Alto Najerilla Natural Park
Next to the Najerilla river
Discover charming villages, peace of mind and fascinating mountain landscapes... and this beautiful natural space in the south of La Rioja.
This area is made up of the Siete Villas: Brieva de Cameros, Canales de la Sierra, Mansilla de la Sierra, Ventrosa de la Sierra, Villavelayo, Viniegra de Abajo and Viniegra de Arriba. Visit them all to discover a way of life associated with livestock farming, and small hidden monuments.You will walk through alleys full of charming corners and gaze at mountain architecture made of reddish stone, beautiful churches and medieval bridges.At the park, you can experience how the Najerilla river and its tributaries create pools, rapids and waterfalls. The mountain pastures, the Iberian peaks and the mixed forests will grab your attention. This territory is also part of the “Sierras de Demanda, Urbión, Cebollera y Cameros” site in the 2000 Natura network. There, you also find the Urbión glacial lagoons, on the List of Wetlands of International Importance.
Alto Najerilla Natural Park
La Rioja (La Rioja)
What you need to know
And don't miss out on the cultural heritage of the Siete Villas. In Brieva de Cameros, visit its parish church of San Miguel, built between the 15th and 16th centuries. In Canales de la Sierra, you will be struck by the remains of a Roman town, the emblazoned houses and the bridges that connect its two neighbourhoods separated by the Najerilla river.Villavelayo rises between the Canales and Neila rivers and its streets come together in the beautiful Plaza Mayor. At Mansilla de la Sierra, make sure to visit its reservoir, where you can still see the remains of the ancient submerged village.Ventrosa de la Sierra stands out for to its beautiful landscapes of forests, meadows and rivers, and for its church of San Pedro and San Pablo, from the 18th century.You will like Viniegra de Abajo because of its multiple palatial houses. And of course, you must visit Viniegra de Arriba, the summit of the Siete Villas (1,182 metres) and a member of the association of “The Most Beautiful Villages in Spain” since it boasts some of the best preserved architecture.
The park features diverse fauna including species to be protected such as the European mink, the Iberian desman and the gray partridge, and birds of undoubted ecological value such as the Egyptian vulture, the black vulture, the griffon vulture and the bearded vulture. It also has endangered flora such as the rock currant and the Portugal laurel, which are only found in the wild here.
Information for visits
For more information about the Siete Villas, visit the Casa de las Islas in Mansilla de la Sierra.You can also learn about the bike and motorbike routes, the large network of trails in the area such as the GR-190 of the high Iberian Valleys, and interesting museums like the Rancho de Esquileo (associated with transhumance) and the contemporary art gallery EspacioArteVACA.Recommended excursions include the Monastery of Valvanera, the Monasteries of Suso and the Yuso and Nájera.