Zamora Natural Spaces
Arribes del Duero
In the west of Zamora and Salamanca, where the Duero makes border with Portugal and it is boxed almost forming the deepest and extensive tubes - a hundred of kilometers of all Iberian Peninsula, is the region of "Los Arribes". A space natural privileged in that they emphasize the rustic beauty of his granítico landscape and a rich one and varied fauna and flora.
The relief of You arrive Them it belongs to the dominion of the Paleozóico Socle and is constituted fundamentally by granites and granodioritas. Their more beautiful landscapes have been formed by the rivers Duero, Huebra and Uces. In the tube of this last one one of the most beautiful and spectacular cascades of all the Peninsula is located: the Well of the Smoke("Pozo de los Humos"), where the water falls from more than 200 meters of height.
Lago de Sanabria
During the Upper Pleistocene age, over 100,000 years ago, an impressive glacier with ice tongues of more than 20 kilometres in length gave rise to what is currently known as the Lago de Sanabria.Today, its 318 hectares of surface area and depth reaching 51 metres make it the largest lake in the Iberian peninsula.
The abundant forests surrounding the Lago de Sanabria are formed by Pyrenean oaks. There are also interesting clumps of holly and yew trees while birch trees and alders are plentiful in the banks of the rivers that descend from the summits or link the different lakes contained within the natural park.
Nocturno, Lago de Sanabria On gaining altitude, the woods are substituted with thickets of escabon, buckthorn and heather. In Sanabria there are also endemic species: the Carqueixa Sanabresa and the Geranium bohenicum. In terms of fauna, the golden eagle, wolf, roe deer, Bocage's lizard and Seoane's viper deserve special mention.
In addition to is high environmental value, the Parque Natural de Sanabria offers valuable historic, artistic and cultural resources. Along with the interesting Romanesque monastery of Santa María, located in San Martín de Castañeda -headquarters of the Centro de Interpretación del Parque Natural (Natural Park Interpretation Centre)-, especially notable is the collection of urban monuments in Puebla de Sanabria and the numerous examples of popular architecture distributed among other towns of the zone.
Lagunas de Villafáfila
In the north-eastern part of the province of Zamora and in the middle of Tierra de Campos lies the collection of lakes, Las Lagunas de Villafáfila, one of the most important wetlands of northern Spain and, undoubtedly, the most popular area for aquatic, steppe and migratory birds in Castilla y León.
This zone is formed by three main lakes - Salina Grande, Barillos and Salinas - and other smaller wetlands, which rest on the clay soils surrounding the semi-endoreic basin of the river Salado. Around these flooded areas is a region dominated by farmlands, which are home to one of the most famous birds of Villafáfila: the great bustard. There are almost 2,000 great bustards living in Villafáfila, making it the largest colony of this species in the world. The huge number of greylag geese that choose to spend the winter at the lakes is another notable feature of the area.
Very near Villafáfila are the ruins of the Cistercian monastery of Moreruela, which have been colonised by a great number of white storks. In this region, the visitor can also see those authentic, but practically unknown, jewels of rural architecture: dovecotes.
Sierra de la Culebra
The extensive territory of the Sierra de la Culebra rises in the north-eastern region of the province of Zamora, surrounded by the counties of Aliste, la Carballeda, Sanabria, Tierra de Campos and the Portuguese county, Tras Os Montes.
This gentle and modest hill landscape - the highest point is 1,243 metres, the summit of Peña Mira - is the result of erosion of the ancient materials comprising pleated outcrops of slate, granite, quartzite and gneiss from the Ordovicic period.
The primitive oak and holm oak woods have been substituted by artificial plantations of conifers and extensive areas of heather and rockrose. This region provides home to the largest population of wolves in Western Europe.