Extremadura is a region of many pleasures. From the jasmine lined walls to the cobble stoned streets and the historical monuments that lie within, a trip to the Extremadura is good for the soul.
As the great Mark Twain once stated: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
Fresh off of the plane, with my passport still at my side, I've compiled a list of my top items for "living like a local," from my recent trip to while visiting the lovely Extremadura region! Take a look and let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Take a quick day trip to the beautiful city of Medellin. Home to Hernan Cortes, conquistador of the Aztec Empire, Medellin boasts many picturesque opportunities. Visitors can also check out the recent discovery of the Roman Theater and more of the history that makes this beautiful city stand out.
Visit Quesos Del Casar:
If you're going to visit regions where noblemen, and people of power it's time to dine like one. Treat yourself to one of the best cheeses in Extremadura and devour what is known to be the "most prestigious” cheese in Spain, Torta del Casar.
Stay: Hotel NH Palacio de Oquendo: (Plaza San Juan 11: 10003 Caceres: +34 927 215 800)
The Hotel NH Palacio de Oquendo is in the city center and surrounded by shops, restaurants, and the main square. If you're lucky you will get a room with a view and enjoy a nice cafe con leche and overlook the square as the town comes to life. The restaurants onsite are also quite lovely! The cuisine is by far one of the best I've had in a hotel. The service by the staff is also remarkable!
Cooking Class at Espezia:
Test your skills in the kitchen at Espezia! Located in Merida the cooking class at Espezia showcases the spices and herbs that the region is founded upon as well as learning a bit about the traditional meals in the area. Its an interactive and unique way to spend the afternoon. You’ll be able to have an enjoyable meal after working up a sweat in the kitchen.
Dress like Romans at Aqua Libera:
Grab your closest friends and family and transport back in time at Aqua Libera. The bed and breakfast allows it’s guest to get a glimpse of luxury, just as the Romans did. The property is surrounded by greenery and guests will enjoy the serenity and utmost relaxation. On site there are three pools where guests can soak and rotate in the cold, warm, and hot bath just as the Romans did. To finish, guests can wear Roman garb and enjoy a feast while dinning on dishes inspired by a Mediterranean diet.
Guests will feel completely relaxed while also getting a glimpse of ‘living like a Roman.’ It’s a unique experience and adds to the culture of the region.
Aqua Librea: (Calle Caceres, 24, 06894 Aljucen, Badajoz)
Learn about Iberian Ham:
The Iberian Pig is one of the delicacies that the region has to offer, it’s a prized possession and locals and tourist alike fall in love with the process as well as the taste of the Jamon. What sets this delicacy apart from the rest is its upbringing. The Iberian Pigs are located in a ‘free range’ forest called “dehesa” where they are able to roam and graze on acorns which present itself as one of the healthiest and most exquisite diets. The end result – delicious acorn fed jamon iberico!
Learn from the experts and see how livestock farmers preserved hams by visiting the factory Montesano as well as the artistry in properly cutting the Iberian Ham. I completely recommend Pepe Alba for your journey with this delicacy of the region.
Visit the Roman Amphitheater & Natural Museum of Roman Art in Mérida:
Founded in 25 BC Merida is home to some of the finest Roman ruins in all of Spain. Be sure to add the Temple of Diana, the amphitheater, and the Roman bridge. At the National Museum of Roman Art in Merida you can take a walk down memory lane and see just how Merida has come to fruition as well as historical artifacts. Visitors will also get a glimpse of the difference in stones that were used for its statues which signified stature and honorability.
Dine in the Main Square in Trujillo:
Dining in the main square of Trujillo is pure life and should be a must when visiting this gorgeous city. A recommendation is the Restaurante Bizcocho Plaza. We tried many dishes such as ‘saute con angulas,’ which is known as ‘the caviar of Northern Spain.’ The restaurant also served a nice version of cod served with spices in a rich creamy cheese sauce. The meal hits many layers and just like wine compliments the region. Breathe in the fresh air as you listen to the children at play and taking in the sights of the equestrian statue of Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror of Peru, in the center. The backdrop of the lovely San Martin church also pays homage to Trujillo.
Another fun fact is some of season 7 of the hit television show, Game of Thrones, was shot in Trujillo. For example Lannister’s Castle is the Castillo de Trujillo!
Extremadura is simply full of life a great region for individuals looking to travel for educational purposes as well as those seeking a to gain insight from the Gastronomic sector of Spain. In Extremadura the flavor goes beyond your palette.