“Focus on” is a series of articles that highlights specific places, towns, natural parks, and other destinations in Spain. In each article, we take a closer look at the unique characteristics that make each place special, from its history and culture to its natural beauty and attractions. Our goal is to provide readers with an in-depth understanding of each location, along with insider tips on what to see, do, and experience while there. Whether you’re a first-time traveler to Spain or a seasoned explorer, “Focus on” is your guide to discovering the best that this diverse and fascinating country has to offer.
Delve into lesser-known facts about Spain’s exceptional wildlife. For example, the Iberian lynx is the world’s most endangered feline species, with a unique preference for hunting European rabbits. Photographing Spain’s wildlife: Questions and answers for wildlife enthusiasts
The Pyrenean desman, a rare aquatic mammal, is found only in Spain and Portugal’s freshwater habitats, while the Iberian magpie, a striking bird species, is a symbol of the Iberian Peninsula’s avian diversity. Explore these and more intriguing tidbits about Spain’s remarkable fauna, adding depth to your appreciation of its wildlife.
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.
Find a hotel close to the Valle del Jerte in Extremadura
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.
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.
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
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.
Welcome to Spain, a land of extraordinary biodiversity! Within its borders lie numerous protected areas, each offering a unique tapestry of landscapes and wildlife. From the stunning wetlands of Doñana National Park to the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains, and the enchanting coastal beauty of Cabo de Gata-Níjar. Let’s embark on a journey exploring Spain’s remarkable protected areas and natural treasures.
Below, you’ll find a list of some my favorite protected areas. Places I go back and revisit whenever I can. Click on the green links to delve deeper into each region’s breathtaking beauty, learn about the unique flora and fauna that call these places home, and immerse yourself in the wonders of Spain’s wildlife wonderland.
The Starlight Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2009 to promote the protection of the night sky and the development of “astrotourism” and there is an ever growing list of starlight destinations in Spain to visit.
The Foundations work in Spain is making a positive impact on the environment and on the local economy and the project has certified quite a few areas in Spain as Starlight Reserves, Starlight Parks, or Starlight Villages. These areas include the Teide National Park in Tenerife, the Monfragüe National Park in Extremadura, and the Cabañeros National Park in Castilla-La Mancha.
The Foundation has also worked with local governments and tourism boards to promote astrotourism in Spain organizing stargazing events, astronomy festivals, and astrophotography workshops. They have also conducted surveys of the night sky in different parts of the country and have developed strategies in order to reduce light pollution.
The top visited and most popular starlight destinations in Spain