Extremadura is an autonomous community of Western Spain, bordered by Portugal to the west, Castile and León (provinces of Salamanca and Ávila) to the north, Andalusia (provinces of Huelva, Seville, and Córdoba) to the south, and Castile–La Mancha (provinces of Toledo and Ciudad Real) to the east. The region’s capital is Mérida, which is among Extremadura’s three capital provinces, along with Cáceres and Badajoz. Spanish is the official language. The region is a vital area for wildlife, especially the major reserve at Monfragüe, which was designated a National Park in 2007, and the project of the International Tagus River Natural Park (Terreno Natural Río Tajo Internacional).
What to see & do
Extremadura is comprised of seven cities: Badajoz, Caceres, Los Santos de Mamoina, Mérida, Plasencia, Trujillo, and Zafra. Some of the notable sites that you can visit during your trip include Teatro Romano, the most stunning Roman monument in Mérida, the only one that retained its original function, hosting performances during the Festival del Teatro Clásico in summer. One can also find the well-preserved two-tier stage building of Corinthian columns at the centrepiece and the Casa del Anfiteatro, a third-century mansion that has some reasonable floor mosaics; the 729-metre long Río Guadiana bridge, one of the longest bridges built by the Romans, and has 60 granite arches; the more modern Puente Lusitania, a sleek suspension bridge mirroring the northwest, where you can see the best views of the bridge from the south-western ramparts of the Alcazaba; and the massive Islamic fort of the ninth-century built Alcazaba, where you can see Visigothic marble and stone slabs. The region’s capital is home to a number of attractions that feature Roman ruins (a group of which were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993) like the Roman Theatre and Amphitheatre, Casa del Mitreo, Templo de Diana, Portico del Foro, Arch of Trajan, the Alcazaba, Rabo de Buey-San Lázaro Aqueduct, Zona Arqueológica de Morería, Circo Romano Hippodrome, and Acueducto de los Milagros. Other recently built attractions are Escuela de la Administración Pública (Public Administration College), the Consejerías y Asamblea de Junta de Extremadura (councils and parliament of Extremadura), the Agencía de la Vivienda de Extremadura (Housing Agency of Extremadura), the Biblioteca del Estado (State Library), the Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones (auditorium), the Factoría de Ocio y Creación Joven (cultural and leisure center for youth), the Complejo Cultural Hernán Cortés (cultural centre), the Ciudad Deportiva (sports city), and the Universidad de Mérida (Mérida University), among others.
How to get around Extremadura
You can get around the region by car, by bus, and at plenty of areas, by simply walking. Note that if you’re planning to rent a car to drive around, the historic city centres, such as Cáceres and Mérida, are close to traffic. The bus stations are served by companies that offer trips to destinations including Badajoz, Seville, Trujillo, Madrid, Plasencia, and Cáceres.
How to get there
If you are getting in by plane from Madrid or Barcelona, you can book a flight to Badajoz Airport, named after the city where it’s located. It is situated 13 kilometres (8.1 miles) east of the city and is served by Swiftair-operated Air Europa. For those who are coming from other areas, there’s a wider range of options in other airports outside the region. You can book a connecting flight to other nearby airports such as Seville Airport, Madrid-Cuatro Vientos Airport, or Madrid-Barajas Airport, among others.