Category Archives: Extremadura

Extremadura is a region in southwestern Spain, known for its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural heritage. Here are some key features and attractions of Extremadura:

History and culture: Steeped in history, with many well-preserved historic sites and cultural landmarks. The region has a strong Roman and Moorish heritage, with many historic towns and villages showcasing architectural styles from different periods. Some of the most notable cultural attractions in Extremadura include the Roman Theatre in Merida, the medieval walled city of Caceres, and the 16th century monastery of Guadalupe.

Natural beauty: Home to stunning natural landscapes, including the Sierra de Gredos mountain range, the Monfragüe National Park, and the Tajo International Natural Park. These areas offer opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and other outdoor activities, while also providing habitats for a range of wildlife, such as the Iberian lynx and the Spanish imperial eagle.

Cuisine: The food and drink of Extremadura is another highlight of the region. The region is known for its excellent cured meats, such as Iberico ham and chorizo, as well as its cheeses, particularly the famous Torta del Casar. Wine production is also an important industry in Extremadura, with several local vineyards producing award-winning wines.

Festivals: Extremadura is home to many colorful festivals and celebrations throughout the year, which offer a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural traditions. Some of the most famous festivals in the region include the Carnival of Badajoz, the Cherry Festival in the Jerte Valley, and the Holy Week processions in various towns and cities.

Overall, Extremadura is a region of Spain that offers a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural beauty, and delicious cuisine. Whether you are interested in history, outdoor activities, or simply relaxing and enjoying the local food and wine, Extremadura has something to offer.

Valle del Jerte in Extremadura

  • Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1973.
  • Towns and villages: Barrado, Cabezuela del Valle, Cabrero, Casas del Castañar, El Torno, Jerte, Navaconcejo, Piornal, Rebollar, Tornavacas, Valdastillas.
  • Best time to visit: Mid March to mid April

Located in the extreme north-east of the province, the Valle del Jerte in Extremadura is bordered to the north by the provinces of Ávila and Salamanca, to the west by Valle del Ambroz, to the south by the city of Plasencia and to the east by La Vera. The area has become quite famous for the beauty of its cherry tree orchards in spring and for the Garganta de los Infiernos Nature Reserve.

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The cherry bloom festival

During the second week of March the festival of El Cerezo en Flor is celebrated in the Jerte Valley when over a million and a half trees are in full bloom.

Valle del Jerte in Extremadura - Picota cherries
Valle del Jerte in Extremadura – Picota cherries

At this time of year a circular route through the villages by car is highly recommended. (Valdastillas, Piornal, Barrado, Cabrero, Casas del Castañar, El Torno and Rebollar. (about 50 KM)

Reserva Natural Garganta de los Infiernos

Located in the heart of the Jerte Valley, the Garganta de los Infiernos Nature Reserve is known for its streams and waterfalls and rock pools. From the Sierra de Tormantos to the southwestern slope of the Sierra de Gredos, the course of the Jerte River shapes granite and gneiss landscapes with the highest point being the Cuerda de los Infiernos at more than 2,000 meters and the Cerro del Estecillo, an old glacier, considered to be the origin of the Jerte valley.

Reserva Natural Garganta de los Infiernos
Wildlife and nature walks in the Reserva Natural Garganta de los Infiernos

In the deciduous forests there are some large specimens of oak along with hawthorn, yew, holly, birch, strawberry and chestnut trees. In the undergrowth of oaks there are abundant species of ferns and orchids. On the sunniest slopes there are large areas of the cultivated picota cherry.

Autumn in the Valle del Jerte
The Garganta de los Infiernos

The variety of ecosystems in the Garganta de los Infiernos Nature Reserve favors the abundance and diversity of fauna. The waters of this reserve are populated by a number of fish species such as common trout, the most characteristic of these rivers. Although amphibians such as salamanders and newts are also present.

