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 (https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/natural-parks-in-extremadura/) 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)
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)
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. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museo_Vostell_Malpartida
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: https://www.geoparquevilluercas.es/en/no27-castanar-cave/
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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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. http://www.fuentesdeleon.es/centro-de-interpretacion/
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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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: https://fuentedelarco.org/turismo/mina-la-jayona/visitas-cita-previa/
The Grazalema Guide
The best way to see all our web projects in one place is over at the Grazalema Guide.
The Grazalema Guide – Tourist Information Portal for the Sierra de Grazalema, Wildside Holidays, The town of Ronda and the Caminito del Rey.