Cultural gems of Extremadura, a travel to the origins
- Theme: Culture, History, Heritage and nature;
- Place: Region of Extremadura;
- Medium: November and December;
- Low: January and February;
- Services offered during the itinerary:
- Traditional accommodation and gastronomy establishments;
- Guided visits;
- Travel guides;
- Other options on Natural Tourism are also included upon customers request (as there are two natural sites included in the itinerary);
- Target: Over 55 who are interested in Cultural Tourism, Gastronomy, Architecture, History and Arts;
- Difficulty: There are a total of 10 sites of interest available to be visited and included in the itinerary, which will be fully adaptable. Several alternatives will be offered by combining some of these sites, and offering customers different alternatives so that they can choose the one they are interest the most and therefore customize their own experience. Consequently, the customized itineraries will have different levels of dificulty in each case;
- Particular offers/services during the itinerary:
- Visits to cultural places and monuments;
- Tasting menus;
- Panoramic points;
- Excursions to other close sites of interest;
- Visits to local factories dedicated to handicraft and gastronomic products;
- Local food and organic products tasting
Cáceres is a City located in the center of the Iberian Peninsula, in the region of Extremadura (it is the capital of the Cáceres Province), it has 96,000 citizens, being the biggest and most populated city in the Province.
The Old Town of Cáceres was declared UNESCO cultural site in 1986. It is one of the most complete and well-preserved Medieval and Renaissance urban Ensemble in the world. The city stands out for being one of the centers of the University of Extremadura, as well as for its active cultural life.
The origins of Cáceres date back to 25 b.C., in an ancient Roman Settlement called Norbensis Caesarina. Centuries later, during the Arab domination (12th century), Cáceres becomes an important city due to its strategic position during the battles between Arabs and Christians. After many years of wars, Alfonso IX de León finally re-conquered the city, which reaches its maximum splendor in the 15th and 16th centuries, with the arrival of the Catholics Queen and King. Romans, Arabs, Christians and Jews left many traces in the city, that are reflected in numerous and valuable monuments such as:
- The Wall, that separated the two city areas (inside the wall and outside the wall), whose main entrance is the Arco de la Estrella (Star´s Arch).
- The Jewish Quarter.
- The Main Square (outside wall) that concentrates numerous options for accommodation, shopping and gastronomy.
- The defensive towers (Albarran Towers and Bujaco Tower).
- The fortress-palaces, symbol of the wars between nobles families, examples are Carvajal (with a characteristic arab, circular tower), Golfines de Arriba and Golfines de Abajo, and Las Veletas Palaces.
- The religious monuments such as Santa María Con-Cathedral (the most important Christian Temple in Cáceres Province), San Mateo and San Jorge Church.
- Squares (Santa María, San Jorge, Las Veletas and San Mateo).
- The Arab Aljibe (inside Las Veletas Palace, it still remains in use).
The cultural and tourism alternatives of Cáceres also integrate other types of attractions, such as:
- Museums: Archaeological Museum of Cáceres Province, Casa Pedrilla History and Culture Museum, Santa Maria Con-Cathedral Museum, Carvajal Place Museum , etc.
- Cáceres Holy Week, declared festivity of international tourist interest in 2011. The most remarkable feature is the procession of Penitents of the Brotherhood of the Black Christ.
- San Jorge Festivity: the 23rd April, but the celebration takes place the previous day, with a parade with performances symbolizing the fight between San Jorge and The Dragon. The Dragon is finally burned in the Main Square.
- WOMAD: international festival of alternative music organized by the organization “World Of Music, Arts and Dance”.
Others: Classic Theatre Festival, Three Cultures Medieval Fair, Extregusta, etc
Mérida was founded by the Romans in 25 b.C. under the name of Emérita Augusta, the main purpose of its foundation was to award the retired, senior soldiers who fought against Cantabrians and Astures. It was elected as Capital of the Lusitania Province by the Roman Empire.
Its strategic location made it one of the most relevant and influential places of the Roman Empire, which is reflected in its huge historic-artistic heritage. Among its most relevant monuments is The Roman Theatre (where the International Classical Theatre Festival takes place), the Amphitheatre, “Los Milagros” aqueduct, the Arch of Trajan, the Roman Bridge, the Circus and the Temple of Diana. All of them are evidences of the characteristic lifestyle in a Capital city of the Roman Imperium. The Arab alcazaba located next to the roman bridge is the oldest in the Iberian Peninsula and conserves a cistern with Roman and Visigoth elements.
From the Middle Ages, it has to be pointed out the Basilica of Santa Eulalia, which was the first Christian temple built in the Iberian Peninsula (4th century). It keeps a crypt with a remarkable Christian necropolis. Other relevant monuments are: the Con-cathedral of Santa María la Mayor, Nuestra Señora de la Antigua Church, the Main Square, Menzona Palace, etc.
The Archaeological Roman Ensemble of Mérida was declared UNESCO World Heritage in 1993. The city has been the capital of the region of Extremadura since 1983 and it is an important administrative center, serving as communication hub with other major cities such as Madrid, Seville and Lisbon.
The Mérida International Classical Theatre Festival is the oldest in Spain of these characteristics and has its beginnings around 1933 with Seneca´s play “Medea”. The plays are performed annually in July and August in the arena of the Roman theatre, making it the oldest theatre in the world holding performances of classical texts, its 62 edition took place in summer 2016, receiving a big representation of relevant theatre professionals and actors from the national scenery.
Guadalupe is a town of approximately 2000 inhabitants located in the north-east of Extremadura, in Las Villuercas Area. It is an important and artistic center it holds the Royal Monastery of Guadalupe, with remarkable examples of Mujedar art, Gothic Architecture and Zurbarán works. However, one piece stands out from the rest: the statue of the virgin of Guadalupe, patroness of Extremadura. This holy place was declared UNESCO World Heritage in 1993 and is located in the Main Square, it counts on an astonishing Gothic façade.
