Extremadura is a remote part of Spain which has changed little with modern times and as a consequence is a fascinating step back in time. This region was very important to the Romans and the Roman city of Merida is its capital. It has one of the best collections of Roman ruins and artefacts in Europe. The city of Caceres has a marvellous medieval centre.
Trujillo and Zafra are lovely towns which are also steeped in history and the Monastery of Guadelupe is a magnificent Mudejar-style monastery.
The scenery of Extremadura ranges from the fertile 'plains of Spain' to mountains, forests and rivers. The region is home to around 11000 storks and their nests can be seen on the rooves and chimneys of many buildings in the area. The region is rich in a lot of other bird-life too and is a very popular destination for bird-watchers.
Cities and Places to Visit in Extremadura
Alcantara - Alcantara has an impressive Roman bridge and the town has some lovely mansions the convent, the Convento de San Benito.
Arroyo de la Luz - famous for the church, the Iglesia de la Asuncion which has an altarpiece containing 20 paintings by Luis de Morales, a mystical religious painter ('El Divino')
Badajoz - contains some remnants of its Moorish past.
Caceres - has a magnificent medieval centre. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Complete with Moorish town walls and Renaissance palaces and lots of storks!
Coria - the town sits above the Rio Alagon and has ancient walls of Medieval and Muslim origins.
Guadalupe - home to the fabulous Monastery of Guadalupe.
Hervas - has an attractive medieval Jewish quarter
Jerez de los Caballeros - A very attractive town with a castle and some very ornate Baroque churches.
Llerena - an attractive town with Baroque and Mudejar architecture.
Merida - amazing Roman ruins including one of the best-preserved Roman theatres which is still used today. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Olivenza - a walled town with a medieval castle. It used to be a Portugese settlement and retains a very Portugese feel.
Plasencia - has a pleasant arcaded main square, the Plaza Major.
Trujillo - widely thought to have one of the most attractive main squares in Spain. Make sure you see it at night when it is floodlit. Home to the conqueror of Peru and many of his blood-thirsty band.
Valencia de Alcantara - famous for its dolmens (megalithic monuments)
Zafra - nicknamed 'little Seville' due to its similarities to Seville. Most notably in its courtyards and whitewashed houses. One of the prettiest villages in Extremedura.
Natural Park of Monfrague - craggy peaks and gentle hills and a particularly varied range of animal and bird-life. Particularly noted for its black vultures and black storks.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Extremadura
Old Town of Caceres
Archeaological ensemble of Merida
Monastery of Guadalupe
Archeaological Museum, Badajoz - housed in the Alcazaba of Badajoz and has a large collection of archeaological finds.
Municipal Museum Etnografico Gonzalez Santana, Olivenza - museum of rural life.
Museo Etnografico y Textil, Plasencia - contains costumes and local crafts.
Museo de Arte Visigodo, the Museum of Visigoth Art, Merida
National Museum of Roman Art, Merida - a beautiful building containing some excellent exhibits. Well worth a visit.
Museo Provincial, Caceres, worth visiting for the building which was a Moorish Alcazar.
Museo Perez Comendador-Leroux, Hervas - works of the 20th century sculptor.
Yuste Monastery - Charles V moved to this monastery for the last two years of his life.
Monastery of Tentudia - has a lovely Mudejar-style cloister
Monastery of Guadalupe - fabulous mix of Gothic and Mudejar architecture and home to a black statue of the Virgin Mary believed to have been carved by St Luke.