Extremadura takes a bit of bit extra effort to get to than many different components of Spain. And since there is no such thing as a seashore, few of the 82.eight million individuals who visited Spain final 12 months went to the area. But it’s residence to among the nation’s best medieval cities and Roman structure – and all of the individuals who created Spain (Romans, Goths, Jews, Arabs) have made their mark right here.
Guests ought to decide up their rent automobile in Madrid and set the GPS for Navalmoral de la Mata. Listen getting out of city because the ring street is a nightmare. As soon as on the A5 head to Talavera de la Reina for a primary encounter with traditional Extremeño panorama: dehesa, rolling acres of holm oaks. That is what a lot of Spain regarded like way back earlier than the timber have been chopped down for firewood and shipbuilding, however right here the oaks have been preserved in order that blackfoot pigs can feed on their acorns and produce Spain’s treasured jamón de bellota (acorn-fed ham).
Madrid to Seville street journey map.
Head up into the hills to Jaraíz de la Vera, famed for its smoked pimentón (paprika) – there’s even a pimentón museum within the village. Keep it up by the wooded hills in direction of Jarandilla de la Vera and ebook your self into the agricultural resort Villa Xarahiz (doubles from €70 B&B), which additionally has conventional restaurant with a €12 lunch menu. Within the morning go to the Monasterio de Yuste (admission €7) then head south, dropping down off the sierra and thru tobacco fields to Navalmoral the place you decide up the A5 once more.

Monasterio de Yuste, Jarandilla de la Vera. {Photograph}: Alamy
Cease off at Trujillo, the birthplace of Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror of Peru, and to a number of hundred different conquistadores who returned residence to construct palaces across the city’s sq., one of many best in Spain. One completely acceptable model of the afterlife can be to spend eternity sipping one thing good and watching the sunshine change in Trujillo’s Plaza Mayor. Keep at Eurostars Palacio Santa Maria (doubles from €60 B&B), a transformed 16th-century palace. There are two museums – Casa-Museo de Pizarro and Centro de Visitantes Los Descubridores – within the city devoted to Pizarro and his fellow conquistadores, although they provide a one-sided view of the defeat of the indigenous Inca inhabitants. Dine at Meson Asador Alberca (menus at €15 and €21) or, for those who can ignore the brash lighting, go to Restaurante Sandra for a plate of fine jamón (€20) and the native cheese speciality, torta de casar. Extremadura pink wine, largely from the Almendralejo space, is great and nearly unobtainable elsewhere.

Trujillo city sq.. {Photograph}: Getty Photos
On day three head east into the hills to Guadalupe for a go to to this beautiful hilltop city, its 13th-century monastery and gardens. Columbus made a pilgrimage right here after this primary voyage to provide thanks for locating America. Have lunch within the cloister of the Hospederia del Actual Monasterio (three-course lunch €20) earlier than heading again to Trujillo for a gin and tonic within the plaza then dine in El Mirador de las Monjas the place dishes on the €20 menu embrace garlic soup, trout and calf’s cheek casserole.
From Trujillo it’s only a 20-minute drive west to Cáceres whose medieval centre is a Unesco world heritage website. Town’s fortunes rose and fell with the Romans, Moors and thrived throughout the New World conquest. It was residence to one in every of Spain’s largest Jewish communities till their expulsion in 1492 below the Alhambra Decree. You get a good suggestion of its historical past on the museum (free) within the previous metropolis that incorporates a superbly preserved aljibe, an Arab approach for conserving rain water. There are a selection of eating places and tapas bars to select from round Plaza San Juan, the charming Meson San Juan amongst them, or for one thing much less conventional attempt the Tapería Torre de Sande. The Resort Palacio de Oquendo gives double rooms at €90.

Previous city, Cáceres. {Photograph}: Santiago Urquijo/Getty Photos
On day 5 take the A66 75km south by the dehesa to Mérida, which has extra Roman stays than some other metropolis in Spain in addition to the magnificent Moorish Alcazaba fortress, all inside straightforward strolling distance of one another. Mérida was based by Augustus in 25BC and have become the capital of the province of Lusitania. It’s price shopping for a single ticket that gives you entry to all of the monuments and museums (grownup €15, under-18 €7.50). Begin on the Roman bridge throughout the River Guadiana and work your manner up city, beginning on the Alcazaba, then stroll up by to the towering temple of Diana. The actual spectacle, nonetheless, is the complicated that features the Roman theatre and the 15,000-seat amphitheatre in-built 8BC. A world competition of classical theatre is held within the Roman theatre each summer season. Good locations to eat embrace A de Arco (for tapas) and La Tahona (two-course dinner round €20). Keep on the Parador de Mérida (doubles from about €70 room-only), an 18th-century convent.

Roman theatre, Mérida. {Photograph}: Alamy
In your second day in Mérida a go to to the Nationwide Museum of Roman Artwork is a good suggestion. The constructing is spectacular and the artefacts are effectively displayed, the mosaics particularly. The museum gives you some context to what you’ve been taking a look at, though solely among the written data is in English. There are audio guides accessible.
On day seven it’s a brief hop to Badajoz on the Portuguese border and far of the structure has a Portuguese really feel, as do the tiled road names. The massive Alcazaba that dominates the city on a hill above the majestic Guadiana river boasts the longest ramparts in Spain. That is your final day in Extremadura so order a plate of jamón and a glass of pink wine, maybe some Habla de Silencio, within the Bar Corchuela or El Ajo Negro and, after an evening within the Gran Resort Zurbarán (doubles from about €70 B&B) , head off on the two-hour drive to Seville, Andalucía’s capital metropolis, for the final three nights of the journey.

Alcazaba, Badajoz. {Photograph}: Alamy
On the way in which make a brief detour to Zafra, a fairly white-washed city with extra conquistador historical past. Take pleasure in a cup of espresso within the colonnaded Plaza Grande.
In Seville, you gained’t be needing the automobile. E book into the central Apartamentos La Casa del Pozo (doubles from €70 room solely) or the Casa Palacio Don Pedro (doubles from €65). There may be a lot to see and do in Seville, from la Giralda to the breathtaking Alcazar palace to the huge cathedral and the Plaza de España. There may be additionally a small Jewish museum in Santa Cruz. It’s an important metropolis for strolling, too, particularly the San Bernardo, San Bartolome and Santa Cruz neighbourhoods. And there’s an entire different Seville throughout the River Guadalquivir in Triana that’s to not be missed. Salmorejo, town’s tackle gazpacho, is a signature dish. Eat at Michelin-listed Puratasca in Triana or the fashionable D’Culto in La Buhaira. At lunchtime you’ll be able to eat fish straight off the market stalls at La Cantina, sending you residence with the salt style of pescaditos washed down with a glass of fino.Whole distance: 880km
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