- Region: Castilla y León (León)
- Declared a biosphere reserve: 2005
- Surface area: 33,000 hectares
- Towns and villages: Cármenes (Almuzara, Campo, Canseco, Felmín, Genicera, Gete, Getino, Lavandera, Pedrosa, Piedrafita, Piornedo, Pontedo, Rodillazo, Tabanedo, Valverdín, Villanueva de Pontedo). Valdelugueros (Arintero, La Braña, Cerulleda, Lugueros, Llamazares, Redilluera, Redipuertas, Tolibia de Abajo, Tolibia de Arriba, Valdeteja, Valverde de Curueño, Villaverde de la Cuerna). Vegacerver (Coladilla, Valporquero de Torío, Valle de Vegacervera, Villar del Puerto
Points of interest
The spectacular scenery of Los Argüellos biosphere reserve is located north of the city of León and may one day be a part of the proposed “Great Cantabrian Biosphere Reserve” which together with Redes, Somiedo and Muniellos would be the first biosphere reserve in Europe to cover an entire ‘ecoregion’.
A varied vegetation is present here, ranging from alpine grasslands to an abundant series of woodland species such as the juniper, beech, birch and groves of oak (Quercus pyrenaica). Other ecosystems present are the the sub-steppe areas of annual grasses and highland peatbogs.
There are numerous caves in the area such as Valporquero, Llamazares and Barredo and also the spectacular gorges of Vegacervera and Baldeteja. The caves in the area are home to 15 of the 26 species of bats existing in the Iberian Peninsula an together with them are many birds of prey and two iconic vertebrates of Cantabrian mountain ecosystems: the Grey Partridge and the Cantabrian Hare.
The presence of the Cantabrian brown bear, one of the most endangered species in the Iberian Peninsula is one of the main reasons for this areas plans to be incorporated at the planning stage of the “Great Cantabrian Biosphere Reserve” as this is a critical area linking western and eastern populations.
A must visit if you are in the area is the Cueva de Valporquero that has been open to the public for more than 50 years. You can by tickets online here: http://www.cuevadevalporquero.es/ Or ask in the info center (details below)
Find a hotel close to Los Argüellos biosphere reserve
Information / visitor centres
The village of Valdelugueros has opened a tourist office but there does not seem to be a dedicated interpretation centre for Los Argüellos biosphere reserve
The official website (in Spanish) for Los Argüellos biosphere reserve is : http://losargüellosbiosfera.es/
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