he mountain ranges of Os Ancares and O Courel extend through Lugo, on the border with Asturias and León. They are the largest natural area in Galicia...
Ancares is the original name of the river which has given its voice to the magical mountains between Galicia and León. It exerts its magnetism from afar, pinned to horizons at about two thousand metres. One enters them, with admiration and respect, along roads that go towards the peaks, anchored to deep, narrow valleys.
In the highest villages we discover the pallozas, ancient circular constructions with pounded straw roofs. Their curved but majestic forms are inspired by the summits of the smooth and wild mountains.
The rivers that descend from the Galician side all flow into the river Navia, that completely encircles the protected space in the west, and takes the waters towards the Cantabrian Sea. A good example is the beautiful valley carved out by the river Ser or the gorges of the river Rao, in the municipality of Navia de Suarna. The Leon side, on the other hand, flows south, into the Sil Basin.
The declaration of Os Ancares as a biosphere reserve in Galicia and Castilla and León, involved their incorporation as units of the Gran Cantábrica, a whole sequence of natural spaces of great environmental value in the north of Spain. The brown bear, its most famous symbol, also uses this Lugo region as part of its territory.