Montesinho Natural Park has its limits within the municipalities of Vinhais and Bragança, in Trás-os-Montes region. It occupies about 74 229 hectares area of the Portuguese northeast, in the border with Spain, and it is part of the biosphere reserve of the Iberian plateau.
This Natural Park has a smooth and rounded landscape embossment. Altitude range is between 438 meters and 1 482meters, with valleys ripped apart by rivers. The Habitats and Flora communities are very diverse as consequence of the geographic position, altitude, geological and geomorphological diversity and human activity that is shaping those landscapes for millennia. Those conditions allowed to some species to spread, with the highlights turned to heather bushes, rockrose and broom, natural meadows, chestnut groves, holm oak groves, riverside ecosystems, ultrabasic vegetation, oak woods, and more. As one of the highlights the oak florests located in the Natural Park, dominated by Pyrenean oak Quercus pyrenaica are part of a continuum that extends to the Nogueira mountain range, constituting one of the largest and most important spots of this wood species.
This Habitat richness in Montesinho Natural Park allows, of course, for an amazing Fauna biodiversity to become possible. Habitats breadth in this mountain area, shelter about 110 breeding bird species. Also about 70% of land mammals occurring in Portugal are referenced in this Nature Park. Regarding reptiles and amphibians, about 50% of Iberian endemisms present in mainland Portugal, can be observed in this area.
Ancient human presence in this place has built a valuable cultural heritage and a very distinctive and own identity. This identity is carved in rural customs, in music, dancing, in their tools, in monuments and in the popular architecture like the communitarian ovens, forges and mills, where old traditions still take place throughout several festivities.
Montesinho Natural Park is part of the network of Protected Areas of Portugal and you can learn more about in the Portuguese Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests’ webpage.