The history of Cáceres goes back around 25,000 years, proof of which can be found in Late Paleolithic-era cave paintings found in a cave in the historic district. The cave is unfortunately closed to the public but there is an exact replica in the Interpretative Center. Cáceres was founded by the Romans in 25B.C. and is recognized as a bi-millennial city. Its later history was plagued by battles between Christians and Moors for control of the city, which was finally recovered in April 23rd, 1229 (St. George’s Day, patron of Cáceres) by Alfonso IX. When we pass beneath the Estrella Arch of the Puerta Nueva (15th century), we are really passing through much more than just physical space; we’re literally taking a trip through time and exploring the same worn cobblestones that felt the footsteps of Jews, Arabs, Christians, Mozarabs, nobleman, peasants, soldiers, and clergy on their way to the Plaza of Santa María , its Cathedral, and palaces. It would be too much to describe all of the more than 100 buildings or historic places found within the old city walls, but the best way to begin is by visiting the city’s museums, especially that found in the Plaza de Las Veletas with its archaeological, ethnographical, and artistic collection and fully-preserved Arab cistern. The exhibit hall in the wall-walk of Santa Ana has a collection of objects from the modern history of Cáceres, and in the Palace of the Regional Administration there’s a multimedia exhibit about the province. You also shouldn’t miss the exhibit about the Three Cultures in the Tower of Bujaco, built in the 12th century. This gives access to the battlement and its overwhelming views of the medieval city.
The Monfragüe National Park, located in the province of Cáceres, became a national park in 2007.
Its 17 thousand hectares of treasures, forests, oaks and bushes house a great variety of birds and animals that live in freedom and protected. Still, on several occasions, groups of environmentalists have reported cases of illegal hunting.
The park is a valley where the Tiétar River flows into the Tajo River, giving it new energies in its path toward Lisbon. Besides its ecosystem and orography, it is interesting to notice the great rocks that give the place an interesting look.
Despite the magnitude of the park, you don’t have to worry yourself with a compass, since there are signaled routes, paths, guides and monitors that are available to accompany groups along the park. From Madrid you can reach Monfragüe through the Autovía de Extremadura and in the surroundings you can find lodgings, camping, rural houses, hotels and restaurants. You can turn your weekend into a natural paradise.
The Jerte Valley changes its look depending on what time of year you visit.
When the cherries are in bloom, it looks like a sea of white beckoning you to explore. When the cherries are ripe, it’s an indescribably beautiful sea of red. This is my favorite time of year. And when there are no flowers or cherries, it’s still a wonderful natural park that’s home to the Jerte River.
We loved visiting during every time of the year. If you want to give your senses a gift, I recommend you start planning a trip.
This lovely town in located in the North of the province of Cáceres, next to the Ambróz river, Baños of Montemayor, and the Ruta de la Plata. We visited it during the 2010 GS Ibérica trail/path, to get to know some of the hidden places in the area, enjoy the landscapes, as well as to buy some nice leather garments, and to taste the first cherries of the season.
The state of conservation of this typical urban planning proved very interesting to us. The roman bridge, the Jewish neighborhood, the plazas and churches, and since we’re motorcycle aficionados, we were excited to visit the “Temple” dedicated to conserving the classics: The Classic Motorcycle Museum. It’s the best in Europe, without a doubt!
From the museum’s viewpoint, we could see the best views of Hervás. The Sierra mountains that surround it, as well as the Valley of Ambróz. Then, while walking through its streets, bridges and plazas, we felt as though we were walking through a different place in time. We’ll definitely return one day.
Don't hesitate to visit this wonderful place, full of life and color. It lies in the valley of Jerte (Cáceres). It is ideal for hiking, in fact, to reach this gorge it is necessary to walk for a while, though the nature is wonderful (here is a short video on the way to the gorge). I have attached links to a couple of websites: Rural Tourist Apartments "Las Palomas" - www.Valledeljertelaspalomas.Com Rural Apartments "La Antigua Tahona" - www.Antiguatahona.Com.
