To the northwest, and surrounded by a circus of peaks of around 2,000 meters, we find the Laciana Valley (municipality of Villablino), an Eden with exceptional natural wealth where the Sil river and its tributaries compartmentalize the vitally important territory for the survival of two threatened species: the brown bear and the grouse.

The relief that combines deep valleys with high peaks and the natural environment invite to the practice of outdoor sports with endless resources: Roman forts, waterfalls, hermitages, huts, thousand-year-old yew trees, lagoons and mills are just some of the treasures that they hide the mountains. It is worth highlighting the so-called brañas, high grazing areas where we will find innumerable samples of traditional architecture in the form of huts (some of them converted today into mountain refuges).

Just 14 km from the capital of the municipality is the winter and mountain resort Valle de Laciana-Leitariegos, Its 8 skiable km divided into fourteen tracks lie on the base of Cueto Arbas and are adapted to all levels.

The Laciana Valley offers a wide range of possibilities in terms of accommodation, restaurants and active tourism companies. These are some of the options:

  • The Grouse Center: life in the brañas, native flora and fauna, and cultural resources united in a fun exhibition in the town of Caboalles de Arriba.
  • The Aula Geológica de Robles: an exhibition with more than 500 pieces of fossils and minerals from all over the planet.
  • La Lechería la Popular: a 1920's hydraulic dairy converted into a museum that still works with its original machinery.
  • The Álvarez Carballo mill: in Caboalles de Abajo you can visit an old restored mill.

The Laciana Valley Biosphere Reserve space is included in the network of Places of Community Importance (ES0000210) and Special Protection Areas for Birds (ZEPA), within the Natura 2000 Network. an eminently forested area, with a large number of valleys that are difficult to access, which explains the good state of conservation of species such as the Cantabrian grouse (Tetrao urogallus cantabricus) and the brown bear (Ursus arctos), the two most emblematic species of this territory . Along with them there are also species of notable interest such as the broom hare, the gray partridge, the Iberian desman, the otter, the wolf, the roe deer, the chamois, the wild boar, salamanders and newts.

We must not forget the birds that roam our valley: tawny owls, owls, chickadees, eagles, kites, kestrels, as well as storks and herons.

Flora and fauna are two terms that are closely linked in order to guarantee the fundamental balance of the environment.

Our landscape has large areas of native vegetation and one of the best-preserved mixed forests of the Cantabrian Mountains of extraordinary biological value: oak, beech, ash, hazelnut, salgueros, capudres, birch, holly, yew forests occupy more than 3,500 hectares of the Reserve, creating areas of singular charm. Above the forests dominate the blueberry trees and high mountain pastures, mixed with bushes.

Much of the traditional herbalism also grows in these lands; thus we can find oregano, chamomile, yarrow, veronica, gentian ... Although without a doubt the most popular is the grichándana or narcissus. In addition to standing out for its properties, it is the undisputed queen of our meadows for its beauty and this is attested by its legend.


Statement date: 7/10/2003

Category: Biosphere Reserve (21,700 ha.)

Location: Noroeste de la provincia de León, en la Cordillera Cantábrica

Municipalities in the province of León:
  • Villablino

Population: 8.620 (según último datos INE)

Managers: Fundación Laciana Reserva de la Biosfera

Address: Avda. de la Constitución, nº 23. C.P. 24100 Villablino (León).


Phone: 987 470 001

Other protection:

  • Espacio Natural Sierra de Ancares.
  • Lugar de Importancia Comunitaria (LIC) Alto Sil.
  • Zona de Especial Protección para la Aves (ZEPA) Alto Sil.

Region / Province biogeographical: Eurosiberiana / Atlántica Europea