The Faia Brava Reserve is the first privately owned protected area in Portugal. The Reserve was created by the Association for Transhumance and Nature (ATN), which was born from a Portuguese-Dutch partnership with TNF – Transhumance and Nature Foundation. Faia Brava extends along the River Côa which in this area runs between granite cliffs where rock-dwelling birds nest. There are 800 hectares entirely dedicated to the conservation of nature, and designated an Important Bird Area (IBA) by the NGO Birdlife International. Bird watching, walking tours, unexpected outdoor meals and pic-nicks, are some possible experiences to do in Faia Brava.
The valleys of the Douro and Águeda Rivers, which mark a natural boundary between Portugal and Spain, have unique characteristics in terms of their geology, climate, flora, fauna and human activity. The steep slopes and cliffs are protected for rock-dwelling birds and there is a remarkable diversity of indigenous vegetation. In the southern part of the Natural Park two walking trails stands out: Santo André, with stunning viewpoints, and Calçada de Alpajares, which incorporated a roman road.
A walk through the Côa Valley in the company of Sr. José Monteiro and his flock of sheep is an unforgettable experience. We discover this landscape up close, from within, following the flock of this shepherd who knows this territory like the palm of his hand. His family have been at this trade for generations, and Sr. José has been “born and bread in these crags”.