Baixa Limia-Serra do Xures Natural Park

Baixa Limia-Serra do Xures Natural Park

  • Region: Galicia
  • Province: Orense
  • Declared a Natural Park: 1993
  • Park surface area: 20,920 hectares
  • Towns and villages: Entrimo, Lovios, Muiños, Bande, Olelas, A Terrachá

Points of interest

The Baixa Limia-Serra do Xures Natural Park and, on the Portuguese side of the border, the Peneda-Gerês National Park are now joined to create the Gerês-Xurés Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (RBTGX) With an area of ​​267,958 ha, of protected territory in two natural spaces divided between Spain and Portugal.

On the Spanish side the stunning scenery, the towns and small villages such as Casola are a delight to discover. The A Fecha waterfalls are well worth a visit and whilst you are out and about look out for the “Cachena” cows, a small breed with huge horns that are native to the area and which in recent years have been rescued from the danger of extinction by various breeding programmes.

The spa town of Lobios, with its thermal waters from the river Caldo holds Roman remains of the mansio Aquis Originis and Aquis Querquernnis is a Roman site made up of a camp and a mansio viaria located on the banks of the As Conchas reservoir in the village of Bande.

The Lindoso reservoir in the central area of ​​the park between Entrimo and Lobios , and the Salas river reservoir, in Muíños in the east of the park are well worth the visit and another smaller reservoir is the Olelas in the A Corga do Porto do Medio irrigation canal, a tributary of the Castro Laboreiro river located in Entrimo.

Flora

The Baixa Limia-Serra do Xures Natural Park is a transitional area between Euro-siberian flora (Atlantic) and that of the Mediterranean and combined with altitude factors holds a diverse array of plantlife with scrubland on the peaks and forests of oak and other species in the valleys along with important riverside woodlands. The flora of the park is characterized by a deciduous forest, with Pyrenean oak (Quercus pyrenaica), birch (Betula celtiberica) and Mediterranean elements such as strawberry tree and holly. There are several endemic plants such as the Portuguese laurel (Prunus lusitanica) which is a species that colonizes ravines and other areas of high humidity.

Other interesting plantlife some on the endangered list for the area are: Arabis juressi, Armeria humilis subsp. odorata, Christella dentata, Eryngium duriaei subsp. juresianum, Iris boissieri, Prunus lusitanica, Ranunculus bupleuroides, Selinum carvifolia subsp. broteri, Sedum pruinatum, Serratula legionensis, Silene marizii, Spiranthes aestivalis, Thymelaea broteriana and Veronica micrantha.

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Fauna

There is a healthy population of Iberian wolf in this area and their prey such as wild boar, red deer and Spanish Ibex.

Look out for the Galician pony or garrano, reintroduced into the region under a programme of recuperation of native species. There are also healthy populations of wildcat, the genet, otter, hare, rabbit and mink.

30 species of amphibians and reptiles have been recorded in the area including golden-striped salamander (Chioglossa lusitanica), large psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus), ladder snake (Zamensis scalaris) and latastes viper (Vipera latasti).

Baixa Limia-Serra do Xures Natural Park is also a special protection area for birds (ZEPA) thanks to its richness in birdlife and stands out for the typical Mediterranean and mountain species of Euro-Siberian regions (and for the species present in the two reservoirs of the park). Look out for golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), eagle owl (Bubo bubo), Hen harrier (Circus cyaneus), Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus), Common snipe (Gallinago gallinago), Bonelli’s eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus), Red kite (Milvus milvus) and Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus).

Not to miss in the Baixa Limia-Serra do Xures Natural Park

  • The mámoas road, which runs through the Leboreiro mountain range and where the Xurés, the Quinxo and the Peneda can be seen. In its heights the necropolises, the tombs and mámoas stand out.
  • A Queguas, where the megalithic remains of the Casa da Moura are located.
  • Padrendo, to see the plain of the Chan do Ventoselo and the mountains of Santa Eufemia and the Xurés.
  • Hermitage of Xurés, between valleys of the Vilameá and the Mine of the Shadows (Mina das Sombras) where the summits with impressive granite formations and the mining operation can be seen.
  • The Corga da Fecha, which goes from the thermal village of Lobios to the Ponte Nova following the Roman Via Nova.
  • Vilameá river, where the mills of this river and an alvariza stand out.
  • From Cela to Pitões, a route that goes up from Cela to Portela de Pitões.

Information/Visitors Centers

The emphasis in the tourist offices in this area is mainly about the roman history. There are some fascinating museums and information points in various towns and villages.

Centro de Interpretación “Aquae Querquennae Via Nova

The main offices of the Interpretation Centre for the Baixa Limia-Serra do Xures Natural Park are easy to find, located in the spa town of Lobios

Aquis Quequennis Complejo Arqueológico Romano

For Roman history a vist to the Archaeological Roman Complex is highly recommended.
Website: https://eng.querquennis.com/centro-de-interpretacion/

The official tourist website for the area is here: https://www.turismo.gal/que-visitar/espazos-naturais/parques-naturais/parque-natural-baixa-limia-serra-do-xures?langId=en_US


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