Alto Bernesga Biosphere Reserve

  • Bridge over the Bernesga River. León

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Alto Bernesga Biosphere Reserve

Alto Bernesga Biosphere Reserve

Location and municipalities


León (Castilla y Leon)

Pola de Gordón, La

Alto Bernesga Biosphere Reserve


The distinctive landscape feature of this area of León is its 'brañas': these are grasslands dotted with old cabins where a traditional system of grazing is practised. These pastures in their high-mountain setting make a delightful sight. If you're interested in vegetation, the Reserve is home to over 650 species, some of which are exclusive to the region, such as narcissus asturiensis. What animals can you find there? This is an important stopping area for populations of brown bear. The rivers in the area contain other interesting species such as otters and Pyrenean muskrats. What's on offer in the Biosphere Reserve? There are a variety of hiking routes. This nature area also has palaeontological sites containing fossils that are millions of years old. What's more, it is most important towns, Villamanín and Pola de Gordón, are less than 50 kilometres from the city of León. If you like sport, you can try climbing, mountaineering or water activities in the Casares reservoir.

  • Biosphere Reserve certification