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Located in the Coa Valley, along the border of Guarda District, Faia Brava covers about 1000ha of land. In this sector, the steep slopes of the river are formed by granite outcroppings and cliffs. It is in these places that we find important communities of cliff-breeding birds.
Faia Brava Reserve is part of the Special Protection Area and the Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley (classified by UNESCO). It is a Birdlife International Important Bird Area and has been part of the national network of protected areas since 2010. It is also a pilot area of the European project Rewilding Europe – which promotes the management of abandoned areas, in order to convert them into natural spaces, and the development of nature tourism.
The Coa Valley fauna is quite diverse, and this is the key factor for the value of this natural reserve. The most emblematic animals are the cliff-breeding birds, of which stand out: Black Stork, Egyptian Vulture, Griffon vulture, Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Eagle Owl, Alpine Swift and, recently, White-rumped Swift. Other interesting birds are the Short-toed Snake Eagle, Booted Eagle, European Bee-eater, Blue Rock Thrush, Orphean Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Iberian Magpie, Spotless Starling, Spanish Sparrow.
At the Reserve we can still find an interesting representation of reptiles, with Spiny-footed Lizard, Ocellated Lizard, Large Psammodromus, Moorish Gecko, Spanish Terrapin, Ladder Snake. And amphibians such as Bosca’s Newt, Marbled Newt and Iberian Water Frog. There are also a great diversity of insects but, the emphasis is on butterflies like the Moroccan Orange Tip, Cleopatra, Spanish Marbled White, Southern Gatekeeper.
Among the plants, the focus goes for the Spring flowers, which we emphasize some species of orchids like the Serapias lingua, Serapias cordigera and the Orchis coriophora.
The rock engravings and cave paintings of Faia and Lapas Cabreiras, traditional dovecotes, the Maronesa herd of cows and the Garrano horses in semi-wild state.
On the first day we will explore the reserve with 4×4 vehicle to know the most interesting points of this wilderness area and, on the second day, we will watch the feeding of the vultures through our photo hide.