The border section of the Douro River is a deep, embedded valley with cliff margins that separate Portugal from Spain.
In the Douro International Nature Park (85.146 ha), that covers an extensive surface adjacent to the river, the vegetation is dominated by Kermes Oak with a notable Juniper presence, Cork Oak plantations and spots of Black Oak. It is a fundamental area for the preservation of the rupiculous bird fauna, namely the Egyptian Vulture and the Iberian Griffon Vulture.
In an area with a low population density, economic activity is dominated by agriculture and livestock. Strange dovecotes complete a severe landscape that gains a dramatic expression in the Douro cliffs. In the country of Camões, the "mirandês" dialect is another one of the surprises that extreme of the Portuguese north-east has to offer.
Arribes del Duero Nature Park, in the Spanish margin (106.105 ha) complements the protection in terms of preservation of the existing nature on the Portuguese side.
Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas, I.P. (ICNF, I.P.)
Rivers and marshes
Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo
Freixo de Espada à Cinta
Miranda do Douro
Identification and Access
- Vila Real headed to Miranda do Douro, following the A4 headed to Bragança, exiting to the IC5 headed to Carrazeda de Ansiães and finally by the N 221 until Miranda do Douro;
- Mogadouro, exit through the N221 until Santiago, until Vila de Ala, through EM 595; Exit Torre de Moncorvo heading to Freixo de Espada à Cinta, through the N220 until the intersection with N221, heading towards Freixo de Espada à Cinta;
- Pinhel to Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo through the N221, continuing through the N221 you enter the PNDI.
Take river rides in the reservoirs of the International Douro, watch vultures, enjoy the "mirandese" steak and try to speak the mirandês while you observe the modest traditional dovecotes, figure elements in the preservation of birds of prey species and remarkable items of the local landscape.
To observe the fauna leave early in the morning or a bit before dusk. Bring binoculars and a camera, if you have them. Always pay attention to the weather forecast and avoid performing activities in days of much heat, rain, thunderstorms or fog. Avoid going out by yourself, but, if you do, inform an acquaintance or a local entity of your departure and return. Use simple and comfortable clothes. If you wish to take long walks make outerwear, food, water, sunscreen and/or a raincoat available. You can also take a cellphone and a flashlight (don't start a fire or dispose of cigarette butts incorrectly). Take special precautions when you walk through wet and rocky areas to avoid falling and do not act in a way that might endanger yourself or others. Take note that, in some places, mines are present, therefore you should not leave the existing paths and trails. In case of an accident contact the emergency service 112.
Supports in place
The Park has directional and informative signage throughout all of its area.
Statutes of Conservation
PTCON0022 Douro Internacional (International Douro)
PTZPE0038 Douro Internacional e Vale do Águeda (Intern. Douro and Águeda Valley)
Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa (World Heritage – UNESCO).
What you can do
1. Photograph the broom, the rosemary, the heather and rock roses in bloom, among other flora that at this time of year, fill with colors the landscape.
2. See the cliffs of the rivers Douro and Águeda and observe the quiet flight of birds that nest in the rocky cliffs.
1. Sleep in lodges and feel at home. Enjoy the night silence and the tranquility of places. Identify the stars in the sky.
2. Discover the belvederes and look at the patches of Nettle Tree and Holm Oaks.
3. Stroll in the historic area of Miranda do Douro and visit Menino Jesus da Cartolinha
1. Taste the famous posta mirandesa (excelent meat from local cows). Also enjoy and eat sausages, mushrooms, bola doce, among many of the delicacies that this territory gives you.
2. Mounted on a donkey and the sound of the harmonica-Bagpipers scroll the lands of Miranda and learn a few words in mirandês (a language spoken only here).
3. Search for mushrooms (do not harvest it) and enjoy the charm of the colors of oaks, chestnut trees and vineyards.
4. Find beautiful corners in Castelo Rodrigo, part of the Rota das Aldeias históricas (Route of Historic Villages).
1. Get involved in ethnographic and cultural expressions of pagan origin, still alive in several villages.
2. Slopes and cliffs are filled with beautiful waterfalls. Listen to its sounds.
3. Enjoy the almond blossom giving new color to the landscape.
Best Season: Spring and Autumn
Parque Natural do Douro Internacional (Headquarters)
Rua Dr. Francisco António Vicente, 4
Telephone: (00351) 279 341 596
(Delegation) PNDI / Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo
Edifício do Centro Municipal de Proteção Civil
Rua Pedro Jaques de Magalhães
6440-111 FIGUEIRA DE CASTELO RODRIGO
Telephone: (00351) 271 313 382
(Delegation) PNDI / Miranda do Douro
Largo do Castelo - Cabanais do Castelo
5210-188 MIRANDA DO DOURO
Telephone: (00351) 273 431 457