- Region: Galicia
- Province: Orense
- Declared a Natural Park: 2002
- Park surface area: 3,151 hectares
- Towns and Villages: Rubiá, Oulego, O Robledo, Porto, O Real, Biobra, Covas, Vilardesilva, Pardollán
Points of interest
The Serra da Enciña da Lastra Natural Park is a protected area that includes the surroundings of the Serra da Enciña da Lastra mountains and a limestone valley with steep slopes and cliffs, including the pena (rock) falcoeira , the Inferno valley (val do Inferno) and the penedos de Oulego (Oulego cliffs).
This area holds the the largest area of oak forest in Galicia. The river Sil flows for about four kilometers along the eastern end of the park and in is damned to create the Penarrubia reservoir.
The highest points of the mountain range are O Piornal at 1529 meters and the Pena Tara at 1089 meters on the cliffs of Oulego.
There are outstanding holm oak woods, ancient chestnut groves and Mediterranean scrubland with fields of wild thyme and flowering plants endemic to limy soil and more than 25 species or orchid. The gorges and sheer river passes are the habitats of birds of prey and other birds which make the park an interesting ornithological refuge. It has the largest concentration of nesting birds in Galicia and there are also large colonies of bats residing in the caves.
Some areas of the Serra da Enciña da Lastra Natural Park have restricted access. It is important to ask in the information centre if any of the routes that you want to walk requires a permit or is closed depending on the time of year.
Find a hotel close to the Serra da Enciña da Lastra Natural Park
This is a true A botanists delight with more than 450 species of vascular flora is known in the area with many plants local to the region and a least 40 species are endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. Six are from Galicia: Armeria rothmaleri, Campanula adsurgens, Dianthus merinoi, Leontodon farinosus, Petrocoptis grandiflora, Rhamnus pumila subspecies legionensis.
Orchids are well represented with around 25 species with 6 being endemic to Galicia. Among the different species, are those of the genus Ophrys, which simulate the body of a bee. The Orchis italica Poir develops numerous populations of great showiness. Some of the species, extraordinary from the point of view of their rarity at the Galician level, are the pyramidal orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis, Cephalanthera rubra, Limodorum abortivum and Orchis purpurea .
There is a special significanceof the plant communities attached to limestone rocks including Campanula adsurgens, Crepis albida subsp. asturica, Festuca burnatii, Leontodon farinosus and Petrocoptis grandiflora.
The list of mammals in the Serra da Enciña da Lastra Natural Park is impressive with the presence of almost 50 species. This includes 9 species of bat such as the Mediterranean horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus euryale), Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii), Schreibers’s bat (Miniopterus schreibersii) and the European free-tailed bat (Tadarida teniotis).
Other mammals include wild cat (Felis sylvestris), otter (Lutra lutra), ermine (Mustela erminea), badger (Meles meles), European polecat (Mustela putorius), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), wild boar (Sus scrofa) and Stone martin (Martes foina ).
Less common is the Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus), which appears to occur occasionally in the area.
Viewpoints (Miradores) in the Serra da Enciña da Lastra Natural Park
- Alto da Escrita-Biobra (807 m). Views of the valley of the Galir and the river Sil with impressive cliff formations.
- A Petada-Oulego (760 m). A Beautiful view of Oulego.
- A Portela-Vilardesilva (640 m). Spectacular view of Vilardesilva and the cliff of Penarrubia.
- Caprada north of Oulego (820 m). Stunning view of the north face of the Penedos de Oulego.
- Fuente N-120-Covas (560 m). View of the Covas valley and the river Sil.
- Pardollán (540 m). View of the Sil valley in Penarrubia and Pardollán.
- Tanque-Covas (647 m). The best place in the Park to see birds of prey as from here as you can see the Pena Falcueira. Pena Falcueira has restricted access because it is a reserve area of the Park.
- Tunnel N-120-Covas (540 m). View of the Covas valley and the river Sil.
- Valdesalvador-Biobra (800 m). View of the Galir valley and Serra Malvela.
Hiking and walking in the Serra da Enciña da Lastra Natural Park
Ruta Valle del Sil – Low / Medium – 1.30 h – 5 km – Linear
The route begins in Vilardesilva, in the viewpoint of A Portela (640 m), with a splendid panorama of the rural nucleus seated in a slope in balcony on the dam of Penarrubia, at the foot of an immense cut limestone.
Ruta Tras os Penedos – Low – 25 min – 1.5 km – Circular
The route begins in the rest area of Caprada and has a beautiful panorama of the northern slopes of the impressive Penedos de Oulego.
Ruta Soutos baixo Pena Falcueira – Medium / High – 1.45 h – 3.9 km – Circular
This route begins in the viewpoint area of Tanque (647 m), from which we see a magnificent panorama of the village of Covas
Ruta del “Caleiro” – Med / High – 3 h – 6 km – Linear
The route begins in the lower part of the village of Vilardesilva, along a community path that descends between fields, chestnut groves and pastures with herds of goats. The path descending towards the river gives a magnificent panoramic view of the dammed river Sil.
Ruta de O Real de Oulego – Med – 2.30 h – 4 km – Linear
The path starts in Oulego in the rest area of A Ponte, next to the river Galir and takes you through vinyards and meadows. Take the left along an agricultural road and then cross the two wooden pontoons (Pontón de Lavegos and Pontón de Real de Oulego).
Ruta de la Vía Romana – Med – 3.30 h – 8.6 km – Circular
The path starts in a recreational area next to the river Galir, taking in the direction of the cemetery. Take the first detour to the left to Alto do Coiñal through a section of the Roman road that connected Astorga and Braga. This first section is characterized by crops, cork oaks, scrubland, heaths and meadows
Ruta de la Ermita de Santo Estevo – Med – 3 h – 6 km – Circular
In the rest area near Pardollán strart the walk towards the village. This takes you through forest landscape to the hermitage and mills
Centro de Visitantes del Parque Natural Serra da Enciña da Lastra
Address: Praza dos Bolos, s/n. Biobra
This is a really well presented information center with ample information about what makes Enciña da Lastra a unique and special part of Galicia.
The staff are very well informed and can help with walking routes (See above), history, flora and fauna of the area.
Summer Hours (May 1 to September 30, Tuesday through Sunday)
Morning: 10:30 – 14:00 / Afternoon: 16:00 – 19:30
Closed on Monday
Winter Hours: (March 15 to April 30 and October 1 to November 15 Friday through Sunday)
Morning: 10:30 – 14:00
Closed on Thursday
Iberia Nature Forum
Struggling with identifying those bugs and beasties? Why not check out the Iberia nature Forum!
Discover the Iberia Nature Forum – Environment, geography, nature, landscape, climate, culture, history, rural tourism and travel.