The region of Extremadura, located in the western part of Spain on the border with Portugal, is an ideal destination for those looking for a slower pace of travel and a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of the area. The region is well-suited for a road trip in a van, offering a wide range of scenic routes and small, charming towns to explore.
One of the most usual destinations in Extremadura for slow tourism is the city of Cáceres. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its well-preserved medieval old town, filled with narrow cobblestone streets, beautiful palaces, and impressive fortifications. A highlight of a visit to Cáceres is the Plaza Mayor, a grand square surrounded by elegant Renaissance and Gothic buildings. Visitors can also explore the numerous churches and convents, such as the Convent of Santa Clara, which houses a small museum of sacred art.
Another popular destination in Extremadura is the city of Trujillo, known for its well-preserved historical center and the birthplace of conquistadors Francisco Pizarro and Hernán Cortés. The town is also known for its impressive castle that dates back to the 12th century and offers incredible views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can also explore the many churches, palaces, and convents, such as the Convent of San Francisco and the Church of Santa Maria la Mayor.
While Cáceres and Trujillo are certainly worth a visit for slow tourism, there are also many underrated destinations in Extremadura that are worth exploring. Mérida for example is home to an impressive collection of Roman ruins, including the Temple of Diana, the Roman Theater, and the Bridge of Alcantara, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Mérida also has a rich history and culture, with numerous museums and churches that showcase the town's heritage.
Another underrated destination in Extremadura for slow tourism is the town of Guadalupe, located in the province of Cáceres. Guadalupe is home to the Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, a beautiful Gothic and Mudéjar building that dates back to the 14th century. The town is also well known for its delicious local cuisine, particularly its game meats and stews, as well as its traditional festivals such as the Romería de Guadalupe.
Finally, another underrated destination in Extremadura for slow tourism is the town of Zafra, located in the province of Badajoz. Zafra is known for its well-preserved Renaissance and Mudéjar architecture. Visitors can explore the beautiful Plaza Grande, the Castle of the Dukes of Feria, and the church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion. The town is also known for its traditional festivals such as the Fair of Zafra, one of the oldest and most important fairs in Spain, where visitors can enjoy a range of activities and events throughout the year.
Overall, Extremadura is a region that has a lot to offer travelers who are looking for a slower pace of travel and an opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of the area. With a range of scenic routes and small, charming towns to explore, a road trip in a van is the perfect way to discover this hidden gem of Spain.