The Greater Côa Valley, a relatively unknown place in northern Portugal near to the border with Spain. It has amazing birdlife and is home to Portugal’s only private protected area – the Faia Brava Reserve. An area where wild nature and wildlife are coming back.
The river gorges, oak forests, rocky heathlands and scattered fields constitute a spectacular mix in the Greater Côa Valley, between Douro river and Malcata mountain ranges.
An unprecedented, large-scale opportunity exists here today for the rewilding of this beautiful area in Portugal. The abandonment of a big part of the valley has brought a new opportunity for rewilding and the comeback of wildlife. More than 100,000 hectares of land here have already been set aside for conservation in the form of Natura 2000 areas, with an interesting mix of natural and semi-natural habitats.
Montados, mountain ranges and river gorges are popular with cliff loving animals such as vultures and eagles, together with river valleys inhabited by otters and pond turtles. On the poorer soils on granite bedrock, the landscape is dominated by very small land holdings that have had cultivation based on olives, almonds, and cereals – which are now also increasingly being abandoned.