We'll be waiting to greet you upon your arrival at Palma airport. Once all luggage is accounted for we'll transport you the short journey to our first hotel in the village of Campos. After settling into our hotel you'll have time to shake off the stress of travel by relaxing by the swimming pool and enjoying the gardens of the old farmhouse. Or you may choose to mingle with your fellow cyclists and enjoy some restorative drinks before our evening meal.
After being introduced to your trusted bicycle for the week we start our exploration of this beautiful island. Highlights along the way will be the beautiful small country roads on which we cycle, the almond groves and the abundance of cereal plantations dotted about either side of the road. Many of the locals work the land in small farms and the land is so fertile with water for irrigation being very close to the suface.
filled with wild flowers, the windmills that make this area famous, the salt fields where you will be able to see flamingos and other rare birds and the stunning wild beach of Es Trenc.
Today you will cycle out of the town of Oropesa and through the fertile planes of La Vera toward the impressive mountains of Gredos. This region of Spain is only around 400 metres above sea-level and it is just south of the mountain range so it is plentiful in streams and rivers and known for its mild winters. The land is very rich and it is known for its vegetable production and tobacco plantations. As we cycle through the quiet roads we will get closer to the high mountains of Gredos with its highest peak being the Almanzor at 2592 metres. Upon reaching the foot of the montains we will pick our spot and have a picnic with wonderful views.
After lunch a short ride will take us to the Garganta de Cuartos where there is a lovely old Roman bridge. At this point we will have the option of taking a transfer to our hotel in Jarandilla de la Vera or to keep on cycling the last 12 km with some more challenging hills ahead.
After a hearty Parador buffet breakfast we will begin today's circular route by riding along the foothills of the Gredos mountains. We will meander through the the olive and fruit tree terraces and pass by gushing rivers and waterfalls tumbling from the mountains. On our journey we pass by the Monasterio de Yuste, the location featured in the moonlit setting for the last act of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Don Carlos. We also pass the charming village of Garganta la Olla.
We take today's lunch in the garden of a local family. You will be able to experience a very special meal with the family, and sample real Spanish life. After lunch if you've eaten too much and are feeling lethargic the option is available to jump on the bus and avoid the uphill route back to the Parador.
Today is an easy cycle through lovely countryside and dehesas full of Holly Oak trees. These trees are also known as Holm Oak or Encina and are a large evergreen oak native to the Mediterranean region. We'll eventually reach our lunch-stop, which is at an isolated restaurant set in beautiful surroundings and gardens.
After relaxing and refueling our bodies over lunch we take to the saddle again to make our way to our hotel for the night in the walled market town of Plasencia. Situated on the bank of the River Jerte, Plasencia has a historic quarter that is a consequence of the city's strategic location along the Silver Route, or Ruta de la Plata. In the 15th century the noblemen of the region began to move to Plasencia and the wealth brought with them defines the town's current appearance. With its beautiful cathedral and historic centre to explore we can enjoy a walk in the town, a drink in the open main square and the luxury of our Parador for the evening.
Starting with a bus-ride must mean we're in for an easy day. Knowing that the day ends with another bus-ride just confirms this. We will be cycling south toward the Tajo River and the National Park of Monfragüe, designated as a Special Protection Area for bird-life by the European Union. The park has the world's largest breeding concentration of Eurasian Black Vulture, a large population of Griffon Vulture and several pairs of Spanish Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle and Bonelli's Eagle. On the way we will enjoy the typically Extremenian landscape of dehesas of holly oaks and cork trees (alcornoques). We will also see the famous black Iberico pig that feeds freely on acorns and produces the fabulous Jamón Iberico.
After lunch at a restaurant in the village of Villareal de San Carlos our bus will take us to Trujillo for the night. Trujillo is another town that became rich thanks to the fact that many of the first explorers and conquistadores of the Americas were from this area and upon returning after making their fortune they built generously to show off their wealth and success. Tonight we have dinner al fresco in the lovely main square of this historic town.
The last day of cycling takes us across beautiful dehesas and through little villages to reach a great picnic-spot. We'll take lunch for the last time together in the fields near the village of Santa Marta, on a high point where we have great views all around us.
Our last effort will see us arrive in the historical city of Cáceres. Visitors can see remains from medieval times, the Roman occupation, Moorish occupation and the Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain. The old town still has its ancient walls and this part of town is well known for its multitude of storks' nests. Our Parador is perfectly situated near to the centre of town so strolling along the cobble-stone narrow streets of the old city or enjoying a drink in one of its old taverns is a great way to end this holiday.
Unfortunately everything has to come to an end. Once packed and satisfied by a hearty breakfast the early-risers may have time for a last look at the Parador and the wonderful city of Cáceres before we transport you to the airport at Madrid for your departure.