Useful tips for a getaway to Las Hurdes north of Cáceres

Meandro El Melero in Las Hurdes in the province of Cáceres

I barely remembered the only trip I had made so far many years ago to the region of Las Hurdesat north of Cáceres in Estremadura.

It had been a complementary stage of a route through villages of the Salamanca region of the Sierra of France how The swimming pool Y Miranda de Castañar.

On that route I did not want to miss the opportunity of «go down" to "see how Las Hurdes were«.

Landscapes of Las Hurdes in the province of Cáceres

I recognize that he was undoubtedly influenced by the black legend which has always involved this region of Extremadura, and whose greatest exponent was the documentary «Land without Bread" from Luis Buñuel.

On my recent return to The Hurdes I've realized that in reality then I barely reached the town ofThe Mestas… and a little more.

Where are Las Hurdes

However, now, in a four-day getaway I have had the opportunity to really discover this region, its villages, its landscapes, its main tourist attractions, and also to know the idiosyncrasy of its people.

This northern region of the province of Cáceres extends by six valleys with six main municipalities and a total of 44 villages and farmhouses.

Rural architecture in El Gasco in Las Hurdes in the province of Cáceres

They are mountainous landscapes with lush forests of resinous pine trees, the result of the reforestation carried out about 50 years ago.

The High Hurdes

The area known as The High Hurdes pretty with the Salamanca province and it is distinguished by the narrowness and depth of the valleys where the roads are lost by winding curves until ending in the small town to which they give access.

In that area there is a certain feeling of that isolation that has always characterized Las Hurdes.

The Low Hurdes

Instead, in the area of The Low Hurdes, where the most populated localities such as Pinched Y Caminomorisco, the valleys open and you can also see another type of native grove, such as olive trees, chestnut trees, cherry trees, cork oaks, and even pasture landscapes.

Akassa bioclimatic huts in Las Hurdes in the province of Cáceres

So what will you find in a Tourism getaway to Las Hurdes?

When we arrived at the rural hotel where we stayed, Akassa, very original and comfortable «chozos» bioclimatic With modern architecture in the middle of the countryside, we find a couple of Dutch people of a certain age.

To the surprise of his presence, we were curious to know how they had decided to go to this isolated place.

And his answer was that they had found him through Internet looking to enjoy nature and tranquility in a place that offers design architecture, which is the characteristic of this hotel establishment.

That's what you will find in Las Hurdessheer nature and a lot tranquility.

Church of Las Mestas in Las Hurdes in the province of Cáceres

Of course this region no longer suffers the isolation that only 25 years ago still characterized it, when still to reach some farmhouses you had to climb paths without asphalt.

Now on your visit you will find all roads well paved and in good condition.

What to see and do in Las Hurdes

But, from my point of view, if there is a word that defines The Hurdes next to those cited of nature Y tranquilitythat would be authenticity.

But specificallywhat will you be able to see in Las Hurdes?

Natural pools in Las Hurdes

From the tourist point of view we can say that it is still virgin territory, which is not an obstacle that one of its most popular attractions is the 26 natural pools where you can bathe during the summer months.

Natural pool of Riomalo de Arriba in Las Hurdes

As we are told, of them only the Pinofranqueado natural pool It is full of bathers in summer, so that in the rest you can bathe practically alone.

It is an enclave where you will find a good endowment of hotels and rural houses, but it is an almost unknown corner, of the few that are already left in Spain.

And that despite the fact that the north of the region borders a very visited area such as the aforementioned Sierra of France, with the beautiful and very tourist town of The swimming pool just 20 kilometers away, only separated from Las Hurdes by the winding Batuecas Valley.

But this region of Extremadura It has enough attractions for a long bridge getaway, and of course for a day as an extension of a route through the area of ​​the province of Salamanca.

Meander the Melero

From the point of view of nature, without doubt the most prominent corner and landscape icon of this region, is the meander El Melero.

Meandro El Melero in Las Hurdes in the province of Cáceres

It is a beautiful and spectacular geographical enclave formed by theAlagón river and the end of a reservoir, section that separates the provinces of Salamanca and Cáceres.

Just to see from a viewpoint the meander of Melero well worth it take a trip to Las Hurdes.

