Bordering Portugal, in the mid-west of Spain, is an unspoilt and highly picturesque region called Extremadura, with vast, open landscapes dotted with ancient towns and places of noteworthy cultural appeal.
The area is popular with the Spanish, but less so with other nationalities who haven’t discovered it yet, so the potential to experience the real Spain is just great. By the “real Spain” we mean peaceful historic towns, meson-type restaurants serving traditional 3-course menus at very affordable prices, friendly people who will make an effort with you despite not speaking your language, small shops closing down for the siesta, quiet villages where cats and dogs snooze in the sun, weekly markets where the locals gather for a chat…
The roads in Extremadura are in perfect condition and uncrowded, making driving pleasant and relaxing. Trujillo and Cáceres, birthplace of the Conquistadores, Roman Mérida and historic Plasencia are just some of the highlights to be experienced in this area, each with its own charm in form of shady squares, narrow cobbled streets, old churches, impressive castles and not to forget… the silence that adds to the unadulterated serenity.
Though less famous than neighbouring Gijuelo & Jabugo to the north & south, Extremadura is the main breeding ground for the Iberian pigs which go to make Spain’s wonderful jamón serrano (mountain cured ham); the local produce is second to none and there are some real bargains to be had as well as the unique pleasure of watching the pigs roam free in the magical dehesa landscape.
Birdwatchers will find paradise in the Monfrague National Park near Caceres which draws aficionados from all over the world to see its resident vulture colonies and for rare birds like the black stork, Egyptian eagle and Common Buzzard but the region abounds with wildlife and wide open spaces which even the uninitiated will marvel at.
This fairly unknown part of Spain can be experienced on our Cross-border and Via de la Plata tours, all offering a treasure-trove of delights for the culture lovers and those searching for authentic Spanish charm, great food and wine, hospitality and peace.