Fuentes del Narcea shire, formed by Cangas del Narcea, Ibias and Degaña townships, encloses the Fuentes del Narcea, Degaña e Ibias Natural Park and the Muniellos-Fuentes del Narcea Biosphere Reserve.
It is home to the best sessile oak groves in Spain and, possibly, the best preserved in all Western Europe. The best presence of these groves is in Muniellos Natural Reserve, although there are other oak groves as important as them in the shady part of Degaña Valley. Besides oak groves, Muniellos-Fuentes del Narcea Biosphere Reserve has also many other types of forest such as deciduous forest or alpine forest including beech groves (in the area of Monasterio de Hermo), birch groves, holly groves, etc. All these different forests as a whole are the most significant, varied and with more fauna of all the Cantabrian area.
This Biosphere Reserve is the largest sanctuary of the endangered Cantabrian fauna since it is home simultaneously to some of the best preserved populations of Brown bear and Cantabrian Capercaillie, besides significant populations of Iberian wolf. There is also one of the most western populations of the Cantabrian Mountains of chamois and many other characteristic species of the Cantabrian fauna. In addition, there are samples of glacial modeling with a lot of glacial basins and large screes and quarries. In some of these basins, it is possible to find mires and little lakes such as Arbás, Fuentes del Narcea, Chagueños or Fasgueo.
It also preserves ancient ethnographic remains linked to traditional forestry, cattle and agricultural activities. For instance, the “cortinos” and “talameiros” (two types of special hives built to protect the bee from the bear), the “brañas” (old cabins to keep the cattle safe) for the cattle or the cunqueiru or tixileiro craftsmanship (to make kitchen wooden tools using an old pedal lathe) with its own argot; the “tixileiro”. Finally, in its immediate surroundings, it exists the only winemaking area of the whole Cantabrian Mountains that reappearing in the last few years after a period of decline.
Kind of area
Biosphere Reserve, Natural Park, Natura 2000 Network
Commitment to sustainable tourism
The Biosphere Reserve and the touristic companies belong to Tourism Product Club “Spanish Biosphere Reserves”.
The accommodation network is commited with the conservation of the environment participating in training activities to raise awareness about the natural values, and working in the development of sustainable ecotouristic products.
The Natural Park counts with a Public Use Plan and a representative trail network of the environmental values.
Principado de Asturias
Map of Fuentes del Narcea