Ancient dehesa, sierra and montado landscapes
The Greater Côa Valley is found in northeastern Portugal and encompasses the border region between Portugal and Spain from the Douro river in the north to the Malcata Mountains in the south.
The Greater Côa Valley is ecologically connected to similar natural, wild areas in other parts of the Iberian Peninsula, through the Natura 2000 network. The first private protected area of Portugal is also found inside this area, namely the Faia Brava reserve.
On the poorer soils on granite bedrock, the landscape is dominated by very small land holdings that have had cultivation based on olives, almonds, and cereals – which are now increasingly being abandoned. Husbandry was traditionally based on sheep, which has now been replaced by extensive cattle in some areas.