- Region: Galicia
- Province: Orense
- Declared a Natural Park: 1997
- Park surface area: 5722 hectares
- Towns and Villages: Villarino de Conso
Points of interest
The high mountains of the Monte o Invernadeiro Natural Park can only be described as stunning with its peaks and valleys covered in grasses, large extensions of scrub, woodland and riverside habitat. The area receives maximum protection and admits a maximum of just 30 visitors per day so a permit from the park authorities is required in order to enter the protected area. (Ask about this in your hotel or other accommodation, maybe they can get the permits for you.)
The park has several interesting trails of biological, geological and cultural interest. Some are the Valdeirexa or Cercados route, the Aceveda route, the A Troitas route, the A Agua route, the A Corga route and the Ortiga route
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The park’s endemic forests are slow-growing and typical of mountain climates. The species that form them and are more abundant are oaks (Quercus robur, Quercus pyrenaica, Quercus petraea). The oak groves are found mainly in the avesedos and valgadas areas and mixed in with them and also found in other areas are holly (Ilex aquifolium), hazel (Corylus avellana), ash (Fraxinus excelsior), hazelnut (Corylus avellana), Alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus), birch (Betula celtiberica), yew (Taxus baccata), willow (Salix caprea), blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus). There are also plantations of various pine species scattered around.
In higher areas species like Erica australis subsp. aragonensis can be seen, and at slightly lower altitudes Genista tridentata. In the rocks and crevices endemisms like Armeria ciliata or Dianthus langeanus are present.
In the shady areas of the forests there is a wealth of ferns and endemics plants such as Aphanolejaeunea microscopica, Anemone trifolia subspecies albida and Eryngium duriaei subspecies juresianum
There are various species of amphibians and reptiles to look out for such as Iberian frog (Rana iberica), European common frog (Rana temporaria) and Iberian tree frog (Hyla molleri). Some of the reptiles are Iberian rock lizard (Iberolacerta monticola), Shreibers green lizard (Lacerta schreiberi). The ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus ibericus), Iberian wall lizard (Podarcis hispanica), Bocage’s wall lizard (Podarcis bocagei ), Smooth snake(Coronella austriaca), Seoane viper (Vipera seoanei), Latastes viper (Vipera latastei), viperine water snake (Natrix maura) and grass snake (Natrix natrix)
The Iberian wolf is present here with a stable population and they feed on wild ungulates such as roe deer, red deer, Spanish ibex, wild boar,and the Iberian hare. Other mammals present are wildcat (Felis silvestris), Stone marten (Martes martes), ermine (Mustela erminea), European polecat (Mustela putorius), otter (Lutra lutra), badger (Meles meles), genet (Genetta genetta), and fox (Vulpes vulpes).
Regarding the avifauna present, more than 80 species have been recorded and more than 60 breeding in the area such as golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Eagle owl (Bubo bubo), Hen harrier (Circus cyaneus), Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus), Bonelli’s eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus), Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Grey partridge (Perdix perdix subsp. hispaniensis), Common redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica), Tawny pipit (Anthus campestris), little owl (Athene noctua), Tawny owl (Strix aluco), Long-eared owl (Asio otus), Short-toed snake eagle (Circaetus gallicus), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus ), Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus).
Within the park there are several places of geological interest. Some are glacial circuses (at the head of Corga de Aguacenza, in Morrón dos Salgueiros and in Fial das Corzas), others are folds (such as the confluence of A Corga Cenzoá and Ribeira Grande, or the head of Corga da Ortiga), terraces (the alluvial of Ribeira Grande) or embankments (the end of the Ribeira Pequena), others are colluviums (like the one of the Corgo das Cembas-Ribeira Grande) and other waterfalls (like the waterfall and Cristas de Corgo da Buraquiña). Fossil sites are also present , such as those of A Ortiga, Altos do Cernado and O Cernado.
Centro de recepción del Parque Natural de O Invernadeiro
The best place to head for is the Centro de recepción (main visitor centre) del Parque Natural de O Invernadeiro reached via the OU-114 from Verín, turning off on a signposted forest track which leads to the entrance.
(Ribeira Pequena, s/n. 32547 Vilariño de Conso)
Permits can be be obtained in advance from the Servizo de Conservación da Natureza de Ourense Rúa do Paseo, 18 – 5º. Ourense.
Tel: 988 386 376 – 988 386 029
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Ribeira Grande’s Interpretation Centre even if you are unable to get a permit to enter the restricted area as it features the Ruta dos Cercados (Enclosures). This is a great footpath through natural habitat taking you past various enclosures containing red deer, spanish ibex, fallow deer, chamois and mouflon.
The official website for the Monte o Invernadeiro Natural Park is here: https://www.turismo.gal/que-visitar/espazos-naturais/parques-naturais/o-invernadeiro
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