The ten most beautiful villages of Extremadura

Extremadura is one of the Spanish communities and is located towards the central-western part of the country. It is composed of the two provinces of a greater extension of the Iberian Peninsula, Cáceres and Badajoz. In them are about 388 towns; it has as capital the city of more population Extremadura: Mérida. 

This community is surrounded to the north by the Spanish city of Salamanca, to the south by Andalusia, to the east by Castilla La Nueva and to the west by Portugal. On September 8 of each year, the celebration of the Day of Extremadura is held in conjunction with the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, patron saint of the community.

It is an area of beautiful nature, with interesting landscapes, good gastronomy, many conquerors, excellent hosts and an incredible artistic heritage; all this combines to encourage you to visit this beautiful land.

Let’s talk a little about Extremadura.

The province of Extremadura was created in 1371, after the union of the Kingdom of León and the Crown of Castile. It is the cradle of the most famous conquerors of the New World in American lands, such as Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro, who conquered the Aztec and Inca empires, respectively. Also, Pedro de Valdivia, who conquered the country of Chile, and others like Hernando de Soto and Vasco Balboa. 

The city of Cáceres is located to the west and was founded by the Romans. They left plenty of evidence of their occupation, as well as that of other cultures. Its old town is called the Monumental City. It presents a mixture of Renaissance and Gothic architecture, cobblestone streets, fortified palaces and 12th-century walls of Arab origin.

Badajoz is a city and a municipality in Extremadura and the most populated, with approximately 151,000 inhabitants. In addition, it is the centre of economy and commerce of greater relevance to the community of Extremadura. 

In relation to tourism, its greatest concentration is observed in Cáceres, Mérida, Badajoz, Plasencia, Trujillo, Cuacos de Yuste, Coria, Hervás, Guadalupe and in some regions such as Valle del Ambroz, La Vera and Valle del Jerte.

Some villages in the Province of Cáceres:

Hervás: it is a Jewish quarter located in the Ambroz Valley. It is considered one of the most beautiful villages in the country. In addition, many people come here for different hiking trails in the autumn season. Municipality of cobbled streets, sloping and narrow, still retains the structure of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 

Likewise, its houses are made with materials of the region, such as adobe or granite. Because of the Hebrew character of the area, plus its excellent conservation, it has been included in the Network of Jewish Quarters of Spain. It contains a concentration of Jewish dwellings from medieval times in its historical centre.

In this place, we can see the Fuente Chiquita Bridge, the Church of Santa Maria de Aguas Vivas, which maintains its walled and the original defensive tower. Also, the Church of San Juan Bautista was formerly the Convent of the Trinitarians and was founded in 1664; also the Perez Comendador-Leroux Museum.

Trujillo: they say that when you travel to the city of Trujillo, it is as if you were travelling through the different centuries, from Roman times to medieval times. You can observe the main square dating from the Renaissance and different palaces and stately homes of great patrimonial wealth.

It also has the famous church of San Martin, with its star-shaped ribbed vaults, elements of Gothic architecture, arches and cloths to cover the intermediate spaces of the arches.

The Trujillo Castle is located on the heights of the famous hill Cabeza del Zorro, which dates back to the ninth century. Today, you can see the remains of this Arabic type citadel. In addition, from this point, there are impressive views of the city. It is recommended to walk through its historical part at sunset.

Cuacos de Yuste: this town functions as the administrative capital of the Comarca de la Vera and has a very interesting cultural heritage, as it was the place where Emperor Charles V spent his last days. 

We are talking about the Monastery of Yuste, the palace-home of the monarch, with many gardens, halls, cloisters, and you can even see the chair that the emperor used to be transferred; because of the disease he suffered from gout did not allow him to walk well. This Monastery was declared European Heritage. 

Near the Monastery is the German Cemetery. In this place, soldiers, sailors, and airmen of World War I have been buried. Other places of interest for tourists are the House of Rafael Castaño and the House of Juan de Austria.

Granadilla: it is located on the shores of the Galán y Gabriel reservoir, near Las Hurdes. We are talking about a well-walled village declared a Historic and Artistic Site since 1980. At the moment, it is one of the villages that are abandoned. In the decade of the ’50s, a great part of this territory was expropriated to construct the reservoir, leading to the rural exodus.