Arriving at Trujillo, the 1st place you should visit is to Grand Square. It is the key point of the city for many reasons. It's where you can find the tourist office. They are always happy to answer doubts, even recommended where we could leave the car. On the other hand, here is where some of the most representative monuments of the city stand: Parish Church of St. Martin, the statue of Francisco Pizarro, the Palace of the Dukes of San Carlos, ... And lastly, there are plenty of restaurants and shopping for local products (cheese is amazing, really). But if something must be stressed is that this square is precious. It's like the Middle Ages teleport, all cobbled streets, high walls and arcaded house ... Without doubt one of the prettiest villages in Spain and the area. It is also within walking distance of Cáceres, so going on a day is more than possible.
This is a town with a lot of history: Almohads, knightly orders, and many others passed through here and left their mark on the town. Due to the construction of the Gabriel y Galán reservoir in the 1970s, the inhabitants were forced to abandon it. In the end, the village wasn’t flooded and is today a ghost town.
It’s being rebuilt and is open to the public but only during the day. The previous inhabitants reunite in their former village in August and November for the Patron Saint festivities. It’s definitely a place you have to see.
The walls that surround the town have doors, and you can access the village quite easily. You can see what the town once was and enjoy the impressive views of the reservoir that circles Granadilla and makes this a very, very beautiful peninsula.
Guadalupe means “hidden river” and the name applies to the Virgin, the river, and a town of the same name. The legend dates back to the 8th century when a sheppard named Gil Cordero saw an apparition of the Virgin who led him to a spot where her image had been buried at the edge of the river. It had been buried there for over five centuries after clerics fleeing the Moorish invasion submerged it in the river to prevent it falling into enemy hands. A hermitage was built on the spot and a small community began to form around it. The first mention of the name came from 1340 when Alfonso XI granted the community a township and in 1347 uttered the phrase “the town located in Santa María de Guadalupe.” Today, the town has 2,500 inhabitants and daily life revolves the monastery. The monastery itself has been occupied by the Franciscans since 1908 and their amazing work in renovating the monastery led to it being declared a World Heritage Site in 1993. Visitors can only access the monastery with a guide. At the end of the tour, the guide hands you over to a Franciscan monk who leads you to the chamber of the Virgin, a super-ornate octagonal room done in the Baroque style where you can go to see the image of the Virgin. She’s mounted on an ingenious rotating system so we can still see Her although She is normally facing the altar. Believers can touch the image and the monk will bless rosaries and other religious objects that visitors bring. La Reina de Hispanidad (“The Queen of Spanishness”), a title given to the Virgin of Guadalupe, is an object of widespread devotion throughout Latin America and many of the visitors were Latin American, Mexicans especially, as Mexico is the country which most reveres the Virgin of Guadalupe.
About an hour-long car drive from a down called Hervás, you'll find Cuacos del Yuste, the famous town known for the palace where Carlos V went off to "die well."
It's one of the most interesting palaces that I've seen in Spain. Not only for the beautiful gardens, the church, and the ranches, but for the palace that holds a multitude of Emperor Carlos V's personal belongings. Seeing these items makes him seem more human and takes us to another time. His chair-bed he used for transportation after he was struken with the gout and couldn't walk, the bed where he spent his last few years, the family portraits, his bedside books, the coziness of his bedroom, or his reading chair, all provide real-life examples of how he spent his last years.
Also, the admission ticket is a good price. The palace also houses interesting exhibitions and collections.
All in all, it's a must-see site if you are in Cáceres. Highly recommended!
This was one of the most amazing places we discovered on our trip to Extremadura.
Arriving to the most photogenic point isn’t easy and you need to drive along some pretty rough roads. But once you arrive and see the view, you won’t believe your eyes.
In that precise moment, you lose all notions of space and time and have to remind yourself that you’re in Extremadura. You feel like, I don’t know…like you’re in the Amazon or something.
The view was postcard-perfect and it left us with a wonderful impression of Extremadura.
This village was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument due to its great state of preservation, wooden architecture, and aristocratic homes.
