natural heritage

Submerge into our landscapes, take a deep breath, feel the wind on your face, listen to how the waves crash into the rocks, walk through our unique forests, allow your shoes to fill with sand, lose your way in endless paths at sunset…those are the magical, unspoilt and preserved places in Northern Galicia.


Areas under the Habitats Directive (LIC) Red Natura 2000

In order to preserve the natural, scientific, educational aspects of the landscape declared as protected areas by the Zona de Especial Protección de los Valores Naturales (ZEPVN) or the Zona de Especial Conservación (ZEC). These areas are included in the Red Natura 2000 Plan (Directive CEE 79/409 e 92/43) and cannot be damaged or destroyed.

          •  As Catedrais
          •  Carballido
          •  Costa Ártabra
          •  Costa de la Mariña Occidental
          •  Estaca de Bares
          •  Fragas do Eume
          •  Monte Maior
          •  Ortigueira-Mera
          •  Ría de Foz-Masma
          •  Río Eo
          •  Río Landro
          •  Río Ouro
          •  Serra do Xistral
          •  Xubia-Castro

Natural Parks

They are protected for the beauty of their landscapes and ecosystems. These are areas that are uninhabited and are preserved. Galicia has six natural parks, one found here:

          •  Parque Natural Fragas do Eume

Natural Monuments

These monuments are protected because of their uniqueness, the beauty of their surroundings or elements of nature (geological formations or paleontological findings). In order to preserve their nature, all activity carried out must be respectful. This can be applied to eight natural wonders in all of Galicia, two can be visited here:

          •  Playa da As Catedrais
          •  Souto da Retorta
Biosphere Reserves

UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) promotes the sustainable development for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments. This programme created the World Network of Biosphere Reserves which attempts to find the balance in the relationship between the biological ecosystems and social and economic development. There are three identifies reserves in Galicia, of which two are found in the North:

          •  The Eo and Oscos Rivers and Terras de Burón
          •  Terras do Miño
Other biological ecosystems

Galicia possesses a unique landscape. There are many reasons the varied richness in its landscape. These are varied climate conditions, bio-geographical contrasts, uninhabited areas, and the relationships between people and their environments. This is why there are many areas, that although are not officially protected, are of incalculable richness and worthy of mention. An example can be found in this area:

          •  The Rei Cintolo Cave

Wetlands of International Importance- RAMSAR

Five wetland areas are found in Galicia and have been declared of international importance by the Ramsar Convention:

          •  Laguna y arenal de Valdoviño
          •  Ría de Ortigueira y Ladrido
          •  Ría del Eo
Bird Protection Areas (ZEPA)

Special protection areas for birds (ZEPA) are defined by the European commission as those that pay special care to the preservation of bird species that are in danger of extinction. For this purpose it is essential to preserve their natural habitats for their reproduction. These areas are distributed along the coast as well as in mountain areas:

          •  Costa A Mariña Occidental
          •  Espacio marino de la Costa de Ferrolterra-Valdoviño
          •  Espacio marino Punta Candieira-Ría Ortigueira-Estaca Bares
          •  Ferrolterra – Valdoviño
          •  Ría de Foz
          •  Ría de Ortigueira y Ladrido
          •  Ribadeo


From Ribadeo to Ferrol, the beaches of Northern Galicia are considered among the best in Spain. Unspoilt, surrounded by pine trees, dunes that remind one of a postcard from the Sahara, cool and pure, to be enjoyed by bathers and surfers. Not only for swimming, but also to be contemplated…even if it is under an umbrella!
There are those that are quiet and secluded, and others in an unspoilt wilderness of their own. The Atlantic and Cantabrian piece together the coast that allow us to enjoy them year round.

Rías (fiords)

The Rias Gallegas (Galician fiords) are similar to the sea’s long arms that penetrate into the land and thereby defining the landscape of Galicia. The Rias also define the magical spirit of the inhabitants. In a surprising union between the sea and the land different elements are contrasted: the ocean and the land, the magical and reality, and the human with the colossal. A union of two elements that may carry to the afterlife. Is this the place where the horizon merges with one’s dreams? Here, mankind is only a visitor because the Rias are the kingdom of hurons, fish, seagulls, cormorants and the tireless terns…princes of the sky and the sea.

          •  Ría do Barqueiro
          •  Ría de Cedeira
          •  Ría de Ferrol
          •  Ría de Foz
          •  Ría de Ortigueira
          •  Ría de Ribadeo
          •  Ría de Viveiro