Sierra do Caurel

Sierra do Caurel

The sierra del Caurel (serra do Courel in Galician) is a mountain range located in the SE of the province of Lugo, in the autonomous community of Galicia which extends through the municipalities of the Caurel region: Folgoso do Courel, for the most part, Quiroga and Pedrafita do Cebreiro. It covers an area of 21,020 hectares with strong variations in altitude ranging from 400-500m in the Lor river valley to more than 1600m at the highest points such as Montouto, Formigueiros (1643m) or the peak of Pía Páxaro (1610m). The río Lor  and its various tributaries form rich valleys with diverse ecosystems that make this mountain range the most important botanical reserve in Galicia.

La sierra del Caurel is home to the largest natural jewel of Galicia, the Devesa da RogueiraThe forest is an autochthonous forest, where practically all the natural plant species of Galicia that do not have a coastal environment coexist. Chestnut, holly, beech, yew, oak and birch trees and wild orchids stand out, but in the region it is also possible to find species such as holm oaks, cork oaks, and even some olive trees more closely linked to the Mediterranean climate, some of which are also present in the Devesa da Rogueira.

In terms of fauna, the area is considered a secondary area of Cantabrian fauna, where the most significant species (wolf and bear) disappeared during the 20th century, although there are occasional traces of these species visiting the region without becoming established on a regular basis. Attempts have been made to reintroduce Cantabrian birds occasionally with varying success. In terms of fish farming, the quality of the district's waters allows for the breeding of white trout.

The geography of the mountain range itself is linked to its history, and the peak of Pía Paxaro, It owes its name to the fact that a metallic eagle from the Roman Imperial period was found on its summit. However, the archaeological work carried out in the area is of little importance as it is a very remote enclave from the major Roman trade routes. Romeor There is also a primitive aqueduct from the Roman period, as well as some well documented gold mines from the same period. The most ethnologically important constructions are the pallozas, although they are still rare today. There are still some old wooden bridges crossing wide rivers that should be restored for their preservation.