Gredos & Monfragüe Nature Reserve Route
GREDOS AND MONFRAGUE NATURE RESERVES ROUTE (RUTA DEL PARQUE NATURAL DE GREDOS Y EL PARQUE NATURAL DE MONFRAGUE)
A route for serious nature lovers, starting with two nights in the Gredos mountains at the very first Parador, created in 1928 for King Alfonso XIII. Wonderful scenery, peace and quiet, exceptional Paradors – quite simply a lovely route.
Suggested airport: Madrid
7 NIGHT ITINERARY
First and Second Nights: Parador de GREDOS
This is a trip on which to enjoy a few days of nature, history and relaxation. The Gredos landscape is an immense granite mass, a natural space considered to be the backbone of the Iberian Peninsula. From a nature-lover’s point of view, the entire area has become the most valuable section of the entire Central Mountain Range (Sistema Central). The towns enclosed by the mountains are scattered along the slopes and valleys, and have preserved their typical architecture and rural traditions. The Parador can offer you information on the many routes available, either on foot or on horseback, to enjoy the mountains and all their natural beauty. On one of these excursions, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Spanish ibex (cabra hispánica).
Third Night: Parador de JARANDILLA DE LA VERA
The impressive Parador de Jarandilla is a perfect starting point for visits to places such as Yuste Monastery, where Emperor Carlos V spent his last days. Other interesting visits include natural sites such as the Olla Gorge. We also recommend the towns of the Vera region, especially Valverde and Villanueva. Between the foothills of the Gredos Mountains and the city of Plasencia are three northern regions crossed by the Ambroz, Jerte and Tiétar rivers, all tributaries of the Tagus. These natural divisions separate the region from the Tras la Sierra and Sierra de Tormantos mountain ranges.
Fourth and Fifth Nights: Parador de PLASENCIA
Don’t miss the two cathedrals in Plasencia: New and Old. Around the cathedrals you will find many lovely spots, the Main Square (Plaza Mayor), with its bustling activity, the Episcopal Palace, the palace of the Marquises of Mirabel, Carvajal-Girón Palace and Las Torres Palace, and San Vicente Ferrer Convent among others. Nearby Monfragüe Nature Reserve is a must-see. This remarkable natural space has an area of 17,852 hectares. The protected space extends along both banks of the Tagus River, a unique area inhabited by the black vulture, imperial eagle, black stork, Eurasian griffon, Eurasian eagle-owl, lynx and nutria.
Sixth and Seventh Nights: Parador de OROPESA
Now there is a chance to discover La Mancha, land of the plains, land of medieval knights and feudal lords. The route ends in Oropesa, where we can explore the 16th century Jesuit School, Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Church (15th century), and the New Palace (15th century), not forgetting the splendid 14th century historic Parador.