Located in Galicia, at the mountainous northwestern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, the biosphere reserve is a site of great natural beauty enriched by a rich cultural heritage.
The river Miño meanders at the bottom of the vertiginous Sil canyons, in a landscape of valleys, tertiary depressions and scrubland foothills, resulting in a diversity of microclimates.
Designation date: 2021
Surface : 306,535 ha
- Core area(s): 53,237 ha
- Buffer zone(s): 51,250 ha
- Transition zone(s): 202,048 ha
Location: 42° 35' 11'' N - 7° 29' 35"W
The biosphere reserve now encompasses a UNESCO Global Geopark and six Natura 2000 sites into a unique safe haven for biodiversity that harbours 1,214 species of vascular flora, 52.7% of the floristic diversity of Galicia, and 277 species of fauna. The site is the westernmost extension of the ecological corridor formed by biosphere reserves in the Cantabrian Mountains and protected areas along the European Atlantic Coast.
Inhabited by 75,203 people, the site has a history of research and educational activities devoted to conservation and sustainable management, focusing notably on balanced agro-systems and ecotourism.
High levels of protection also apply to cultural heritage. The site is famous for the Routes of Santiago de Compostela inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1993.
It also features caves, rock shelters, petroglyphs, megaliths, monasteries, churches, ancient settlements and bridges which attest to the high value of the region.
Last updated: January 2022