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Nature Reserves

The area surrounding the Douro river is home to a beautiful landscape that hosts nature reserves that are rich in flora and fauna, such as the International Douro Nature Reserve (Parque Natural do Douro Internacional) and the Serra do Alvão Nature Reserve.
Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) | © Miguel MoraisInternational Douro Nature Park | © Vitor OliveiraThe mountain goats in Lamas de Olo | © Vitor OliveiraHerb plant called ice plant | © Turismo do DouroWild mushrooms in the woods | © Melanie AntunesInternational Douro Nature Park | © Vitor OliveiraGriffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) | © Emanuel RochaMushrooms called Clitocibe giba | © Turismo do DouroThekla Lark (Galerida theklae) | © Miguel MoraisMushrooms hidden in the vegetation | © Melanie Antunes

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Nature Parks

All visitors travelling to Spain are met with a vast landscape of green and brown before crossing the border. These colours are brought to life with the sound of the river below and the leaves from the trees as they dance in the wind. The International Douro Nature Reserve is the door to an enchanted world where Nature reigns over its court of wildlife.

Its vast area stretches across the regions of Mogadouro, Miranda do Douro and Freixo de Espada à Cinta. These are lands where the endangered Iberian wolf can be found along with other prominent species such as the wild boar and the Egyptian vulture. Rupicolous birds (birds that nest in rocks) such as Bonelli’s eagle are also one of the main attractions.

The peak of the valley slopes, Carrascalinho, offers a panoramic view of all of the creatures that inhabit the skies of the Douro region, from the green plains to the rugged depths of the stone valley. The International Douro Nature Reserve was created in 1988 and is the one of the most important areas in terms of flora in the whole of Portugal and Europe.

In the Serra do Alvão Nature Reserve, the butterflies and the dragonflies hover over carpets of flowers that stretch out across the plains. Near to the Olo river you can hear the Pyrenean desman (a small rodent) and the river otter swimming in the crystal waters. In the midst of this lush vegetation why not try your luck looking for a rare four-leaf clover.

In this nature reserve, located in the Serra do Alvão region and founded in 1983, there are packs of Iberian wolves and birds of prey, such as the golden eagle and the peregrine falcon. The reserve stretches from Mondim de Bastos to Vila Real, and hosts various waterfalls, such as the Agarez waterfall and the Fisgas do Ermelo waterfall that make this landscape truly compelling.

 

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