Category Archives: Natural and National Parks in Extremadura

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.

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.

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

C/ Hondón, 58, Cabezuela del Valle

The official website for the Valle del Jerte in Extremadura is https://www.turismocaceres.org/es/comarcas-turisticas/valle-del-jerte


Iberia Nature Forum

Struggling with identifying those bugs and beasties? Why not check out the Iberia nature Forum!

Discover the Iberia Nature Forum – Environment, geography, nature, landscape, climate, culture, history, rural tourism and travel.

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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Tajo International

  • Region: Extremadura
  • Province: Cáceres
  • Declared a Natural Park: 2006
  • Park surface area: 25.088 hectares
  • ZEPA 2000. Tajo Internacional y Riberos

Points of interest

The Tajo International natural park is a relatively recently registered park in Extremadura which was initially partly covered by an area of special protection for birds ZEPA in 2000.

The area is predominantly waterways with steep banks and therefore a haven for wildlife. Two birds in particular that need this tranquility are the Black vulture and Black stork, both of which are endangered species in Spain.

Mediterranean woodland covers the hills with rich vegetation along the water courses.

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Cornalvo and Sierra Bermeja

  • Region: Extremadura
  • Province: Badajoz
  • Declared a Natural Park: 2004
  • Park surface area: 11,601 hectares
  • ZEPA (Zona Especial Protección para las Aves) (1979)

Points of interest

The Natural Park of Cornalvo and Sierra Bermeja is situated close to Mérida, the capital of Extremadura.

It consists mainly of oak dehesas, (open oak woodland rotated with pasture and cereal crops) on rolling hills with the small mountain ranges of the Sierra del Moro and Sierra Bermeja on the western flank. The highest point is “Pico Terrero” at 546 m above sea level.

The ground is littered with large granite boulders, a stone which was put to great use in the time that the Romans occupied this area.

At the south of the park is a small reservoir whose dam was constructed by the Romans in the 1st century with the intention of holding water for use in Emérita Augusta (now called Mérida)

The Natural Park of Cornalvo and Sierra Bermeja is situated close to Mérida, the capital of Extremadura.
The Natural Park of Cornalvo and Sierra Bermeja is situated close to Mérida, the capital of Extremadura.

This town was founded in 25BC by the Emperor Augustus to protect a pass and a bridge over the Guadiana river. The water was moved by means of an aqueduct some 15km in length. The dam, which still retains water, is 200m in length, 18m in height, built using granite blocks with concrete, it was declared a National Monument in 1912 and is well worth a visit.

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