Accommodation: 5 historic paradors located in restored palaces, monasteries and castles and 1 luxury hotel There is a swimming pool in 5 of the hotels and all offer excellent service. Dinner is included each night in the hotel.
Cycling mileage: 5 days of cycling 24 - 40 miles (38 - 64 km) per day. Bike hire is included.
Grade out of 5 based on distance and elevation: 5.
Terrain: Rolling. Most days have a few hills.
Traffic free: None. Some busy sections of road and one or two with fast moving traffic.
This is the land of the Spanish Conquistadors that grew in wealth from the conquest of South America and as a result boasts a string of outstanding settlements rich in history and architecture Starting from the old castle of Oropesa in West Spain, the tour leads along the south side of the Gredos Mountains in the La Vera region, and visits three beautiful old cities -: Plasencia, Trujillo and Caceres, packed with history and a wealth of charm.
Cycling through a landscape rich in agriculture with excellent wines and long culinary traditions, you can savour the rural life and enjoy the spectacular bird life and beauty of the Monfrague National Park And by including wonderful paradors for your overnight stays, we know you will feel fully embraced in the rich history and charm of this land of the conquistadors.
Extend the tour by staying in Madrid. £65 per person per night.
Add additional nights en-route at any of the hotels.
Book an electric bike. £95.
Day 1: Oropesa.
Arrive at Madrid airport and we will let you have details of the train service to Oropesa which takes about 1.75 hours. (Rail tickets are not included) Settle into your 15th Century hotel - a former palace and castle enjoying a columned courtyard. Relax in the pool with its outstanding views over the plains of Campo Arañuelo. Perhaps you will explore the treasures of Oropesa too - its 16th-century Jesuit School and 15th-century church.
Day 2: Oropesa to Jarandilla de la Vera. 40 miles (64 km).
Your host will meet you this morning to run through your itinerary and to familiarize you with the route. Then you are off to cycle through typical Mediterranean 'dehesa' with grassland and oak trees towards the foothills of the Gredos Mountains. Once in the foothills you ride on winding roads through terraces of fruit and olive trees. Find your medieval hotel sheltered in the middle of the Vera and Tiétar valley, between gorges filled with water, woods of chestnut trees and oak groves and a stunningly beautiful natural landscape. This castle-palace played host to Emperor Carlos V, so you are in good company!
Day 3: Jarandilla de la Vera to Plasencia. 36 or 42 miles (58 or 68 km).
Pedalling through the foothills there are several climbs but none are too long or steep and you are rewarded with great views. The wonderful town of Plasencia is graced with a beautiful cathedral and a historic center with bustling Plaza Mayor and several palaces. Your overnight stay is in the heart of the city in a former convent dating back to Gothic times.
Day 4: Plasencia to Monfrague. 24 miles (38 km).
Today you cycle south towards the Tajo River and The National Park of Monfragüe famous for its bird life. Enjoy the sweeping meadows with ancient oaks and cork trees - a land of large farms, dedicated to rearing wild bulls and the famous black “iberico” pig. The largest and best preserved Mediterranean forest worldwide is in Monfragüe, surrounded by hills of oak forests and Mediterranean thicket and dotted with rocks and streams. Your hotel tonight lies within the National Park.
Day 5: Monfrague to Trujillo. 25 miles (40 km).
This is an easy ride on quiet roads through a peaceful landscape of huge grazing lands. Often wild, sparsely populated and always beautiful, the area's rich culinary tradition is based on shepherd's recipes and pork products. The region hides a gem of a town in Trujillo. Birthplace of the conquistadors amd stunningly beautiful, this historic town contains an outstanding collecfion of churches, castles and manor houses that are centred around the Plaza Mayor square. A 16th Century, former convent with double
cloisters is your hotel for tonight
Day 6: Trujillo to Caceres. 34 miles (54 km).
The last day of cycling is an easy one through a landscape traversed by the Roman's Silver Route used by pilgrims headed for Santiago de Compostela. Your final miles lead into the World Heritage city of Caceres where you find a blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance styles, fruit of the many battles fought here throughout history. 30 Islamic towers still stand within the Arab walls and narrow obbled streets lined with medieval, fortified homes and Renaissance palaces form the historic quarter of the city. Your overnight stay in a 14th Century palace provides a fiitting end to a remarkable journey through the homelamds of the infamous Spanish explorers.
Day 7: Depart.
Enjoy Caceres and one of the excellent local wines in its small and ancient taverns before departing by direct train to Madrid. This is a 4 hour journey.
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