In its good times of activity, it was mandatory to pass through this place, especially if you had to make the old route of the Via de la Plata. That is why the walls were erected to protect those living in that area. The place also contains a castle dating from the 15th century.

Guadalupe: one of the most important points of this municipality is the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, besides being the famous patron saint of Extremadura and the queen of Hispanidad. This Monastery has also been declared a World Heritage Site. It has several styles that make it a practically unique building.

It has Renaissance, Gothic, Neoclassical, Mudejar and Baroque styles. Its beautiful cobblestone streets characterize Guadalupe with houses and balconies full of flowers and its Plaza Mayor. 

Also nearby is the Geopark of Villuerca Ibores Jara. It is an international network of geological importance, which lies in the relief of its Apalachense landscapes of the entire mountain system, with an area of about 2544 square kilometres and is located southeast of Cáceres; specifically between the basins of the Guadiana and the Tagus. 

Some towns in the Province of Badajoz:

La Villa de Fregenal de la Sierra: it is located towards the southern part of the province of Badajoz, full of many vestiges of its history, being located in the northwestern part of the Sierra Morena; in addition, this Villa was declared in 1991 Bien de Interés Cultural. In this place, we can know the Templar Castle dating from the thirteenth century and has inside its bullring and a market type Abasto, but in modern style.

Its houses stand out for being ancestral and with Mudejar patios, with cobblestone streets; there are also palaces, such as the Palace of the Marquises of Riocabad, the Palace of the Counts of Torrepilares or the House of the Peche Family.

Olivenza: this town is located in the western part of the province of Badajoz, surrounded by olive groves and holm oaks, specifically in the Llanos de Olivenza, bordering Portugal, a territory with certain tensions between both countries, with Portuguese language but Olivenza and mestizo heritage.

For about five centuries, it belonged to Portugal. However, from 1801, after the Treaty of Badajoz and after the War of the Oranges, it became part of Spain. At the level of the old town, you can visit the Castle of this city, dating from the fourteenth century, with its keep, in addition to the Church of Santa Maria Magdalena, Gothic style, the Palace of the Dukes of Cadava and the Church of Santa Maria del Castillo.

Likewise, the town has been considered a Historic and Artistic Site due to the variety of heritage and culture of the community of Olivenza. It is considered one of the most beautiful communities in the country.

Jerez de Los Caballeros: a town also known as the Villa de las 5 Torres. In 1966 was declared a Monumental and Artistic Site, a land of great fame for the Knights Templar. Some vestiges of the Castle and the bloody tower can still be seen. It also has churches and convents to visit, such as the church of San Bartolomé and Santa Catalina. 

It has the Tower of San Miguel Arcángel and the Tower of San Bartolomé. It is considered the most important art centre of baroque Extremadura. This town is also famous for its acorn-fed Iberian ham; fairs exhibit the different local hams.

Llerena: some say that it is the small Athens, but of Extremadura, a very important artistic centre of this community, due to its architecture; where Renaissance, Gothic, Baroque and Mudejar styles are combined. This can be seen in monuments such as the Church of Santiago, the Church of Nuestra Señora de Granada, the Episcopal Palace, the Convent of Santa Clara and the Palace of Zapata.

Therefore, Llerena has also been declared a Historic and Artistic Site because it has a combination of beautiful landscapes, culture, traditions and stories, perfect for a town; interesting to visit and offer.

Alburquerque: is located northwest of Badajoz, very close to Portugal. Moreover, it is nestled in the Sierra de San Pedro, in the Albahacar pass and at about 540 m above sea level. It is located at a distance of 100 km from the capital of Extremadura, called Mérida, and belongs to the area called Los Baldíos de Alburquerque.

It is also an area that is characterized by being surrounded by cork oak groves, a natural park with plant formation, where the cork oak tree predominates. Among its most outstanding monuments are the churches of San Mateo, Santa María del Mercado, the Luna Castle and the wall of Alburquerque. Also, the famous Medieval Quarter of Gothic style and the Convent of the Mother of God. For which it is considered a Historic and Artistic Site.

Posted in Europe, Extremadura, Spain.