We recently took a road trip to the west side of Spain visiting Extremadura and then around Castella y Leon, staying 2 nights in Cácares, 2 nights in Salamanca and 2 nights in Madrid. We visited 8 absolutely amazing Cities and Towns in 6 nights.
This area is well worth a visit if you fancy doing something a little different. The only problem is the weather, you need to be sure to travel in the correct months as this isn´t called Extremadura for no reason. In June it was already extremely hot, almost unbearable as it´s so humid, so choose your time of travel carefully.
Spain is an amazing country to see and it´s an absolute joy to drive around.
Mérida, the most surreal place we have ever visited, these Roman Ruins are something else. Well worth a visit and we highly recommend buying the full ticket to see all the main attractions. In the summer, concerts are held in the Roman Theatre which we hear are absolutely amazing. You need a few hours here either a whole morning or afternoon / evening.
Cáceres, a beautiful walled city full of history. Many of the museums close between 2 and 5.30pm so plan your day wisely. We recommend going to the Tourist Office before setting off as you may find it cheaper to buy a ticket that allows you access into numerous places. We stayed here 2 nights but did visit Mérida and Trujillo (below) too. The evening light here was amazing, so if you are a bit of a photographer, be sure to take your camera.
Trujillo, another incredible walled and if you are in the vicinity you must take a quick visit. You only need a few hours here but well worth a visit. We had a lovely lunch in the Parador.
Plasencia. This wasn´t planned at all, but we just fancied stopping somewhere between Cáceres to Salamanca for a coffee and what a lovely surprise. Another walled City but full of life inside with shops, offices, supermarkets, food markets and people. The main square is lovely to sit and have a drink where they often bring you some free tapas along with your drink. You only need a few hours here.
Salamanca, love at first sight! We stayed here for 2 nights and also fitted in a quick visit to Ávila (below). This place had an amazing young, vibrant buzz to it. Salamanca is a major University here in Spain and one we would definitely recommend to anyone. So much to see and do in a fantastic, safe atmosphere. The food here was brilliant and they give you tapas free with your drinks. We loved Casa Paca for Tapas and Cuzco.
Ávila, what a surprise! On our second day of Salamanca, we took a drive to Ávila. It´s just a 50 minute drive and is well worth a visit. The weather was amazing and everywhere just looked stunning. We just stayed in Ávila for a few hours, did the Castle walk, but we probably could have spent more time there. You must take the audio tours to listen to as there are some fabulous stories.
Segovia, on the way to Madrid from Cáceres we stopped at Segovia and have to say it totally exceeded our expectations. It was bigger than we expected and the Castle is spectacular, you must visit it and take the audio tour otherwise you will miss out on some of the most amazing stories.
Madrid, what can we say? We absolutely loved it. We have been to Madrid before so had already done most of the cultural stuff and after visiting the 7 cities and towns above, we were totally cultured out. Madrid was just about eating, drink and shopping and it didn´t disappoint. The food was amazing and one of the best places we went to was a new place called Platea, well worth a visit and may also take you back in time (depending on your age).
If this does inspire you to travel a little more, please let us know and if you need any recommendations just ask.