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Description of the Biosphere Reserve


he candidacy Biosphere Reserve “Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo” was promoted by Rural Development Association “Mariñas-Betanzos”,with the support of the Delegation of Coruña and the Xunta de Galicia,seventeen municipalities that make up this territory.

The final approval of this Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, took place at the 25th Meeting of the International Coordinating Council of the MAB Programme, held in Paris on 28 May 2013.

The Biosphere Reserve “Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo” covers a total of 116.724 ha (113.969,7 ha land e 2.754,6 ha sea), which represents 14,33% of the surface to the province of Coruña, spread in 17 municipalities. With this surface and the second Biosphere Reserve Galician order surface,the first in the province of Coruña.
Municipalities of the Biosphere Reserve “Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo”: Abegondo, Aranga, Arteixo, Bergondo, Betanzos, Cambre, Carral, Coirós, Culleredo, Curtis, Irixoa, Miño, Oleiros, Oza -Cesuras, Paderne, Sada e Sobrado. Population (year 2015): 190.708 people.


  • Put the territory “Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo” on the world map.
  • Give prestige to the territory, their companies and their products.
  • Expanding the markets for products through quality brands.
  • Recovery of traditional economic activities.
  • Encourage and strengthen initiatives related to sustainable tourism.
  • Create opportunities for training and education.
  • Get international, state and regional support for initiatives and projects related to sustainable development and environmental conservation.
  • Improve environmental conservation and natural resource information.













The territory of the Biosphere Reserve Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo is located between rivers, cliffs and mountains. This Biosphere Reserve is a sub-coastal territory with an average of 300 meters in height which is dominated by its coasts, valleys and by its mountains framed in the basins of the rivers Mero and Mandeo.

The Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo includes a total of 116.724,3 hectares (113.969,7 terrestrial hectares and 2.754,6 marine ones) spread over 17 municipalities:

  1. Abegondo
  2. Aranga
  3. Arteixo
  4. Bergondo
  5. Betanzos
  6. Cambre
  7. Carral
  8. Coirós
  9. Culleredo
  10. Curtis
  11. Irixoa
  12. Miño
  13. Oleiros
  14. Oza-Cesuras
  15. Paderne
  16. Sada
  17. Sobrado

In order to coordinate environmental improvement with the social and economic development of this area, this Biosphere Reserve is divided in three zones:

Core Zones

These areas play an important role in terms of conservation. They are defined around Red Natura 2000:

  • Costa de Dexo
  • Costa da Morte
  • Betanzos-Mandeo
  • Abegondo-Cecebre’s reservoir

Other spaces of local interest.

Buffer Zones

These zones work as protection areas of the Core Zones, where some activities are organised as an example of sustainable development:

Transitional Zones

Transitional zones have most of the population and support the majority of activities.

Protected Natural Areas

The Biosphere Reserve Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo includes several protected natural areas such as Special Areas of Conservation, Natural Monuments and Areas of Special Protection of Natural Values.

The Special Areas of Conservation are:

  • Natural Monument of Costa de Dexo and Serantes.

  • Costa da Morte.

  • Betanzos-Mandeo.

  • Encoro de Abegondo.

Among other sites with environmental and ecological interest there are the estuary of Río Baxoi, the mountains of Cova da Serpe or the Brañas do Deo.



The history of the Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo is closely linked to its geographical characteristics. The quality of the soils and its temperate climate with marine influence, with mild temperatures and moderate rainfall, as well as its strategic position in the vicinity of the city of A Coruña, condition agriculture towards fresh productions.


Highlights include the products of excellent quality orchard: tomatoes, onions and cabbage of “Betanzos”; as well as seafood (Lorbé mussels or sardines).

There are also traditional handcrafted products, such as cheeses or Carral bread, to accompany with a Viño da Terra de Betanzos. They say they help to travel better the paths “[…] with bread and wine, the way is made”.

The objectives of the Reserve are aimed at recovering, in large part, the interrelationship of human beings with nature, and to publicize all its natural, historical, cultural, artistic, archaeological, ethnographic and varied folklore heritage, as a consequence you give countless cultures.

The oldest elements were inherited from megalithic and castrex cultures (petroglyphs and numerous castros). The Roman era or the Camino de Santiago itself, the modernist culture in Sada or a varied popular or civil architecture (pazos, gardens and encyclopedic parks such as El Pasatempo in Betanzos, or water spas with mineral-medicinal properties, …) are some examples of the enormous heritage wealth that hides this territory.




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