Among other iconic buildings, I especially liked the Casa de la Seda which was, at times, the residence of the Dukes of Alba, and then a silk factory which produced the finest threads for use in the Royal Court in the 18th century.
The Casa de las Muñecas with its blue façade and doorpost and locks adorned with sculpted dolls is also a standout building.
The vaulted Concejil Building, in Plaza Mayor, was once a place of punishment where alleged criminals were made to face the public.
Another building that merits a visit is the 16th century Church of San Lorenzo, declared to be a Monument of Cultural Interest.
To enter the intramural area of the old town of Cáceres, there's nothing like the Arch of the Star. The main wall gate of Caceres is a characteristic obelisk. Supposedly, it's shaped like this to allow carriages to enter. Its name derives from the Virgen de la Estrella, located on the inner side of the arc. On the other hand, facing the Plaza Mayor, there is the shield of Caceres on the arch.
This protected natural area is a great place to visit with kids and they’ll love hopping around on the rocks. The views are also amazing and the park isn't far from Cáceres, only 12km along the N-521 towards Malpartida. Speaking of which, I’d also suggest visiting the town of Malpartida; the tourism office has a visitor’s centre for the Vías Pecuarias that’s worth seeing.
No other bridge has moved me quite like the Alcántara bridge did.
It’s yet another true feat of engineering that crosses the Tajo river at 71 meters above the water, making it one of the tallest bridges in the world.
If you compare it to the aqueduct in Segovia, which is only 28 meters above the ground at its highest point, you can see how big the bridge really is.
The Romans were proud of themselves for constructing the bridge, making a plaque that will make your hair stand on end as you read it. In addition to dedicating it to the emperor Trajano and the Gods, you can read the famous sentence “PONTEM PERPETVI MANSVRVM IN SECVLA MVNDI,” “the bridge that will stand for all the centuries of time.” And almost two thousand years later, there it is.
Its name comes from Arabic: Al-Kántara. It means, of course, “the bridge.” Anyone who comes to see the bridge leaves with a feeling of true admiration towards those who built it.
It’s worth going to Alcántara just to see the bridge. But if you also consider the environment and architecture of this medieval town, the view are spectacular.
I do not know if there are many cities which are guarded by a castle and which, from a window of the fortress, the patron saint of the city watches over its people. It is Our Lady of Victory, named in memory of one of those triumphs of conquest. Going up to the castle from the main square takes approximately ten minutes and the walk is along a paved road, between old houses and medieval churches. Once you reach the top, the castle overlooks most of Trujillo and the surrounding areas. Among other things, you can see the works of the highway. Perhaps someday it will be possible to reach Cáceres by highway?? For now, from Madrid to Trujillo it is possible, and it takes just two hours. Who would dare? The last there pays for dinner at the Castle!
This past autumn, we decided to visit Caozo Falls in the Valle del Jerte. The route is short and perfect for doing with kids; it starts in Valdastillas which you can reach by car. At the beginning, the trail takes you through cherry, olive, and chestnut groves, a beautiful sight especially in autumn when their colors are on full display. Oh, and the waterfalls are just amazing. Even if it hasn't rained recently and the stream isn't full (as was our case), it’ still just as spectacular. During the return trip, you go through a large chestnut forest where you can see lots of birds and collect the tasty nuts on the ground. When we arrived home, we roasted them up and had quite a feast. All in all, it was a wonderful route and we had a great time. I’d really recommend it.
If you pass through Monfragüe National Park, you MUST stop at this viewpoint. First, the views are just spectacular, but also you get the chance to see huge groups of vultures circling above you. It's one of the best birdwatching spots I know. We also saw imperial eagles.
The legend surrounding the place is also pretty surreal. They say a gypsy running from the Civil Guard managed to jump across the river gorge, stunning the guards (thus the name "Jump of the Gypsy"). The veracity of the legend is up to debate, but it's true that the rock formations at the entrance look like the old Spanish Civil Guards, tri-corn hat and all!
The Salto del Gitano is the most popular viewpoint in all the Monfragüe National Park. It's also conveniently located on the road from Plasencia to Trujillo. If you're looking to see birds of prey, it's one of the best places around.