According to the legend, the statute of the Virgin of Guadalupe was founded by a shepherd in the 13th century, which had been previously hidden by Sevillian clerics during their runway from the Moors. As a result, a little hermitage was built. In 1337 it was extended by initiative of the king Alfonso XI.
The church present in the monastery was re-built three times, being the current one of gothic style, with Latin cross shape. The monastery also possesses two Cloisters: the Mudejar is the most beautiful, with representations of Virgin´s miracles.
During the period in which the monastery was ruled by the Hieronymite monks, the painter Francisco de Zurbarán painted eight enormous canvases to decorate the sacristy, illustrating different scenes in the monks’ life.
The Virgin niche has octagonal floor and Roco Style, and it was a work from Francisco Rodríguez Romero. It also possesses painting of Luca Giordano and Francesco Leonardi.
A visit to the monastery is not complete without seeing the museums. One of them is an embroidery museum, with the craftsmanship elaborated by the monks in the monastery. The illustrated books museum is in the Mudejar Cloister and holds works of El Greco and Goya.
DAY 1. Trujillo and Cáceres Cities.
First day morning visitors will be taken to a guided tour through the Old Town of Trujillo. Trujillo city is known by many as the City of the Conquerors, as it is the place of origin of relevant conquerors such as Francisco Pizarro and Francisco de Orellana.
The central point of Trujillo is its Main Square or Plaza Mayor, which is and has been the center of the economic and social life of the city during centuries, with the equestrian statue of Pizarro occupying a central place.
When walking around Trujillo´s Old Town, visitors will feel as they are travelling back to times to the late Middle Ages, visiting churches, palaces and manor houses which were built between the 14th and 16th centuries. On the top of the Old Town lays the Trujillo Castle, which offers breath taking views of the city.
Cáceres city is 45 km far from Trujillo, visitors will arrive to the city to have lunch and enjoy the gastronomic specialties of the 2015 Gastronomy Capital of Spain. After that, they will be taken to a guided tour through the UNESCO Old Town of Cáceres, which is one of the most well-preserved walled, medieval cities in Europe.
The architecture of the Old Town is a blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance styles. Visitors will pass through the “Arco de la Estrella” to enter the walled area and will visit relevant monuments and buildings such as the Bujaco Tower (part of the ancient Arab alcazar), the Santa María Cathedral, the Carvajal Palace, churches such as San Jorge or San Mateo, the Arab Cistern- Aljibe- (inside the Cáceres provincial museum) and many nobility constructions (fortress-houses) that are symbol of the battles maintained by the noble battles and the peace generated by the unification of the different kingdoms by the Catholic King and Queen during the late Middle Ages.
DAY 2. Los Barruecos Natural Monument and Mérida city.
Morning will be dedicated to visit the Barruecos Natural Monument, which was declared Mejor Rincón de España (best corner of Spain) in 2015. It is a unique natural creation and landscape characterized by granite formations shaped by the water and other erosive agents. The combination of these formations and several lakes that are present in the place create the perfect habitat for many animal species such as the storks and the grey heron. Traces of ancient population are reflected in their archaeological remains as well.
The Vostell-Malpartida Museum is located in the monument area. Founded in 1976 by Wolf Vostell, a Spanish-German artist of international prestige, the museum keeps an important collection of fluxus art.
Visitors will be taken to Mérida at lunch hour and then they will visit the UNESCO Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida. It is an excellent example of a provincial Roman capital during the empire and in the years afterwards.
The colony of Augusta Emerita, which became present-day Mérida in Extremadura, was founded in 25 B.C. and was the capital of Lusitania, as well as one of the three border capitals of Al-Andalus, along with Toledo and Zaragoza, ensuring control of the western part of the Iberian peninsula.
This UNESCO Archaeological Ensemble is formed by several monuments: Roman Theatre and Amphi-Theatre, Roman Circus, National Roman Art Museum, Arab Alcazaba, Moorish Quarter, Saint Eulalia´s Crypt and Columbarios. Apart from these, there are other outdoors monuments such as Diana Temple, the Roman Bridge, Trajano´s Arch, etc.
DAY 3. Olivenza and Badajoz.
Third day morning, visitors will enjoy a guided tour through Olivenza. This city was founded by the Order of the Templar Knights in the 13th century and was under Portuguese government until the 19th century. The monumental Olivenza preserves with pride the remains of its Portuguese past. In general, its architecture combines styles from both countries, and its monumental heritage is quite rich. Being on the border with Portugal, Olivenza built many fortresses lined with bastions, as well as many other fortified structures such as the Arsenal of Santa Bárbara, the watchtowers found by the gates, and the barracks.
After lunch, visitors will be picked to Badajoz, where the itinerary ends up. The City of Badajoz has Arab origins, being founded in 875 by Ibn Marwan al-Chilliqui. In that moment Badajoz is fortified and becomes a true city in which the three cultures coexist: Arabic, Christian and Jewish. The oldest part of the city is the “Alcazaba”, which is one of the better preserved Arab fortifications in the country. This fortified area will be the start point of the visit, which highlighted two relevant attraction: the “Espantaperros” Tower and the Provincial Archeological Museum.
Other relevant attractions that will be visited are the “Plaza Alta”, the “Giraldilla” Tower, the “Soledad” Church, the Cathedral and “Puerta de Palmas” and “Palmas” bridge.
Fuentes del Trampal
Place of legal establishment:
Avenida de Colón 18 (2º A)
06001 Badajoz, Spain
Website and telephone:
Place of legal establishment:
Avda. de la Universidad, sn
10003 Cáceres (Spain)
Website and telephone: