Valleys of the Leza, Jubera, Cidacos and Alhama Rivers Biosphere Reserve
Reserva de la Biosfera de los Valles de los Ríos Leza, Jubera, Cidacos y Alhama
- Biosphere Reserve certification
Rivers and valleys of La Rioja Baja
Several rivers stream out of the eastern mountains of La Rioja, like the Leza, Jubera, Cidacos, and Alhama rivers. Its valleys, filled with Mediterranean forests, are marked by canyons, rocky grounds, and defiles, where numerous raptor colonies nest.
The important natural, cultural, and scenic value of the upper Riojan valleys have earned them the distinction of Biosphere Reserve, awarded by Unesco. These landscapes are covered with forests, rocks and cliffs, where we find historic towns, fossilised dinosaur footprints and interesting archaeological sites. This area also has water of remarkable quality, both in springs and thermal currents. The orography of this Biosphere Reserve is defined by transitions, from high peaks to lower grounds. Fluvial erosion also left a mark in the limestone surroundings. The Leza gorge, with a 500-meter fall, the rocks of Peña del Jubera and the kermes oak groves of Villarroya, which include beech and Melojo oak trees, are some of the most beautiful features of the reserve. In the river sides we find a great diversity of tree species, although the most numerous are ash trees. In addition, Peñas de Leza and Jubera are Special Bird Protection Areas (ZEPA). Birdwatchers that are specially attracted to birds of pray will be able to enjoy numerous species of them in the reserve, but will be particularly impressed by the griffon vulture colonies. The crags of Arnedillo (Cidacos Valley), the Fuentestrún ravine (Alhama Valley), and the Arnedillo Vulture Observatory are great spots from where to watch these birds.
La Rioja (La Rioja)
Aguilar del Río Alhama, Ajamil, Arnedillo, Cabezón de Cameros, Cervera del Río Alhama, Cornago, Enciso, Grávalos, Igea, Jalón de Cameros, Laguna de Cameros, Munilla, Muro de Aguas, Muro en Cameros, Navajún, Préjano, Rabanera, Robres del Castillo, San Román de Cameros, Soto en Cameros, Terroba, Torre en Cameros, Valdemadera, Villarroya, Zarzosa
- Type of area
- Biosphere reserve
- 120000 hectares
Access and surroundings
In addition to the remarkable castles in the villages of Arenedillo, Enciso and Cervera del Río Alhama, in this area we must mention priceless palaeontological sites and great thermal springs, as well as the Celtiberian ruins in Contrebia Leukade.
The most remarkable features of this upper-river-basin landscape are rocky grounds, and defiles. The limestone cliffs are perfect habitat for numerous raptor species, specially the griffon vulture.