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Peneda-Geres National Park, Portugal

 Posted by , November 18, 2007 at 11:54:29 :: Portugal

The Peneda-Gerês National Park (Portuguese: Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês), also known simply as Gerês, is the only national park in Portugal (although many Natural Parks, Protected Landscapes and Reserves exist across the nation). It is located in the Norte region, in the northwest of Portugal.

Founded in 1971, it covers an area of 72,000 hectares and has an extraordinary diversity of climate, envirorunents and scenery, comprising the transition zone between the Mediterranean and Euro-Siberian regions.

Because of this, flora and fauna are found that are rare or non existent in other parts of the country.

The Peneda-Gerês National Park (Portuguese: Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês), or Gerês, Norte region, in the northwest of Portugal

Human occupation dates back 7,000 years and Megalithic, Celtic and Roman monuments are found frequently.

Memory and inheritance from these times are the vestiges of community life, almost extinct today but still present in certain isolated points where they have still survived the modern manifestations of human intervention.

The vast heritage still to be found makes Peneda-Geres an essential visiting point for anyone who wishes to discover the Parks of Portugal.

Two mountain plains - Castro Laboreiro (to the North) and Mourela (to the East) - form the boundaries of the granite semi--circle that makes up this Park. Between the two are the mountains of Peneda (1373 m), Soajo (1217 m), Amarela (1092 m) and Geres (1545 m), the highest and most extensive.

The varied climatic influences occasionally result in unexpected flora, with examples being the cork oak and the British oak. In the higher zones you can find areas that are always flooded, where the carnivorous plants, most particularly the "Orvalhinha", are a constant feature.

Although some of the species are now extinct, such as the brown bear and the mountain goat, the National Park still presents a very varied fauna, with important species like the wolf, the roe deer, the wild boar, the fox, the wild ferret and the otter.

Of special importance among the bird species are the endangered royal eagle, the kite, the woodland screech owl and the titmouse. Among the reptiles the most important are the rarely found Seoane viper and the horned viper, as well as the water snake, the water lizard and the green lizard. Amphibians of special note are the rare Lusitanian salamander, the tritons, the Iberian frog and the midwife toad.

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: Coder, Designer, Webmaster and Expert SEO Consulting, Simon Laroche is also a wise traveller and an avid amateur photographer. He created the website Landolia and many others...

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