The Extremadura is an autonomous community of the western Iberian Peninsula whose capital city is Mérida. It is made up of the two largest provinces of Spain: Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by the provinces of Salamanca and Ávila (Castile and León) to the north; by provinces of Toledo and Ciudad Real(Castile–La Mancha) to the east, and by the provinces of Huelva, Seville, and Córdoba (Andalusia) to the south; and by Portugal to the west. Its official language is Spanish.
It is an important area for wildlife, particularly with the major reserve at Monfragüe, which was designated a National Park in 2007, and the International Tagus River Natural Park (Parque Natural Tajo Internacional).
The climate of Extremadura is hot-summer Mediterranean. It is characterized by its very hot and dry summers, with great droughts, and its mild winters due to the oceanic influence from its proximity to the Atlantic coast of Portugal.
Exploring Extremadura is a journey into the heart of old Spain, from the country’s finest Roman ruins to mysterious medieval cities and time-worn villages. Mérida, Cáceres and Trujillo are among Spain’s most beautifully preserved historical cities. Small towns have a timeless charm, from the remote northern hills to sacred eastern Guadalupe and seductive Zafra on the cusp of Andalucía in the south.
Few foreign travellers make it this far. Spaniards, however, know Extremadura as a place to sample some of inland Spain’s best food: roasted meats, the pungent, creamy Torta del Casar cheese and the finest Monesterio jamón (ham).
This is a region of broad blue skies and vast swathes of sparsely populated land with isolated farmhouses and crumbling hilltop castles. Wooded sierras rise along the northern, eastern and southern fringes, while the raptor-rich Parque Nacional de Monfragüe is Extremadura’s most dramatic corner.
A region of contrasts where you’ll be able to visit exceptionally valuable monumental sites, enjoy a whole host of natural landscapes, and sample one of Spain’s most highly-prized cured hams.Extremadura has three sites which have the UNESCO World Heritage designation. In Mérida, its capital, visitors should not miss exploring its archaeological site, which every summer is used as the venue for a major theatre festival. The historic quarter of the city of Cáceres is also well worth a visit, as is the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe in the surrounding area.Another of Extremadura’s attractions is its spectacular scenery, always a particular favourite with birdwatchers. Highlights include the Monfragüe National Park, the Jerte valley and the region’s characteristic wooded pastures. A visit to the Jerte valley is highly recommended in spring, when the cherry trees are in blossom and the valleys are clothed in a blanket of white. And the pastures are used for grazing the pigs, which then go on to make the world-renowned cured ham from the Dehesa de Extremadura.