Spanish imperial eagle
Monfragüe National Park
Iberian Pigs grazing amongst the oaks
City of Caceres
Explore the rolling plains of Extremadura with its cork and holm oak dehesas in one of the most untouched areas of Spain
Stay in the Parque Natural de Monfragüe, perhaps the finest raptor-watching site in Europe, and in historic Cáceres with its wealth of wheeling swifts
Wander through Los Barruecos, extraordinary giant boulders home to nesting storks
“An interesting introduction to a part of Spain that is less well known – rich in history and with some impressive architecture”
– ACE customer on a previous tour to Extremadura led by Kevin Hand
With its wild mountain ranges and its limitless rolling plains, Extremadura boasts an enticing variety of landscapes. In the springtime the region’s cork and holm oak dehesas are abundantly carpeted with rock roses and cistus, while the grasslands boast mile after mile of catchfly and marigold.
Exploring the Via del Plata, an ancient pilgrimage route running from southern Spain to Santiago de Compostela, we will seek bee-eaters, hoopoes, orioles, booted eagles and red-rumped swallows, all the while surrounded by a wealth of wild flowers and majestic oaks.
When summer guests such as the lesser kestrel and pallid swift arrive, and winter visitors begin their migration north, the Parque Natural de Monfragüe can justifiably lay claim to be the finest raptor-watching site in Europe. Colonies of up to 200 vultures – griffon, black and Egyptian – make their home at Peña Falcón Rock, accompanied by black storks and rock buntings. At Los Barruecos (where “Spain was born”, according to the locals) storks nest on huge granite boulders strewn beside remote paths.
Our tour will also unravel Extremadura’s fascinating regional history, where Romans, Goths, Moors and conquistadors have all left their mark. The medieval quarter in the UNESCO-protected town of Cáceres ranks among Spain’s finest, whilst Trujillo, formerly the Roman town of Turgalium, boasts a wealth of medieval and Renaissance buildings and a rich Córdoban and Almoravid history.
We shall spend our first three nights in Cáceres at the four-star Hotel NH Collection Cáceres Palacio de Oquendo, a converted 16th century palace just moments away from the ancient walls of this charming and historic town. We then stay for four nights at the four-star Hospederia Parque Nacional de Monfragüe, located within the heart of the Monfragüe National Park.
This tour will be led by conservationist, ornithologist and environmental consultant Kevin Hand, MSc, MCIEEM, who has taken tours for ACE since 1992. In 2017 he became President of the Cambridge Natural History Society. Kevin has a special interest in birds and ecotourism, and has carried out extensive fieldwork in the UK and abroad, making him an ideal director for this Spanish tour.
Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, seven breakfasts, five lunches (some packed), six dinners with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.
Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £325.