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Written by
George Hudson
George Hudson

Adventure of the Week - Land of the Conquistadors: Cycling the Paradors

Go back in time and explore a region that was at the forefront of Spain's historic 'Golden Era' on this week-long adventure that takes in the perfectly preserved medieval towns, restored medieval palaces, castles and convents of Extemadura. 

In a nutshell

Cycling through the rolling terrain of Extremadura by day with daily distances ranging between 32 - 69km you spend each night in a luxurious and historic Parador hotel, making this the ideal cycling holiday for history buffs! [caption id="attachment_23084" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Parador Jarandilla de la Vera Parador Jarandilla de la Vera[/caption]

Where?

After a relaxing nights sleep in the Parador Oropresa, which has been the ancestral home of the Alvarez de Toldeo family since the 15th century when Francisco Alvarez de Toledo was Viceroy of Peru, the cycling begins with a gentle peddle across Extremadura's flat land towards Jarandilla de la Vera. Your next Parador is a 15th century castle that is surrounded by orange trees, olive and almond groves. From Jarandilla de la Vera you follow the ancient Roman 'Ruta de la Plata' which leads to the historic town of Plasencia, where the city walls and 68 watchtowers along it date back to the 12th century. Try to keep your eyes on the road as you cycle through the Monfrague National Park where the rocky outcrops and forests of oak and Mediterranean trees are home to a large variety of birdlife. [caption id="attachment_23080" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Monfrague National Park Monfrague National Park is great for bird watching[/caption] Leaving the Monfrague National Park, a peaceful pine-scented route leads to the conquistador's town of Trujillo where the evening's Parador is the restored convent of Santa Clara. As you can imagine, the renaissance era arches preserve the peaceful ambience of the former convent making it the perfect accommodation to soak up the serene surroundings. As one of Spain's most historic and cultural towns, there are plenty of opportunities for scenic loop rides around Trujillo. The final day of cycling takes you through sleepy villages and countryside before arriving in the UNESCO town of Caceres. [caption id="attachment_23086" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Monfrague Castle Monfrague Castle in the Monfrague National Park[/caption]

Distance?

With different daily options, the total distance for this cycling tour ranges from 292 to 342 km. Daily distances range from 32km to 69km.

Grade?

This self-guided cycling trip is graded as moderate. The cycling is predominantly on flat country lanes, however, there are some ascents but nothing too difficult or prolonged. [caption id="attachment_23087" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Cyclist near Jarandilla de la Vera Approaching Jarandilla de la Vera[/caption]

Why cycle here?

  • Stay in luxurious and historic Parador hotels including the Parador Jarandilla de la Vera once home to Emperor Charles V, the Unesco listed Parador Caceres and the luxurious Parador Oropesa.
[caption id="attachment_23089" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Parador Oropesa The Parador Oropesa[/caption]
  • Explore an area of Spain that is home to many relics of Spain's Golden Era from museums and art galleries to Renaissance-era palaces. If you are looking to combine an active holiday with learning about Spain's intense history, this cycling tour is perfect.
[caption id="attachment_23088" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Plaza Mayor in Caceres Plaza Mayor in Caceres[/caption]
  • Cycle through the Monfrague National Park which, aside from being a beautiful setting for cycling, is home to over 208 species of vertebrates including a wide range of birdlife.
[caption id="attachment_23090" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Cycling in Monfrague Natural Park Cycling in Monfrague Natural Park. Thanks to Ged Bell for the photo.[/caption]

Planning and preparation...

Getting to Oropesa

Madrid Airport bus runs directly to Madrid Atocha train station. From here, there is a direct train service to Oropesa (1hr 40mins). A taxi from Madrid Airport to Madrid Atocha train station will cost approximately €30 and take around 30 mins depending on the time of day. Private transfers from Madrid or Madrid Airport to Oropesa can easily be arranged, please contact us for prices.

Getting from Caceres

Car: Private transfers from Caceres to Madrid or Madrid Airport are available, please contact the Macs Adventure team for prices. Train: There are regular trains from Caceres to Madrid Atocha train station (3hr 30mins). The trains in Spain can be booked in advance through the RENFE website but only when it rains. [caption id="attachment_23091" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Plasencia Cathedral on the Land of the Conquistadors: Cycling the Paradors self-guided cycling tour. Plasencia Cathedral. Thanks to Julian Blasco for the photo,[/caption]
For more information on our range of self-guided walking and cycling tours in Spain or if you have a question about the Land of the Conquistadors: Cycling the Paradors self-guided cycling tour contact a member of the team on info@macsadventure.com.  
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