Natural parks and reserves
You will find scattered around the country places of preserved beauty, inhabited by a wide diversity of species of flora and fauna, where Man and Nature live in perfect harmony. Protected in order to maintain their biodiversity, many of these areas are classified as Natural Parks and Reserves.
Peneda-Gerês, the only one to be classified as a National Park, stands out from them all. It is located in the northwest of the country and has stunning landscapes between mountains and reservoirs where unique species like the wild garrano horse and the Castro Laboreiro dog breed. Here, like in Montesinho Park, a rural way of life is preserved, with community villages where the people share the work and facilities.
Further down, in Alvão Natural Park, rivers flow between crags and cliffs and there are spectacular waterfalls, such as Fisgas de Ermelo. To the east, the river that makes the border with Spain gives its name to another Park – Douro Internacional, whose deep valleys form canyons which are nesting sites for birds of prey such as the Egyptian vulture. Quite close by you find another protected area, the Azibo Reservoir, also ideal for bird watching and for a few moments of leisure on its river beaches.