252/ +34 982181113
León (Castilla y León)
In Los Ancares (León and Lugo provinces) Biosphere Reserve you can...
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