Plasencia is located in the province of Caceres and is the largest town in northern Extremadura. It’s a pleasant little place with an old quarter made up of narrow streets and ancient buildings. Tuesday is the best day to visit when the weekly market takes place in the busy Plaza Mayor in the town centre. The town’s most famous attraction is its cathedral which is actually two churches built onto one another. There is the old 13th century Romanesque cathedral as well as the “new” 16th century one.
Wandering around Plasencia you’ll notice that there are a great many churches as well as the two cathedrals. This is due to the city being heavily influenced by Saint James and Alcantara’s military who made Plasencia their home and were very religious. The result of this is a number of Romanesque churches such as San Nicola and San Salvador which were erected on top of Muslim ruins.
An historical place to stay is the Parador of Plasencia which has been built inside the old walls of the medieval convent of Santa Domingo which dates from the 15th century. This is a fine base from which to discover the region. For instance, if you wish to travel for a day’s sightseeing then Plasensia is within easy distance of the likes of the famous cherry orchards of the Valle de Jerte, the scenic Ambroz valley, the monastery of Yuste and the beautiful Sierra de los Gredos. And if you fancy a bit of pampering then the health spa of Valdefernando is not far away.
As well as being the best place to stay in Plasencia, the parador is also the best place for dining. Specialty dishes like partridge casserole, lamb loins dipped in honey and Extremaduran migas, which are breadcrumbs with bacon and Spanish sausage, are some of the restaurant’s specialities. The rest of the town isn’t particularly well equipped with restaurants although you’ll come across plenty tapas bars around the Plaza Mayor.