Undiscovered Extremadura

Undiscovered Extremadura

Day 1 Madrid - Plasencia

Collect your rental car in & drive east to Plasencia (266kms). On the way you may like to stop in Talavera de la Reina. Continue on to Plasencia and to the Parador for check-in. Enjoy a Tapas & Walking Tour of Plasencia with a local expert guide. Walk through Plasencia’s old centre and see the remains of the medieval walls, fortified towers and gates and the grand Plaza Mayor. The town also boasts several important historic buildings, such as the Romanesque Old Cathedral and the adjacent “New” Cathedral, cobining Gothic and Renaissance elements. With your guide explore some of the town’s vibrant bars, which serve tapas of local cuisine, such as as partridge stew, lamb, “migas” (fried breadcrumbs), the famous Ibérico ham and an exquisite, creamy sheep’s milk cheese called “Torta del Casar”. To accompany the tapas, enjoy a tasting of local wines from Ribera del Guadiana. (Includes drinks & tapas at 3 bars) Total 3hrs. Overnight Parador de Plasencia.

Day 2 Sierra de Gata

(Touring and Walk: 3-4 hours)
Today enjoy a full day of guided touring & hiking in Sierra de Gata. Drive in your rental car, accompanied by our local resident guide, to Sierra de Gata and enjoy a 3-4 hour walk on a hiking route (loop walk, easy-moderate difficulty). Then spend some time exploring some of the towns and villages, such as Hoyos, Robledillo de Gata and Acebo.  If Extremadura is one of the “hidden gems” of the Iberian Peninsula then the villages, mountains and valleys of the Sierra de Gata could to claim to be the hidden gems of Extremadura. Tucked up against the Portuguese border this area is well off the beaten track and yields some wonderful walking tracks as well as neat villages with distinctive architecture. The area, is also a mecca for birdwatching: Black Storks, Black Vultures, Great Bustards, Cranes or Grey Herons are just a few examples of the wide variety of birds that fly over these landscapes of holm oaks, olive groves and vines. (Total 8hrs) Return to Plasencia. Overnight Parador de Plasencia.

Day 2 Plasencia

Free day in Plasencia at leisure. You may like to take a local bus north to visit Hervas (approximately 40mins away, arranged locally). Sitting at the top of the beautiful wide Valle del Ambroz, Hervas is known for its medieval Jewish quarter, with its white-washed houses. The tiny streets, dotted with taverns and craft workshops, slope down towards the Rio Ambroz. Overnight Parador de Plasencia

Day 4 Plasencia - Caceres

Today drive south to beautiful Cáceres. Caceres is a charming town and one of the best preserved historical-artistic towns in Spain. The city today is a combination of the walled medieval city with its Gothic and Renaissance architecture, the city built outside the walls in the Modern Age, and the new city of wide avenues. Take a walk through the old medieval town with its elegant facades, balconies, coats of arms, attics and patios. Visit the Church of Santa Maria which faces the Palacio Episcopal. Be sure to visit the Barrio de San Antonio, a quaint old Jewish quarter with white-washed houses restored to original conditions. Overnight Parador de Cáceres

Day 5 Caceres - Trujillo - Caceres

Today you may like to visit nearby Trujillo at your leisure.  When the Plaza Mayor of the medieval hilltop town of Trujillo is floodlit at night, it is one of the most beautiful squares in Spain. By day there is much to visit, including the Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor and the Islamic fortress at the top of the hill. Trujillo was birthplace of several conquistadors, most notably Francisco Pizarro, who conquered Peru, of whom there is a statue in the main square. His brother, Hernando Pizarro, founded the Palacio del Marques de la Conquista, one of several palaces and convents built with New World wealth. The beautiful 16th century Palacio de Orellana-Pizarro was built by Francisco de Orellana, the explorer of Ecuador and the Amazon. Once a year, in late April or early May, gourmets descend on the town for its renowned week-long cheese fair. Return to Caceres. Overnight Parador de Cáceres

Day 6 Caceres - Montanchez - Caceres

Today drive to south to the small town of Montanchez. Enjoy a guided visit of the town and sample some Jamon ibérico at Casa Bautista. The Spanish king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V is said to have been devoted to Iberian ham and in particular to that produced in Montánchez.  Some things have not changed since the 16th century and the quality of the town’s ham is one of them. As you stroll through its streets with your guide you will notice drying sheds where the legs of ham are cured in the traditional manner from Iberian breed pigs which have fed off acorns and other wild fruits in the dehesa lands of Extremadura. We will step inside one of these, Casa Bautista, to gain an insight into what it takes to create this delicacy fit for kings, and the regal prices that the hams attract, before sampling the different varieties with a glass of extremeño wine. Total 4hrs. Return to Caceres. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Parador de Cáceres

Day 7 Caceres - Mérida - Sevilla

This morning drive south along the Silver Route to Mérida, prehaps stopping at the historic town of Jerez los Caballeros on the way. Once in Merida enjoy a  guided Roman history walking tour. The guided tour with an expert historian will begin at the Roman Amphitheatre.  A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993, the Amphitheatre once hosted gladiatorial combats. You will also see the Temple of Diana and the portico of the Forum before we end at the superb theatre, where every summer a festival or Roman theatre takes place.  It may well be “Undiscovered” Extremadura now but in the days of Ancient Rome it was very much “on the map”, with its administrative centre in modern-day Mérida. Like Cáceres and Trujillo, Mérida is full of history and ancient architecture—it has more Roman monuments than any other city in Spain, which rival the ruins in Rome in their well-preserved magnificence.   Continue your drive south to Sevilla.   Drop off your hire car.