Extremadure Hotels, holiday accommodation in Extremadura, western Spain
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Spain Information } Extremadura - Castilla La Mancha

Extremadura - Castilla La Mancha

<span>Toledo</span>Toledo
<span>Toledo cathedral</span>Toledo cathedral
<span>Toledo, Santa Maria la Blanca</span>Toledo, Santa Maria la Blanca
<span>Cuenca</span>Cuenca
<span>Cuenca, hanging houses</span>Cuenca, hanging houses
<span>Cuenca, San Pablo bridge</span>Cuenca, San Pablo bridge
<span>Caceres, the cathedral</span>Caceres, the cathedral
<span>Caceres</span>Caceres
<span>Merida, the Roman Bridge</span>Merida, the Roman Bridge
<span>Merida, Roman theatre</span>Merida, Roman theatre
<span>Guadalupe</span>Guadalupe
<span>Guadalupe, the Monastery</span>Guadalupe, the Monastery
<span>La Mancha, windmills</span>La Mancha, windmills
<span>La Mancha landscape</span>La Mancha landscape
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Extremadura, the interior Spanish province with the greatest amount of water, extends from the Gredos and Gata mountain ranges all the way to Andalusia, and from Castile to the Portuguese border. The region has a varied landscape of plains, mountains and meadows. Cortes, Pizarro, Balboa, De Soto; the Conquistadors, all left this vast, beautiful and little-visited region to conquer the New World.  Fortunes made in the Americas financed elaborate family mansions and churches inthis region that earlier as enjoyed by legions of the Roman Empire. Extremadura is an outdoor lover´s paradise with popular sports including hunting, fishing, hiking, horse-riding and many water-sports available here.

Castilla-La Mancha is the land of Don Quijote, a land of contrasts, dramatic landscapes and extensive plains. The region always comes as a surprise to visitors for its cultural, geographical and environmental diversity. Its the small farmers and nomadic herdsmen who have given the region its special flavour in the small towns and villages they´ve created across formerly unpopulated lands. The region has been immortalised by Cervantes in his world-famous Don Quixote de La Mancha, who battled windmills here that still stand tall in a rugged landscape, along with many monumental castles.

 

Monumental Cities and Towns

  • Caceres: Declared World Heritage by UNESCO and surrounded by Moorish walls, Caceres is splendidly preserved. Its handsome ochre-coloured mansions – belonging to the noblemen of the 15th and 16th centuries who fought against the Moors and journeyed to the Americas as conquistadors – line the maze of twisting streets and small plazas. Plaza Santa Ana forms the hart of the old city, and the provincial museum´s excellent exhibits of regional archaeological finds and ethnographic displays are housed in the Casa de las Veletas. Beneath Veletas you descend by a stone staircase into a splendid cistern, left from the days when the building was a Moorish Alcazar (a fortified palace).

 

  • Guadalupe: famous for the Monastery of Guadalupe, with a 14th century church and a mudejar cloister. Pilgrims come here to worship the Black Virgin in the storybook cathedral.

 

  • Trujillo: It´s lively Plaza Mayor sits beneath the statue of Francisco Pizarro, whose family palace is also on the plaza.  It´s uphill from the square to little churches and noble mansions, and the 12th century Arab fortress of El Castillo.

 

  • Merida: The Roman ruins in Merida particularly the amphi-theatre are outstanding, as is its award-winning Museum of Roman Art.  Also Merida boasts the world´s largest Roman Bridge, and other Roman remains including the Arch of Trajano.  Merida has been declared by UNESCO Heritage of mankind.

 

  • Toledo: The saying goes that if you only had one day to spend in Spain, it should be spent in Toledo.  To savour this 6th century city of cobbled streets and medieval architecture, you might be tempted to confine yourself to the cathedral, one of the finest in Europe, with stained glass windows, intricate woodwork and wrought-iron grilles, plus a sacristy that doubles as a fine arts museum.  Or just see the house of El Greco and the dazzling Moorish-designed synagogues. But continue on and wander around the narrow streets, taking time to relax at the main square, Plaza de Zocodover, before touring outside the walls where it is important to capture the city´s dramatic profile, as immortalised on the canvases of El Greco.

 

  • Cuenca: Cuenca, declared Heritage of Mankind by UNESCO, stands on a steep-sided spur that drops precipitously on either side to the gorges of the Jucar and Huecar rivers. Around the Moorish town´s narrow streets grew the Gothic and Renaissance city whose monuments, including a treasure-filled cathedral, were built with the profits of wool and textile trade.  The heart of the town is the cafe-lined, arcaded Plaza Mayor, and Cuenca´s most amazing feature is the 14th century, cliff-hanging casas colgadas, hanging houses, that cling to the edge of a deep gorge.  One house is now the Museum of Abstract Art which displays works by contemporary Spanish Artists such as Antoni Tapies and Eduardo Chillida.  More ancient works can be found in the nearby Archaeological Museum.  Enjoyable excursions from Cuenca include Belmonte Castle, the Romanesque church at Arcas and the Roman amphitheatre at Segobriga.

