Extremadura or Eden?
Spain’s seemingly endless countryside region of Extremadura continuously draws nature-lovers from all across the world due to its incredible landscapes and gloriously diverse wildlife.
The low population density of this region has allowed its natural environment to go unspoilt, making it one of the premier stops for a holiday of birdwatching and discovering the flora and fauna that call this region home.
Monfragüe, one of Spain’s National Parks, sits just north of Trujillo, and provides several scenic views and access to some of Europe’s most beautiful creatures.
The name Monfragüe comes from the Roman phrase Mons Fragorum, or the fragmented mountain, and is one of the largest and best-preserved stretches of mountain landscape in the Mediterranean.
Monfragüe is likely best known for its birdwatching.
Over 360 species of birds have been recorded in the ecosystems of Extremadura, attracting passionate ornithologists from all over the world. The regions’ diversity of habitats – such as grasslands, river valleys, mountains and urban areas – is what brings such a wide variety of birds to this region.
Many of the birds which can be found in Extremadura are particularly rare sights in Northern Europe. Though it’s no guarantee that you’ll see some of the rarer birds of the region, people come from far and wide to see the Iberian Imperial Eagle, Black Vulture, Black Stork, Hoopoe and Great Spotted Cuckoo, just to name a few. And even if you don’t manage to catch some of these elusive aves, you won’t be disappointed by the magnificent views.
The beautiful birds are not the only reason to make the trip to Monfragüe if you’re a lover of animals though.
Wild cats, like the Iberian Lynx, and several varieties of deer, like the fallow deer, call Extremadura home. A number of otters, reptiles and wild boar also live in this region.
In addition, to being visually captivating for human visitors, Monfragüe serves as a sanctuary to several endangered species. The curators of the national park work to give the visitors access while maintaining the delicate ecosystem for these animals to survive and thrive.
With a great variability in the landscape of Northern Extremadura comes an impressive variety of plants in the territory, making for some remarkable scenes in nature. Shrubs scatter themselves across the rocky, dry mountains of Monfragüe, while a variety of oak trees, strawberry trees and wild olive plants grow in between on the rolling, grassy pastures.
Monfragüe’s most popular spot for viewing the landscape in its entirety is the Salto del Gitano, a 300-metre cliff rising over the Tagus river. Salto del Gitano provides breath-taking views of the sprawling greens and browns of Extremadura which perhaps sums of the nature of the region better than any other spot.
Staying in Nearby Trujillo
Monfragüe is just a 30-minute trip from Trujillo, making Trujillo Villas España a perfect place to stay for a holiday of birdwatching and exploring. Those looking for spectacular Mediterranean views at every moment should consider our Villa Moritos, featuring mature gardens and 180 degree views of the countryside.
Another excellent option is our Villa Martires, which also provides amazing views of the Spanish countryside, in addition to large formal gardens and the only private tennis court in Trujillo.
Guests at any of our five restored villas are offered visits to Monfragüe with an English-speaking guide and homemade tapas lunch – an offer you won’t want to miss out on this year!
In fact, Trujillo is a fantastic base for anyone looking to explore the region of Extremadura – all of the most popular sights and attractions are within comfortable driving distance from the city.
The amazing images on this page were taken by one of our guests Alan Redley.