With nearly 6,000 hectares and a location in the Macizo Central in Ourense, O Invernadeiro extends through rolling green hills and steep rocky landscapes. 

These are the domains of the wolf, boar, ermine and marten. And deer, chamois and wild mountain cats, as well. A paradise that must be preserved. A permit is required. But the experience is unforgettable. 

There are six routes. Thus, even if you're not an expert, you can stalk both deer and roe deer... A magical moment. Only here can you see whole forests of holly, rowan and yew, trees sacred to the Celts, overflown by eagles, hawks and white vultures. Because O Invernadeiro is home to the largest concentration of raptors in Galicia.

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Mountain Lesson

There are no human settlements within the limits of O Invernadeiro. Everything is nature.

Its history goes back to ancient times, undivided since the Middle Ages, and used then for grazing and hunting. Halfway through the last century it was made into an authorized reforestation area and continued as such until a fire changed its purpose in 1979. From its ashes it rose again with a commitment to environmental recuperation which was consolidated definitively in 1997 when it was declared a Natural Park. Today it has one of the region’s best nature departments for learning in depth about life in the Ourense Macizo Central.

The ancient Galician mountains, which within the limits of the Park reach a height of 1,500 metres, combine the wild charm of the rock with the smoothness of great rounded masses. This type of mountain harbours many wildlife species, represented principally by the wolf and its prey, the roe deer and the wild boar. The rivers in this space, as occurred with the glaciers in ancient times, live the mountain’s great moment. The twin rivers Ribeira Grande and Ribeira Pequena set the river rhythm.

 

Not to be Missed

Permission for access must be sought in advance and all trips must be made on foot along set routes. Group visits can be arranged for a minimum of five people. The nature workshop of Ribeira Grande and the activities, it offers are highly recommended for school groups and other collectives.

It is a unique experience, isolated in nature and covering the wolf’s extensive hunting grounds. On some of these routes a surprising glacial cirque can be seen and also several waterfalls, such as the Arcos. Of special interest in the Ribeira Pequena is the enclosure route which takes us to the area where deer and other ungulates live in semi-liberty. The stars of the Park are the deer, mountain goat, bucks, chamois and the mouflons. They inhabit enclosures which facilitate control of the population and give visitors one of their most pleasant memories.

Central Massif

O Invernadeiro is the heart of a vast, practically unpopulated mountain region. The highest peaks are found on the Queixa mountain range, where the Manzaneda mountain station stands at 1,782 metres, and the San Mamede mountain range (1,619 m). The region has abundant rain and snow falls, but also significant seasonal periods of drought.

From A Proba de Trives we can ascend to the Manzaneda winter station, whose many tourist options mean that activity is not just limited to the ski season. It is the starting point of several hill walking routes in search of ancient glacial activity in the mountain. We can also opt to continue on to Celeiros, the municipal capital of Chandrexa de Queixa.

There are two possibilities on the other slope of the massif. On the one hand, in the Vilariño de Conso municipality, we find the enclaves of Pradoalbar, where the river fills the valley with great beauty, and Chaguazoso, where a spectacular glacial moraine and the river Cenza waterfall can be seen.

Halfway up the mountain there are extensive tree-covered areas. Indigenous forests of great botanical interest, with their mix of Atlantic and Mediterranean species like the common oak and the Pyrenean oak. One of the most curious forests is the Bidueiral de Montederramo, covering some 250 hectares in the municipality of Gabín, brought about by the need for this wood of the formerly numerous zoqueiros (craftsmen making clogs) and carpenters in the area.

On the other hand, there is the river Bibei gorge in O Bolo. This photograph par excellence is framed by the baroque shrine of As Ermidas overhanging the mountain between the hillside grapevines and olive groves, both good indications of climate. Here we can find excellent examples of the terraces used to overcome the problem of the steep drop. The river took part in and also resisted this long history of humanization which started in ancient times, as is seen by the solid Roman bridge of Bibei, still able to support the weight of modern traffic.

Outstanding Nature

Good recuperation of the arboreal stratum and the pine groves. In the shelter of the steep slopes grow mature forests of indigenous trees. Excellent examples of midmountain bushy growth.

The fauna represents the most complete trophic pyramid. Bio-indicators of the health of river ecosystems such as the otter and other species even more scarce in the rest of Spain.

Other information of interest

Location

  • Natural Park entirely in the municipality of Vilariño de Conso. The Macizo Central reaches the mountain area of the central Ourense region comprising the municipalities of O Bolo Chandrexa de Queixa, Laza, Manzaneda, A Pobra de Trives, Viana do Bolo, Vilariño de Conso, Quiroga, Larouco and Montederramo.
  • The Bidueiral extends across the municipalities of Montederramo and Vilar de Barrio.

Area

  • 5,722 hectares. ZEC : 46,829.43 hectares.
  • ZEC “Bidueiral de Montederramo” 1,948.55 hectares.

Access

  • There is access to the reserve from Verín on the OU-114 local road to Laza, and from there, taking the turnoff to Campobecerros. To get to the Macizo Central from the north, take the C- 536 road with turnoffs in O Castro de Caldelas or in A Pobra de Trives to reach Manzaneda. To get to the Canón del Bibei, take the C-533 Petín-A Gudiña road and turn off to the As Ermidas shrine.

Services

  • Accommodation and food in locations inside the ZEC Macizo Central.

More information

  • Written permission to visit the Natural Park must be obtained from the Servizo de Conservación da Natureza de Ourense Rúa do Paseo, 18 – 5º. Ourense.
    Tel: 988 386 376 - 988 386 029
    e-mail: servizo.conservacion.natureza.ourense@xunta.es

Facilities

  • Reception Centre
  • Nature Workshop on the Ribeira Grande.
  • Animal watching station (wild ungulates enclosure).
  • The Nature Workshop has bedrooms and other installations such as a laboratory and projection room where activities, coordinated by monitors, can be carried out.

 

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