FAIA BRAVA RESERVE

A room for nature

Located in the Coa Valley, along the border of Guarda District, the Faia Brava Reserve covers about 1000ha of land. In this sector, the steep slopes of the river are formed by granite outcroppings and cliffs, a good habitat for the cliff-breeding birds. This area is inserted in the Coa Valley SPA (Natura 2000) and IBA (Birdlife International Important Bird Area) and, finally, in the Archaeological Park of the Coa Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 2010 the Faia Brava Reserve was classified by the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Institute (ICNB) as the first private protected area of the country and is also currently a pilot area of the European project Rewilding Europe, for the creation of wild natural areas and for the development of nature tourism in Europe.

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 (Ciconia nigra), Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata), Eagle Owl (Bubo Bubo), Alpine Swift (Apus melba) and, recently, White-rumped Swift (Apus caffer). Other interesting birds are the Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus), the Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus), the European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster), the Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius), the Orphean Warbler (Sylvia hortensis), the Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), the Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans), the Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator), the Iberian Magpie (Cyanopica cooki), the Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor), the Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis), At the Reserve we can still found an interesting representation of reptiles, with Spiny-footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus erythruros), Ocellated Lizard (Timon lepidus), Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus), Moorish Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica), Spanish Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Ladder Snake (Elaphe scalaris), and amphibians such as Bosca’s Newt (Triturus boscai), Marbled Newt (Triturus marmoratus) and Iberian Water Frog (Rana perezi). There are also a great diversity of insects but, the emphasis is on butterflies like the Moroccan Orange Tip (Anthocharis euphenoides), the Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), the Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), the Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia).

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.

Other values:

The rock engravings and cave paintings of Faia (UNESCO), 10 traditional dovecotes, the Maronesa herd of cows and the Garrano horses in semi-wild state.

Four ways to experience Faia Brava Reserve

4×4 Safari
Walking
Photo tour
Hide photography

 

Côa River through Faia Brava Reserve
Moroccan Orange Tip
Hide for vultures
Hide for vultures
500 years old Cork Oak
Large Psammadromus