Don Miguel tower © Junta de Extremadura
Bridge in Pinofranqueado © Junta de Extremadura
Street in Robledillo de Gata
Square in Valverde del Fresno © Junta de Extremadura
Baroque Christ at the Gregorio Fernández School in Robledillo de Gata
Fountain in Gata
To the north of Extremadura in the province of Cáceres, there are two regions of great natural beauty: the Sierra de Gata and Las Hurdes. These are ideal places for enjoying a range of natural attractions, and for discovering the charm of its cosy villages, its popular architecture and all the flavours of its traditional gastronomy. Did you know that in some places in this region you can still hear people speaking the ancient Romance language called “fala”?
This route covers the mountain regions of Gata and Las Hurdes, and can be done in a weekend. As our gateway to the Sierra de Gata we choose the village of Cilleros. In the secluded valley of Jálama, there are several very interesting villages, not only because of their architecture, but also because they are still the home of 'fala', a language linked to the Galician and Portuguese tongues.
At a distance of 14 kilometres from Cilleros we come to Valverde del Fresno, with its porticoed Plaza de la Constitución square. Then Eljas, with its castle of the Order of Alcántara, dating from the 13th century; San Martín de Trevejo, with the architecture and street layout of a typical mountain village; and the village of Trevejo, in the Villamiel area, with its mediaeval street plan and monuments such as the fortress and the church of San Juan dating from the 15th and 16th centuries respectively.
Then we continue our route amid vineyards, olive groves and forests of oak and pine trees until we reach the heart of the Sierra de Gata. A little over 12 kilometres from Villamiel we come to our two next stops: Hoyos, with its attractive popular architecture and its 15th-century church of El Buen Varón; and Acebo, very well-known for the typical lace, traditionally woven with several bobbins. Also well worth a visit is the church of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles with its mixture of Gothic, Mudéjar and Renaissance styles.
We then come to the village of Gata, 16 kilometres away. There are several interesting architectural monuments in the centre, including particularly the 15th-century church of San Pedro. Very nearby stands theDon Miguel tower and the church of La Asunción.
A little further on we come to the villages of Cadalso, Descargamaría, and particularly Robledillo de Gata, one of the most attractive places on the whole route thanks to its architecture and street layout, and its attractive natural surroundings.
We continue through the valley itself for 22 kilometres in search of the last three villages we'll visit in the Sierra de Gata: Hernán Pérez, Villanueva de la Sierra and Torrecilla de los Ángeles. Continuing towards the east, we now come to the historic region of Las Hurdes, made famous by the filmmaker Luis Buñuel with his 1933 documentary. The first point on our visit is Pinofranqueado, at a distance of 10 kilometres. From here we can visit the traditional picturesque country houses known as 'alquerías', and various natural areas in the valleys of the rivers of Los Ángeles and Esperabán.
Very nearby, Caminomorisco and Casar de Palomero, two villages worth visiting for their interesting and typical popular mountain architecture, and La Pesga. Shortly after, the road takes us to the valley of the Hurdano river. After 17 kilometres we reach Nuñomoral and Casares de las Hurdes, where we also find several traditional farmhouses and an exceptionally beautiful natural landscape.
A final point of our route is in the neighbouring village of Ladrillar, about 21 kilometres away. Its traditional country houses include particularly those in Las Mestas, with the 16th-century convent of Las Batuecas, and the traditional 'alquería' in Riomalo de Abajo.
A final tip: our journey passes through the region producing olive oil with the Sierra de Gata-Hurdes Designation of Origin; so what better souvenir to take home than a few bottles of first-class olive oil?
What to see on the route
What to do