At the river side look out for kingfisher and dipper and in the skies, griffon vulture and especially golden eagles.

Mammals represented in the area include wildcat and genet, otter and the little known desman. The most abundant mammal species in the area is Spanish Ibex.

The Garganta de los Infiernos Natural Reserve has quite a few walking routes through some of the most beautiful places in the Jerte region such as: Los Pilones, Carlos V Route, Cordel del Valle and the route through Upper Extremadura. (More info on these routes at the main information centre in Cabezuela del Valle

The Garganta de los Infiernos Nature Reserve
The Garganta de los Infiernos Nature Reserve – Valle del Jerte, Caceres, Extremadura

Tourist offices and museums

Oficina de turismo del Valle del Jerte

Paraje de Peñas Albas, s/n, 10610 Cabezuela del Valle, Càceres

This is the main tourist office to head for where you will be able to get information about the area in general along with maps and guides for walking routes in the area.

Museo de la Cereza

In the same town as the main tourist office for the area you can also find the cherry museum. Here, information panels and exhibitions explain the cultivation of the world famous Jerte cherries.

C/ Hondón, 58, Cabezuela del Valle

The official website for the Valle del Jerte in Extremadura is

Alternative titles for this article
  • The Valle del Jerte: A Springtime Wonderland
  • Cherry Blossoms in the Valle del Jerte
  • Explore the Garganta de los Infiernos Nature Reserve
  • The Best Things to Do in the Valle del Jerte
  • A Guide to the Valle del Jerte

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5 Natural monuments in Extremadura

The landscape in this part of central Spain is shaped by the mountain ranges of the Cordillera Central, Montes de Toledo and the Sierra Morena (which is on its southern border with Andalucia). Fertile plains surround the large bodies of water supplied by the Tajo river in Cáceres and the Guadiana in the low lands of Badajoz. Apart from some fantastic natural parks ( there are quite a few other places to visit such as the 5 natural monuments in Extremadura (Monumentos naturales de Extremadura)

Berrocal de la Data (Valencia de Alcántara, Caceres)

Natural monuments in Extremadura
Berrocal de la Data (Valencia de Alcántara, Caceres)

Located Close to the border with Portugal, in Valencia de Alcántara, Berrocal de la Data was declared a Natural Monument in 2020. It stands out for its impressive granite rocks, five dolmens (Data I, Data II, Mellizo, Cajirón I y Cajirón II), cave paintings and environmental richness. The large granite boulders, some with spectacular shapes, such as the Cancho del Tesoro, define a landscape of cork oaks, chestnut trees, pastures and bushes.

The wealth of fauna is another of the characteristics of this protected area, with a special mention for birds such as griffon vulture, white stork, eagle owl, red kite, black kite, kite, barn owl, common kestrel, quail and red partridge, as well as a long list of passerines. Mammals include genet, stone marten, mongoose, badger, wild boar, rabbit and fox.

The low light pollution makes Berrocal de la Data an ideal place for stargazing, as is the case in the entire Tajo Internacional Biosphere Reserve.

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Information centres and museums

Head for the Centro de Interpretación in the town of Valencia de Alcántara. Here you will find a small museum and help from friendly staff to get the best out of a visit to the area.

Los Barruecos (Malpartida de Cáceres, Caceres)

Los Barruecos (Malpartida de Cáceres, Caceres)
Los Barruecos (Malpartida de Cáceres, Caceres)

Declared a Natural Monument in 1996 for its outstanding natural beauty, this spectacular rocky area is located in the plain of Cáceres, next to the town of Malpartida de Cáceres and constitutes one of the most unique areas in the region due to its geological and geomorphological formations.

It has a flat relief with virtually no tree cover, granite domes and ponds dot the landscape and, for game of thrones fans, this area was used extensively for some important scenes in the popular fantasy series (“The Spoils of War” episode)

This natural monument is important for bird life and holds good populations of white stork well as cormorants, grebes, black-winged stilts and grey heron along with aquatic mammals such as otters and various amphibian species.

