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Paisagem Protegida da Serra do Açor

Paisagem Protegida da Serra do Açor
Place: Arganil
Paisagem Protegida da Serra do Açor

Located next to Arganil, the protected landscape of the Serra do Açor includes a zone of great natural beauty included within the European network of biogenetic reserves - the Margaraça Woodlands. The luxurious vegetation found on these slate slopes is one of the rare examples of primitive vegetation cover in the mountainous areas of the centre of Portugal that have survived until the present day.

The fresh air and invigorating atmosphere resulting from the abundance of water inspires us to take long walks or bike rides on hot summer days. Many streams originate in the Serra do Açor and it's possible to hear the sound of running water almost everywhere and find small lagoons or riverside beaches. One of the most beautiful spots is Fraga da Pena, a paradisical setting, where water falls in cascades about 70 m high, forming a delightful natural swimming pool.

Key animal species include the goshawk, a bird of prey that gave its name to this mountain range, which serves as a symbol of the protected landscape area. The goshawk lives alongside other birds such as the screech-owl and hawk. Various mammals can also be found such as the wild boar and genet and a wide diversity of invertebrates, including around 240 butterfly species.

Also make sure to visit the historic village of Piodão, nestled against the mountain slopes. The houses of this village, crowded along narrow sloping streets, are built of shale and slate, found in abundance in the Serra do Açor mountains. Visitors can also sample many regional products including honey and whisky, and purchase baskets or wooden spoons produced by local artisans.

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