Ancient dehesa, sierra and montado landscapes
Western Iberia is a cross-border area – it includes the Beira interior region in Portugal between the Douro and Tagus river, and through the border with Spain to the provinces of Salamanca and Cáceres.
Western Iberia is ecologically connected to similar natural, wild areas in other parts of Iberia, 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 Husbandry was traditionally based on sheep, which has now been replaced by extensive cattle in some areas.