Extremadura is one of the lesser-known autonomous regions of Spain. Unjustified, because this area with unspoilt nature, picturesque villages and glorious history is an ideal vacation spot for nature lovers and peace seekers. Moreover, the region borders on neighbouring Portugal.
From the regional capital Mérida, the beautiful Portuguese capital Lisbon is only a three-hour drive away. Due to its unfamiliarity with the general public, relatively few campsites can be found in Extremadura. Campers will be in their element, especially in the north, here you will find plenty of spacious campsites that are often equipped with all conveniences. It sometimes takes longer to search in the south. But the pure nature, vast farmlands and Roman cities make this area worth a visit.
The name “Extremadura” literally means “extremely heavy”. It used to be one of the most deprived areas, where the population lived purely from agriculture. Life here was literally “burdensome.” The capital city of Mérida was established in 25 BC. Founded as the capital of the new Roman province of Hispania Lusitania. In the town, you will find a complete amphitheatre, a temple of Diana and a Roman bridge.
These Roman remains have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1993. Also, the perfect Roman city centre of Cáceres can be found here since 1986. At Cáceres, you will also find the prehistoric cave paintings of Maltravieso, which are undoubtedly worth a visit. Other places not to be missed in Extremadura are the impressive Arab fortress La Alcazaba in Badajoz and the medieval town of Trujillo.
Many cities are not in Extremadura, but the villages are also worth a visit. Here it seems as if time has stood still. The towns in Extremadura are highly recommended for truly authentic Spain. Beautiful villages can be found in the Sierra de Gata area in particular. The eponymous mountain range is part of the Castilian Separation Mountains, which divides the Spanish plateau in two.
The wooded mountain ranges offer shelter to many unique animal species, such as the black stork, the king eagle and the lynx. Nowhere else in Europe are there so many different bird species, including birds of prey and Mediterranean birds. There are many species of steppe birds on the vast plains of Cáceres. Extremadura is, therefore, ideal for walking and bird watching.
In the north, you will find the impressive river Tagus in the mountainous area. In the south, you will discover steppes. Furthermore, the region is best known for the many lakes in an endless green hilly country. The landscape of Extremadura is still very pure and hardly cultivated. Yet this region has only one national park, Monfragüe. This remarkable gorge on the steppes below Cáceres has only been a protected area since 1997. The largest population of monk vultures in the world is nesting here. In addition to steep rocks with vultures, the rugged area also has lakes and beautiful waterfalls. There are great walking paths through the park that lead you to all this beauty. All routes depart from Villareal de San Carlos and are well marked. An absolute must for nature lovers and a need for bird watchers.