 

  • Siguenza: A charming medieval town in the northeast of La Mancha, descends in tiers from its hlltop.  It is dominated by he imposing Santa Maria cathedral-fortress with spectacular interiors, and the castle (now the Parador de Siguenza).

 

  • Almagro: In the southwest of La Mancha, Almagro appears as it did in its 16th century heyday with its fine arcaded Plaza Mayor, the convent of the Knights of Calatrava and the oldest theatre in Spain: Corral de las Comedias.

 

History and Geography

The nameExtremadura relates to the fact that during the Reconquest it was a land of 'extremes' i.e. a frontier area bordering on Muslim territory. It did eventually fall to Arab invasion and later in the 14th century, Portugal began its constant attempts to conquer the region, which lasted for almost two hundred years. The region was home to the most important Conquerers of the New World, such as Pizarro and today it is one of the most beautiful, least known regions of inland Spain.

Geographically, Extremadura lies in west central Spain, just north of Andalusia and bordering Portugal. Merida is its capital, and the population of the entire region is over one million. Extremadura is divided into two provinces: Badajoz and Caceres. Mostly it is made up of vast plains with an average height of about 350 metres. Although there are three mountain ranges in the region with some peaks reaching 2000 metres. The climate here is generally continental with some regional variations. Cold winters and dry hot summers are the norm.

Castilla La Mancha dates back to pre-Roman times when it was inhabited by Celts and the Iberians. The present territory dates from the Lower Middle Ages. The period between the 17th and the 19th centuries was especially tough for the region which saw a severe decline in population. Today Castilla-La Mancha is a prosperous area where farming activities are mixed with industry. Toledo is the capital of the community consisting of 79,226 square km. The varied landscape is explained by the two rivers (Tajo and Guadiana) and several mountain ranges (Central System, Serrania de Gredos and Sierra Morena) that can be found here. The climate is Continental Mediterranean, with cold winters and hot summers. Castilla-La Mancha has a population of around 1,7 million.

 

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Cuisine

Extremadura´s cuisine has influences both from Andalusia and Castile. It is a rich and varied gastronomy full of vegetables, game and many meats. Typical foods include spicy chorizo sausage, pata negra jamon (finest quality cured ham), gazpacho extremeno (a cold soup), stews and various game dishes. Among the sweets are nevaditos (sugar coated cakes), almond cakes and biscuits. The best wines produced in the region come from Montanchez and from Tierra de Barros.

In Castilla-La Mancha the cuisine is quite diverse and includes delicious meats, fresh trout and another local delicacy, river crabs. Popular dishes are mountain rabbit, hare, migas (fried breadcrumbs), morteruelo (pork liver pate), pistos asadillo (roast peppers and tomatoes with garlic) and gazpacho manchego. Sweets include turron (nougat) and yemas (small egg-yolk cakes). Two products in particular symbolise the gastronomy: manchego cheese and Valdepenas wine.

Festivals

  • February: Carnival in Badajoz (Extremadura)
  • Easter: Especially vibrant in Cáceres, Badajoz, Mérida and Toledo.
  • June: Corpus Christi celebrations in Toledo, declared of International Tourist interest.

Others

 

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Accommodation

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Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in Toledo CYM02 Central Hotel
CYM05 Central Hotel
CYM09 Central Hotel
PAR70 PARADOR Paradors w/ pool

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Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in CUENCA CYM06 Central Hotel
PAR18 PARADOR Paradors

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Accommodation in GUADALUPE PAR20 PARADOR Paradors w/ pool

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Accommodation in MERIDA EXT10 Central Hotel
PAR21 PARADOR Paradors w/ pool

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Accommodation in CACERES EXT11 Central Hotel
PAR15 PARADOR Paradors

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Accommodation in PLASENCIA PAR23 PARADOR Paradors w/ pool

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Accommodation in TRUJILLO PAR27 PARADOR Paradors w/ pool

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Accommodation in ZAFRA PAR28 PARADOR Paradors w/ pool

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Accommodation in ALARCON PAR33 PARADOR Paradors

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Accommodation in OROPESA PAR02 PARADOR Paradors w/ pool

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Accommodation in ALBACETE PAR35 PARADOR Paradors

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Accommodation in ALMAGRO PAR37 PARADOR Paradors w/ pool

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Accommodation in JARANDILLA DE LA VERA PAR52 PARADOR Paradors w/ pool

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Accommodation in MANZANARES PAR56 PARADOR Paradors w/ pool

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Accommodation in SIGUENZA PAR67 PARADOR Paradors

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Accommodation in Ciudad Real CYM17 Country Hotel w/ pool
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