The Côa Valley, a yet relatively unknown place in Portugal near to the border with Spain, with amazing birdlife, home to one of Portugal’s most important, large, independent nature reserve – Faia Brava. An area where wild nature and wildlife is coming back.
The river gorges, oak forests, rocky heathlands and scattered fields constitute a spectacular mix in the 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.