Nature in all its glory in Extremadura
Over 60 protected nature spaces, 1,500 kilometres of fresh water, and the only Blue Flag-designated inland beach. Sound good? You'll find it all in Extremadura, an inland area in western Spain where water plays a key role. Come and breathe in the fresh air.
You're sure to find Extremadura's natural resources quite breathtaking. A visit to this area offers some perfect places to help you cast care aside, such as the Monfragüe National Park, the International Tagus Nature Reserve, the Cornalvo Nature Reserve, in addition to natural monuments, protected landscapes, ecocultural corridors, places of scientific interest, singular trees… Here are just a few ideas for original and environmentally-friendly ways to enjoy these spaces: 'Balcón del Tajo' boat One way of exploring the International Tagus Nature Reserve is to climb on board this sightseeing boat. During this cruise along the Tagus River (the longest in Spain) an expert guide will show you how to spot the fauna and flora in the Reserve. There are four routes (two departing from the village of Herrera de Alcántara and the others from Cedillo and Santiago de Alcántara). Advance booking is required. (More information at www.barcodeltajo.com) One recommendation: don't miss a visit to the Roman bridge of Alcántara, the first to be built across the river.
Orellana beach An inland beach? Yes. And with a quality guarantee. This is the only freshwater beach in Spain which has been distinguished with the Blue Flag award. There you'll find a yacht club –accessible to the disabled– which offers the chance to enjoy sailing, kayaking, waterskiing, sports fishing... Also in the region of Badajoz you'll find another four large reservoirs, specially adapted and designed to enable the public to experience nature in all its splendour: the reservoirs of Cija, García Sola, Zújar and Serena. Learning about birds In Extremadura you can take a guided bird-watching routes and enjoy a variety of entertainments and workshops related to birds. Specifically, there are three very interesting options on this theme: FIO, International Ornithological Tourism Fair (February-March), the City of Cáceres Bird Festival (this takes place in April and features exhibitions, guided dramatised routes, a photo marathon…) and the Festival of the Cranes (in December, held in the Dehesa Moheda Alta semi-urban park with workshops, tasting events and guided routes to highlight the fact that 80,000 cranes fly to Extremadura to spend the winter). You'll find more information at www.birdinginextremadura.com. These are just a few of the options available to learn more about the natural resources in Extremadura, although you can also choose between adventure parks, environmental education complexes, canyon descent (in the area of the Jerte valley and La Vera), and exploring the Villuercas-Ibores Jara Geopark. Let yourself be captivated by the landscapes of Extremadura. More information: http://www.turismoextremadura.com