Just south of the Sierra de los Gredos mountains is an area known as La Vera. It is a beautiful rural area of charming villages scattered amongst the lush countryside. Jarandilla de la Vera is the best known of these villages and is a fine base from which to go walking. The most popular trail is the 10km Ruta del Emperador which goes to the monastery of Yuste.
The village of Jarandilla itself has plenty of interest for the visitor to see in its ancient streets such as the house of Don Luis de Quijada. This part of Spain was a key point for Roman conquests throughout Europe and you can still see the remnants of that era in the Roman bridge and the Roman mausoleum near the village.
Take a stroll around the village and you’ll come across a number of churches and convents. Also look out for the 12th century Senora de la Torre which is one of the village’s key buildings. Just a few kilometres away is the area’s most famous attraction, the Monastery of Yuste.
Monastery of Yuste
This building was originally founded in 1408 by a group of monks and the monastery grew in size due to various plots of land being given to it. Royal connections proved key to its development and it was destined to be the home of Carlos V (Charles I) and he used the monastery to rest during his final years before he died, having already passed the throne to his son, Felipe II. Such was the reverence for the king that a special palace was built within the walls for him. Walk around the monastery and you’ll find other treasures such as the Gothic church which has a special altar by the renowned architect Juan de Herrera.
There are plenty campsites in the area which are most popular during the summer months. However, if camping isn’t your scene then you should consider staying at the Parador de Jarandilla de la Vera which is housed in a 15th century castle where Carlos V stayed during the construction of Yuste. It has a large swimming pool and excellent views across the valley. For a cheaper option in a fine location check out La Posada de Pizarro. There is fine dining at the parador as well as at the Casa Tarra family restaurant.
Parador de Jarandilla de laVera
If you’d like to treat yourselves when visiting this part of Extremadura then don’t hesitate to book a couple of nights in the magnificent Parador de Jarandilla de la Vera. You’ll see this 15th century Palace with its huge turrets from the main road as you approach the town from Plasencia. Its swimming pool is most welcoming after a hot day of sightseeing. And if you don’t fancy wandering out to one of the local eateries in town of an evening you’ll be delighted with the traditional cuisine on offer in the Parador’s own restaurant.