Reserva de la Biosfera Terras do Miño
Terras do Miño Biosphere Reserve
Fragas and islands
The islands of Miño, located within the river course, have luxuriant forests and inland pools, with important aquatic flora and fauna. The upper Miño River marks the boundaries of a vast territory known as Terras do Miño. Declared a Biosphere Reserve in 2002, this territory reflects the perfect integration between traditional rural villages and important Atlantic ecosystems.
Terras do Miño takes up an extensive strip of land in the central-northern part of Lugo, by the upper basin of the Miño River. The 26 municipalities included in this region have a long farming and cattle-raising tradition. Together, they take up a third of the total surface area of the province. From its source, the Miño River crosses a landscape formed by mountains and valleys, where pastures and farmlands share the centre stage with very valuable natural habitats. The importance of the typical fragas (oceanic forests) must be mentioned, which contain wetland species such as oak, chestnut, holly and birch. The Miño River has also rendered insuas (islands) along its watercourse. These are natural spaces of great beauty, where a rich variety of aquatic flora and fauna developed. The most striking element in these secluded spots is a number of small lake-ecosystems that are hidden underneath the lush riverside vegetation and that constitute strictly protected areas in the reserve. In addition to their importance from an environmental point of view, the abundant rivers that drain Terras do Miño are responsible for making this region the water supply for the whole province. The recent declaration of this area as a Biosphere Reserve will allow a sustainable social-economic development, while helping in the conservation of its natural resources and habitats.
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In the Terras do Miño Reserve, Mazo de Santa Comba can be visited, a complex that used to take advantage of the force of the water to produce electricity, mill grains and saw wood, etc. In O Corgo is the Ethnographic Group of A Fervenza, from the 16th century. It comprises a mill, a forge, a textile mill, a clog workshop and other traditional facilities. A visit to the city of Lugo is a must. Located on the banks of the Miño River, it has important remains of its Roman past. Its most emblematic feature is its fortified wall, declared to be a World Heritage.
The scenery in Terras do Miño is very diverse. Its large wooded areas worth noting, comprising evergreen and deciduous species, such as chestnut, birch and oak. The islands of Miño, located within the river course, have luxuriant forests and inland pools, with important aquatic flora and fauna.
The N-VI road provides quick and easy access to any of the municipalities in the region of Terras do Miño. This Biosphere Reserve has two nature centres: the Terras do Miño Nature Centre, located in the city of Lugo, and the Insuas do Miño Nature Centre, located within the township of Rábade. From the latter, you can take a riverside track that goes deep into the islands known as Insuas do Miño, which include San Roque, Cela and Trabanca.