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Exploring Extremadura staying in Hospederias

Extremadura is one of the least known areas of Spain but a region full of surprises. It has always been under the shadow of Andalucia but it has towns and villages every bit as beautiful just waiting to be discovered. Zafra is known as ‘Little Seville’; Merida has a spectacular collection of Roman ruins and a world class museum; Trujillo, one of the most perfect towns in Spain, Guadalupe boasts the most imposing monastery in the country; then there’s Caceres, Plasencia, Hervas and so many other smaller villages - let alone national parks and mountains. Hospederias are charming, very good value, 4 star hotels housed in historic buildings but away from the main centres. Generally in quieter, smaller towns, they are ideal as bases for walking/exploring the countryside yet are within easy reach of the larger towns and cities.

10 Nights

From £950 per person based on 2 sharing

Flight from Gatwick to Seville (other UK airports are available), Collect car from Seville Airport, 3 nights Hospederia Mirador de Llerena - Llerena, 2 nights Hospederia Puente de Alconetar - Garrovillas, 3 nights Hospederia Parque de Monfrague - Torrejon el Rubio, 2 nights Hospederia Valle de Ambroz - Hervas, Leave car at Madrid Airport, Flight from Madrid to Gatwick (other UK airports available)

Day
1

Arrive at Seville Airport, collect your hire car and drive to Llerena (131 km, 1 hr 30 min).

Overnight Hospederia Mirador de Llerena. The Hospederia is housed in a magnificent nineteenth century stately home.

Day
2

After breakfast explore the white town of Llerena, with a current population of around 6,000 people. It was occupied by the Moors from the 8th to the 13th century and was subsequently the headquarters of the Grand Masters of the Order of Saint James of the Sword. The High Court of the Inquisition was also located here. The small town is a delightful mix of Moorish, Mudejar, Gothic and Baroque architecture. Religious buildings abound. The restaurants serve traditional Extremaduran cuisine. In the afternoon drive to nearby Zafra (47 km, 38 min) known as ‘Little Seville’. With a population of 17,000, the town is dominated by its 15th century Alcazar and is a mixture of Moorish and Christian architecture, ancestral homes, convents and churches. Henry III of Castile gifted the city to Gomes Suarez de Figueroa whose family developed and ruled Zafra till the 18th century. There is much to see in the town. Overnight Hospederia Mirador de Llerena

Day
3

After breakfast drive to Merida (104 km,1hr 10 mins) and spend the day in one of the most important receptacles of Roman architecture in Spain and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a population of around 60,000 people, Merida is one of the largest cities in Extremadura. The Puente Romano bridge over the Guadiana River is the longest of all remaining Roman Bridges in Europe and is still used by pedestrians. The remains of the Roman Forum, the so-called Arch of Trajan, the remains of the Circus Maximus, the Amphitheatre and Roman Theatre can all be visited and countless other remains are around every corner of the city. The Museum dedicated to Roman heritage is world class. Overnight Hospederia Mirador de Llerena

Day
4

After breakfast, make and early start and drive northwest to Garrovillas (207 km, 2 hrs 10 mins) and the Hospederia Puente de Alconetar. Explore this small town of around 2,400 inhabitants and perhaps take a walk in the surrounding countryside. Garrovillas has an enormous square which is considered a historical and artistic monument, and a large Jewish quarter with a maze of narrow, winding streets. On one side of the Constitution Square is the Palace of the Counts of Alba Aliste within which the Hospederia is located. Overnight Hospederia Puente de Alconetar

Day
5

Caceres, the regional capital is only 38 km (36 mins) from Garrovillas and the day should be spent exploring this graceful, chic city. The medieval walled city of Caceres is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was founded by the Romans but many different cultures have been occupiers. The old town is a mixture of cobbled medieval streets, fortified houses and Gothic and Renaissance buildings. A day is not enough to appreciate this lovely city so if time allows perhaps a few hours can be spent here on the way to your next stop which is the Hospederia Parque de Monfrague. Overnight Hospederia Puente de Alconetar

Day
6

It is a short drive (67 km 1hr) west from Garrovillas to the Hospederia Parque de Monfrague. Not only is this Hospederia set in the National Park which is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the largest and best preserved Mediterranean mountain landscape in the world, but it is virtually equidistant between Trujillo (44 km), Plasencia (47 km) and Caceres (59 km). Spend this, your first day, exploring the National Park. Overnight Hospederia Parque de Monfrague

Day
7

A whole day needs to be devoted to Trujillo (population approximately 10,000), one of the most romantic towns in Spain. The well preserved medieval, moorish fortress dominates the town and overlooks the centre. This was the birthplace of Francisco Pizarro who conquered the Incas and whose statue stands in the main square. His brothers Francisco de Orellana and Hernando de Alarcon were also famous conquistadors who built or upgraded many of the medieval and renaissance buildings in the old town. Overnight Hospederia Parque de Monfrague

Day
8

Plasencia is a short drive north of Torrejon and again, the town needs a day to explore. It is a walled market city with a population of approximately 43,000. Located on the banks of the Jerte River, the city, since the 15th century, has always had a strategic position and gained considerable wealth as is reflected in the imposing buildings, churches and noble houses. At the beginning of the 14th century, Plasencia had the largest jewish community in Extremadura and Christian, Muslim and Jewish people lived peacefully together. The Convent of St Dominic, the Aqueduct of Plasencia and the complex of two cathedrals should be visited. Overnight Hospederia Parque de Monfrague

Day
9

On leaving Monfrague, it is worth taking a detour to visit Guadeloupe. It is a 2 hour drive (125 km) to the charming, small medieval town with a population of 2,000; But it is The Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, dating from 1325 and the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe which are spectacular. For four centuries, this was the most powerful monastery in Spain and it was here that Isabel of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon signed the documents that authorised the first voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World in 1492. A visit is well worth the slight detour as the monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage site and remains a centre of pilgrimage for the Western World and Latin America and one of the foremost tourist attractions in Spain. The return trip to Hervas for your final 2 nights will take another 2 hours (170 km) Overnight Hospederia Valle de Ambroz - Hervas

Day
10

This is your final day so spend it exploring Hervas, as many consider this to be the loveliest area in Extremadura. Hervas is a large medieval town of 4,000 inhabitants. Its most significant feature and historical heritage is a very large Jewish Quarter of steep alleyways that drop down from the main plaza to the River Ambroz and the medieval Fuente Chiquita Bridge. Overnight Hospederia Valle de Ambroz

Day
11

After breakfast and depending on the time of your flight, set off for Madrid Airport (255 km (2 hr 45 mins)

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