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La Siberia Biosphere Reserve, Extremadura

  • Siberia Extremeña Reservoir (Badajoz) © Programa Hombre y Biosfera (MaB)

    Siberia Extremeña Reservoir (Badajoz) © Programa Hombre y Biosfera (MaB)

  • Siberia Extremeña Landscape (Badajoz) © Programa Hombre y Biosfera (MaB)

    Siberia Extremeña Landscape (Badajoz) © Programa Hombre y Biosfera (MaB)

  • Bridge on a reservoir in Siberia Extremeña (Badajoz) © Programa Hombre y Biosfera (MaB)

    Bridge on a reservoir in Siberia Extremeña (Badajoz) © Programa Hombre y Biosfera (MaB)

  • Flock of sheep in Siberia Extremeña (Badajoz) © Programa Hombre y Biosfera (MaB)

    Flock of sheep in Siberia Extremeña (Badajoz) © Programa Hombre y Biosfera (MaB)

  • Vultures atop a crag in Siberia Extremeña (Badajoz) © Extremeña Programa Hombre y Biosfera (MaB)

    Vultures atop a crag in Siberia Extremeña (Badajoz) © Extremeña Programa Hombre y Biosfera (MaB)

  

Category

Protected landscape

Area

155.717,49 hectares
Carretera N-430, km 167. Talarrubias (Badajoz)
06640
Badajoz, Extremadura
Badajoz

Telephone+34 924631151 - +34 924630100

E-mailoit_talarrubias@hotmail.com

Websitehttp://turismolasiberia.juntaex.es/

One of Spain’s most important freshwater shorelines

High biodiversity, an enviable quiet, and over 1,000 kilometres of freshwater shoreline define this large protected space in the province of Badajoz, Extremadura, a Biosphere Reserve since 2019.

Surrounding the rivers Guadiana and Zújar, the reserve includes five large reservoirs: Orellana, Cíjara, Puerto Peña, La Serena (the largest in Spain) and Zújar. Sailing, fishing and other water sports, bird-watching, large beaches and natural pools suitable for swimming, a network of footpaths, mycology routes, clear skies for astronomical observation, and the option of sports such as climbing, are some of the attractions of Extremadura’s Siberia district. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including endangered species like the Iberian lynx, and its ample plains and wild dehesa pastures, dotted with holm oaks and cork oaks, are grazed by vast herds of merino sheep.

The Biosphere Reserve extends across 11 towns in the province of Badajoz (Extremadura). These towns are Castilblanco, Fuenlabrada de los Montes, Garbayuela, Helechosa de los Montes, Herrera del Duque, Puebla de Alcocer, Risco, Sancti-Spíritus, Tamurejo, Valdecaballeros and Villarta de los Montes. The population density of La Siberia is just over seven inhabitants per square kilometre, and ensures a thoroughly natural experience, far from crowds and cities. The area is also known for its ecological products, such as cork, charcoal, firewood, and honey.

Practical information

Activities
Cycle touring
Bird watching
4x4 routes
Hiking

Information for visits

It is located between the cities of Cáceres, Badajoz, and Toledo, which are all about a two-hour drive away, and three hours from Madrid via the A-5 and N-502. Here you’ll find many small villages with their own rural charm. Visitors can explore the network of viewing points, especially the views from Puebla de Alcocer castle, the beach at Peloche (Herrera de Duque), the medieval bridge of Villarta de los Montes, and the spectacular rock formations of Puerto Peña.

 

Although it seems like something out of a ghost story, the changes in water level mean that some days there are bridges and remains of monuments, but other days these have completely disappeared...

Everywhere in the Siberia district of Extremadura, you can find activities such as hiking, cycling, boat trips, ATV routes, bird-watching, mushroom picking, climbing, and more.
 

Environmental information

Its most striking features are its “inland sea” of large reservoirs creating natural beaches and swimming pools, its forests, its steppe-like pastures, and its olive groves. Its biodiversity is also reflected in wildlife. It is the habitat for over 200 bird species, including Spanish imperial eagles, black storks, Egyptian vultures and cinereous vultures. It’s easy to find mammals such as red deer, roe deer and wild boar. The rivers and reservoirs are home to many varieties of fish, reptiles and amphibians.

Cultural information

The landscape is profoundly shaped by the relationship between humans and nature, due to both the hydraulic infrastructure of dams and reservoirs, and generations of farming and grazing. There are many small archaeological sites, with castros, cave paintings and necropolises. This area was also the setting for many battles, and was once Templar territory. Here you can visit the Templar castle of Puebla de Alcocer and the ruins of another in Siruela. A good way to experience local culture here is through its food. The local specialities of La Siberia include escarapuche (a salad with freshwater fish or pork), fried breadcrumbs or migas extremeñas, stews or calderetas, many different sweets and pastries, recipes with desert truffles or criadillas de tierra, and artisanal honey.

  

Find tourist information in the surroundings

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