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Information centres and museums

Centro de interpretación del Monumento Natural Los Barruecos

There are three areas to head for close to Malpartida de Cáceres. The Visitor Reception Center, the Natural Monument Interpretation Center and the Water Interpretation Center. They are signposted and each one is well worth a visit. More information about the area in general can be found in the tourist office in the town of Malpartida de Cáceres.

Also in Malpartida de Cáceres is the Vostell-Malpartida Museum, which was founded in October 1976 by Wolf Vostell, one of the fundamental figures of post-war contemporary art. The museum contains three collections of contemporary art: the Wolf and Mercedes Vostell Collection, the Fluxus Collection-Gino Di Maggio Gift, and the Conceptual Artists Collection.

The Castañar Cave (Cueva de Castañar de Ibor, Caceres)

The Castañar Cave (Cueva de Castañar de Ibor, Caceres)
The Castañar Cave (Cueva de Castañar de Ibor, Caceres)

The Cueva del Castañar was discovered in 1967 by a resident of Castañar de Ibor and was was declared a Natural Monument in 1997. It is interesting for its unique beauty and high scientific value. Entry to the cave system is restricted and permits need to be aquired through the interpretation centre. On the road towards the camping site of Castañar de Ibor, the information centre is easy to find and has a good exhibition and information panels about the cave.

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Official site is here:

Caves of Fuentes de Leon (Badajoz)

Caves of Fuentes de Leon (Badajoz)
Caves of Fuentes de Leon (Badajoz)

To the south of the province of Badajoz are the caves of Fuentes de León which were declared a Natural Monument in 2001. These are considered to be the most important set of caves in the region from a geological point of view and there are impressive examples of stalactites, stalagmites, lava flows, lenares, argonite spicules and siphons.

The system includes the caves of La Lamparilla, Sima Cochinos, Cueva del Agua, Los Postes, Los Caballos and Cueva Masero with the Cueva del Agua being the largest and best known of all with its lake of more than 200 square meters rock carvings.

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Information centres

You will find the interpretation centre in the town of Fuentes de León on Calle Galinda,14 and this should be your first visit in order to arrange entry to any of the caves.

The Jayona mine (Fuente del Arco, Badajoz)

The Jayona mine (Fuente del Arco, Badajoz)
The Jayona mine (Fuente del Arco, Badajoz)

Located close to the town of Fuente del Arco (Carretera Fuente del Arco a Puebla del Maestre, km7), the Jayona mine was declared a natural monument in 1997. Iron ore mining began here during Roman times and continued sporadically until the 1920`s and the area has now been converted into a space of great geo-ecological interest.

The closure of the mine allowed the natural development of a microclimate within the typically Mediterranean landscape of the Sierra de la Jayona. Fauna has benefitted from the abandoned mine shafts, where various types of reptiles and amphibians have colonized the area, as well as birds, such as eagle owl and black stork. There are also some important colonies of bats in the area.

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Information centres

The town hall in the village of Fuente del Arco is the place to head for in order to visit this really interesting mine. Times of visits and contact details here:

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The dehesa of Extremadura

The region of Extremadura is about the same size as Switzerland and is made up of two large, sparsely-populated provinces – Cáceres and Badajoz. Passing through Extremadura you may well encounter areas containing splendid oak trees. They appear at first glance to be a natural landscape with majestic trees scattered over rolling hills, but in fact they are carefully cultivated and managed. This is the dehesa of Extremadura.

Dehesa” is the name given to these expansive areas of farmland consisting of groves of low density, mature oak trees. The spaces between the trees are used to cultivate cereals and as pasture for grazing livestock.

Around 50% of the land of Extremadura, a region to the west of Spain bordering with Portugal, is taken up by these dehesas. This system of farming is unique to Iberia although similar in landscape to the savannahs of Africa.

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