The Serra do Açor Protected Landscape, a unit that forms an integral part of the Central Mountain Range together with the Serra da Estrela and the Serra da Lousã, was created in 1982 with the purpose of protecting its natural, cultural, scientific and recreational values, in particular to preserve the Mata da Margaraça forest. This forest, which faces North-Northwest, rises at an altitude of between 600 and 850 metres. At the time of its classification, it bore witness to the endogenous vegetation of the shale slopes of Central Portugal, occupied by sweet chestnut trees (Castanea sativa), pedunculate or common oaks (Quercus robur), Portugal laurel (Prunus lusitanica), bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) and common holly (Ilex aquifolium), among others, favouring the growth of diverse communities such as fungi, bryophyta and animals, where the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis - açor in Portuguese), the species that gives its name to this classified area, is common.



Its schistose nature, marked by folds and fractures, characterises the relief of the Serra do Açor, furrowed by valleys with steep drops, nested among water lines, where there are steep inclines such as the waterfalls of Fraga da Pena, which are flanked by notable specimens of plant species. It feeds the river basin developments of Mondego, Zêzere and Alva.