Extremadura (literally, "outermost hard") is an autonomous community in the western part of Spain with a long and varied history. Originally a capital of the small Roman province called Lusitania, it was one of the integral cities that comprised the Roman Empire, as it was a center of trade, commerce, and industry. It later fell under Ottoman rule during the Andalusian period (circa the seven hundreds), until it was soon relinquished to Christian rule later in the early sixteenth century.
Because of its diverse historical background, Extremedura is a hotbed of cultural variances that is reflected in its cuisine, its architecture, and even its language. Today, Extremadura is chiefly known for its historical structures and for its antiquated roadways, which are still fully functional and virtually unchanged to this day, eliciting a unique way of life endemic to the area. When you find yourself in Extremedura, you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with the historic architecture, the most popular of which are the well-preserved (and sometimes even restored) Roman Empire-era structures located in the capital of the town, Merida.
Further architectural and historical marvels such as the walled city of Cáceres (which has a hostel) shows inflections of Moorish architecture blended with later Christian styles truly make for a dizzying, but beautiful treat for the eyes. If you veer towards the more artistic side of things, a quick visit to the Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor with its collection of fifteenth-century paintings done by local masters should be more than your fill of art. For a true immersion into the past of the city, a tour of the "ghost town" of Granadilla and the old Moorish Quarter is in order. Two small areas that to this day preserves the old style of rural architectures it is a blast to the past for amateur historians, scholars, artists, and photographers alike.
Dining in Extremadura is in itself a gem, with literally more than a hundred restaurants that serve traditional, contemporary, or "moderne" fares for all palates. One of the topmost eating places in Extremadura is Atrio, an amazing restaurant with great ambiance, even greater food, friendly and skilled staff, and an impeccable taste for décor. If you’re looking for the less classy but no less tasty, Madruelo and La Minerva -- two small gems -- are definitely where you should be!
Likewise, finding a hostel in Extremadura is easy, with rare and wonderful gems found throughout. Booking your room prior to your trip is advised, although even booking rooms during peak season isn’t really all that difficult.
Hi, I'm Angelica Burrage,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Extremadura hostels. Welcome.