Galicia is identified by its rainy landscapes characteristic of the European Atlantic seaboard, although it has a much more varied climate. The Serra da Enciña da Lastra is a clear example. As the name suggests, the dominant vegetation is oak, accompanied by olive, chestnut and strawberry trees. Impressive crags provide home to very special flora and fauna.

Mediterranean rocks and landscapes

The Sil river enters Galicia by breaking through limestone mountains that give rise to spectacular rock formations with large rocky cliffs. The distinctly Mediterranean climate makes the vegetation of this environment more like southern landscapes with oak, olive and strawberry trees as protagonists, in addition to scrub such as rockrose and plants such as thyme and lavender that perfume the air with an unmistakable scent. Small villages surrounded by crops and chestnut groves complete the picture.

The vegetation is particularly unique because in these rare environments grow several endemic plants, while the fauna is not far behind, since there are rare species in the Iberian northwest typical of Mediterranean climates or cliff environments. As such, the Serra da Enciña da Lastra is categorised as a natural park.

The routes
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"Neophron" route by car

BEST TIME

April to June

DISTANCE

23 km, one way

DURATION

2 hours

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Rubiá

PATH

Covas - Biobra - Oulego

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Key points on the route:

  1. The route starts in the vicinity of the village of Covas (1, 2, 3) where peregrine falcon, egyptian vulture, golden eagle, booted eagle, black kite and a host of small birds can be seen.
  2. In the vicinity of Biobra (4), pay attention to eurasian wryneck and common redstart in the chestnut groves.
  3. Between the villages of O Real and O Robledo da Lastra make a stop near the Galir river (5), where the golden oriole can be easily seen.
  4. In the surroundings of Oulego (6) look out for many species of passerines such as the common nightingale.
  5. Retrace your steps and head to Penedos de Oulego (7) where peregrine falcons, griffon vultures and northern goshawks can be spotted. 

"Melba" route by car

BEST TIME

From April to July

DISTANCE

4 km, one way

DURATION

Half hour

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Rubiá

PATH

Vilardesilva and Pardollán

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Key points on the route:

  1. At km 441 of the N 120 road head towards Vilardesilva. Pay attention to the right since (1) the cliffs often have alpine swifts. Different species of warbler, such as the subalpine warbler, and european bee-eater can also be seen.
  2. The scrubland in the area around Vilardesilva is also conducive to seeing subalpine warbler.
  3. After passing Vilardesilva (2) there is a small viewing (3) area with spectacular views. It is worth a stop for a while to see short-toed snake eagle and european honey buzzard.
  4. In Pardollán (4) small passerines such as the eurasian bullfinch can be seen.

"Phoenicurus" route on foot

BEST TIME

From April to July

DISTANCE

6 km

DURATION

2 hours

DIFFICULTY

Low

COUNCILS

Rubiá

PATH

Covas

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Key points on the route:

  1. In the vicinity of the village of Covas (1) such interesting species as common redstart, spotted flycatcher and garden warbler can be seen.
  2. The train stop (2) provides a good view of the reservoir, where it is possible to see great crested grebes. In spring pay attention to groups of house martins and swallows since there may be a red-rumped swallow amongst them.
  3. Black kites can be seen almost constantly in the surroundings, but also pay attention to other raptors such as the booted eagle.
  4. Going up Pereda stream (3), listen to the rocks, where the blue rock thrush can be heard singing.
  5. In the upper part of the route (4) there is a good view of most of the crags and, with some luck, egyptian vulture and golden eagle can be seen.

 

"Jynx" route on foot

BEST TIME

From April to June

DISTANCE

1.5 hours

DURATION

1,5 hours

DIFFICULTY

Low

COUNCILS

Rubiá

PATH

Biobra

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Key points on the route:

  1. In the village of Biobra (1) there are passerines such as house martins, swallows and nightingales.
  2. The route runs through open chestnut (2) groves which are perfect for watching eurasian wryneck, common redstart and woodchat shrike.
  3. Pay attention to the summit line of the mountains (3), where various raptors often fly overhead.
The birds

One of the biggest attractions of this range is the presence of cliff birds (birds common to rocky terrain, particularly cliffs), with raptors being the most notable examples. The egyptian vulture, peregrine falcon and golden eagle nest here. Also characteristic of rocky environments are red-billed choughs, alpine swifts and blue rock thrushes.

The forests provide the territory for raptors such as the booted eagle and short-toed snake eagle, together with species such as the eurasian wryneck and common redstart. Notable in the scrub is the choir as warblers such as the subalpine warbler while the air is filled with the song of bee-eaters and nightingales and in the swamp great crested grebes and red-rumped swallows display their choreographies.

Tips and resources
  • The Serra da Enciña da Lastra is a natural park. Respect its rules at all times. Remember that there are sensitive areas where passage is not allowed.

  • If the day is sunny, the heat can be intense. Bring water and sunscreen. 

  • Drive carefully in the area, the N-120 road has heavy traffic.

Arriba