In the narrow valleys of the region you can also see other winding meanders, such as the currencies from the viewpoints ofMartilandrán.

And as in other regions of northern Extremadura, in The Hurdes you will find corners of such greenery and lushness that will give you the feeling of being in Galicia, such as, for example, the Arrobatuequilla steak.

Discover these small waterfalls known as jets It's an invitation hiking in Las Hurdes Well, to reach several of them you will need to take excursions that can take you a few hours.

Meandering in Martilandrán in Las Hurdes

Slate architecture in Las Hurdes

Another of the attractions of Las Hurdes is the possibility of seeing the most authentic rural architecture.

Opposite the architecture of half-timbered houses of the nearby Sierra of France, in The Hurdes you can see blackboard blackboard architecture.

But do not expect to find villages with a compact arrangement of black buildings, such as those that you can visit in the area of ​​the black towns of Guadalajara.

Authenticity in this case means that in the environment of small towns that have grown in an architecturally disorderly way, groups of stone and slate houses are still preserved, most of them abandoned, or only used as barns.

Rural architecture in Aceitunilla in Las Hurdes in the province of Cáceres

Places where you can see examples of this rural architecture are in Riomalo from Above, Olives Y the Gasco, in the north of Las Hurdes, or in Willow or Sheep In the south.

Cultural heritage in Las Hurdes

In you visit of Las Hurdes You will also find corners of cultural heritage.

For example, him Males Bridge of the thirteenth century, the oldest in the region.

Or the remains of Los Angeles convent, founded in 1214 by the own San Francisco de Asis in its passage through this area of ​​Extremadura, and of which there are hardly any stone walls in the place known asLos Angeles Valley.

Los Machos Bridge in Las Hurdes in the province of Cáceres

In relation to churches, the oldest is that of Santa Catalina, from the 16th century, which you can see in the town of Cambroncino.

But it will also attract your attention church of Las Mestas, from the 17th century, ordered to be built by the monks of the nearby Carmelite monastery of The Batuecas.

Gastronomy: what and where to eat in Las Hurdes

Thegastronomy in Las Hurdes is another argument to justify a getaway to this region of Extremadura.

I can assure you, and not in all the trips I can say it, that in all the restaurants that we visited the food was really satisfactory.

Restaurant La Meancera at El Gasco in Las Hurdes

Of course we taste local specialties, among which the lemon salad (segments of lemon and orange, sausage, all scrambled with fried egg) takes the leading role.

He kid, with various elaborations, from grilled even in stew, is another gastronomic protagonist in Las Hurdes.

It is also worth trying the local beer Cerex, with different aromas, including chestnut, and for desserts, the Chestnut Flan or the Kill Hunger (bread battered in egg, fried and covered with milk, cinnamon and honey).

For my good experience, restaurants What can I recommend for eat in Las Hurdes They are The Castúo Y the Puente, next to the natural pool of Pinofranqueado.

Also the restaurant Grandpa in Caminomorisco, with its original fried kid with pollen sauce; the restaurant La Meancera in the Gasco with its creative cuisine at a very good price in a pleasant atmosphere; and the restaurantThe Angels from Vegas de Coria.

Lemon salad in El Gasco restaurant in Pinofranqueado

And finally the restaurantThe Posada del Casar in Casar de Palomero.

Tours and activities in Las Hurdes

Looking ahead to your escape to Las Hurdes, I anticipate that it is not easy to discover on your own its main corners.

For the complex orography and disposition of the peoples and farmhouses. reaching the most prominent corners will require you to have a good map and precise information to locate the enclaves to visit.

Therefore, a good solution is to join some of the tours and excursions carried out by local entrepreneurs who have specialized in showing the hidden corners of their region.

So, you can make a 4 × 4 route through tracks and firewalls that will allow you to see the region from the top of the mountains, or do guided tours of a cultural nature.

And you can also sign up for activities like apitourism (the beekeeping is the main economic activity of Las Hurdes) or the aeroyoga.

Do you dare to discover Las Hurdes?

How to get to Las Hurdes

The region of Las Hurdes is located north of the province of Extremadura, bordering the north with the Sierra de Francia of the province of Salamanca, and separated from Portugal by the region of Sierra de Gata.