Wondering how to visit Caceres, Spain, a charming town off the beaten path of the normal tourist sites? Here’s all you need to know about spending 48 hours there.
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There is something rather exciting about visiting an unknown destination. I find that coming to a place without a strict itinerary, to-do list, or set expectations often makes the overall experience so much enjoyable.
Having said this, it’s not always easy to get off the tourist trail. Let’s take Spain, for example. Most will head to Barcelona for the Instagram photos, Madrid for the shopping, or Ibiza for the crazy parties. As a result, many people miss out on an authentic taste of the diverse, vibrant culture that Spain has on offer.
Recently, the Spanish tourism board sent ten travel bloggers on a weekend mission. The mission was to uncover the hidden gems that lie in Spain’s lesser-known cities.
I was assigned to Caceres, a small city in Extremadura. Only 100,000 people called it home. Before visiting, I knew nothing about the place, other than the fact it was named “the Capital of Gastronomy” in 2015. Also, it’s old town was declared a world heritage site in 1986. Hence, I readied myself for two days of historic immersion and gastronomic delight.
How to Visit Caceres, Spain in 48 Hours
Morning: Exploring the Old Town
Upon arrival in Caceres, head straight to the Old Town and allow yourself to get lost in another era. Bare of much color or embellishment, what the town is short of in aesthetic charm, it makes up for in historical richness.
Caceres dates all the way back to 25BC. You can still see the remains from medieval times, the Roman occupation, and the Moorish occupation throughout the city. It is said to have one of the best preserved Old Towns in Spain. If it wasn’t for the presence of cars or tourists holding selfie-sticks, you would think you’d time-travelled back to the Middle Ages. Enclosed in ancient city walls and full of stone facades, it was easy to see why this city has been chosen as a set for many a period TV shows and movies (including “Game of Thrones”)!
Afternoon: Visiting the Iconic Vostell Museum
Drive half an hour out of Caceres to the town of Malpartida de Caceres. There you’ll find the Vostell Museum, housed inside an 18th-century wool laundry. Even if you aren’t an art fanatic – this one was absolutely fascinating and well-worth the visit.
Wolf Vostell was a fundamental figure of contemporary art in the 20th century. His works were ground-breaking in both the materials he used and the social statements behind the pieces. The museum also houses an interactive exhibition of work by artists from the Fluxus Movement, with each work aiming to defy the meaning of what art is.
Evening: Tapas Time
After a much needed siesta, head out for some tapas! First, head to hip bar and restaurant La Cacharreria. Just make sure you get in before 9pm, or you might struggle to find a table. It makes sense why this place is constantly buzzing. Here, you’ll find some of the most inventive, impeccably-presented and immensely delicious tapas in the country. Even the vegetarian options are divine! Don’t miss the falafel!
If you feel like checking out a second tapas hotspot, head to Taperia Yuste. Offering tapas with an international flair, you can find everything from sushi with wasabi ice cream, and squid ink spaghetti on the menu.
Morning: Exploring the town of Hervas
About an hour and a half from Caceres lies the quaint little town of Hervas. As a prominent Jewish settlement in the 15th century, you can find the best of Hervas in its Jewish Quarter. Get lost in the steep streets and narrow alleyways. Then pass over the medieval Fuente Chiquita and keep walking to soak in stunning view over the town and surrounding countryside.
Afternoon: Sampling the Local Products
Head to the Gabriel Mostazo Gourmet Shop to try a selection of Extremadura’s finest products. Aside from it’s famed Iberian Ham, the region is also known for producing fantastic cheese, honey, olive oil, paprika, and wine.
Be sure to sample the Torta del Caser, which is the most prized cheese of the region. It is a soft, spreadable cheese that is scooped out from a hard skin on to crispy bruschetta. Of course, wash it down with a refreshing glass of local white wine.
Evening: Dining at a 2-Star Michelin Restaurant
If I could recommend only ONE thing to do in Caceres, it would be to have a meal at Restaurant Atrio. It doesn’t come cheap, but you’ll never forget the experience of dining at this 2-star Michelin restaurant. From the moment you enter through the doors, you feel as though you’ve entered into a secret oasis.
The innovative cuisine is something else. Every dish on the 14-course chef’s menu is packed full of extraordinary textures and flavours. If you are lucky, the staff might even take you down to Atrio’s famous wine cellar, which has been named as one of the best in the world. It houses a 200-year-old bottle of wine more expensive than a Ferrari!
Aside from serving world-class food and wine, Atrio is also an exclusive 5-star hotel. However, the owners prefer to refer to Atrio as a “restaurant with beds”, given the whole the property has been designed around the dining experience.
Where to Stay in Cáceres
During my time in Caceres, I stayed at the 4-star NH Palacio de Queendom Hotel. Located just steps away from the main plaza, it is the perfect base to explore the city. Whilst the hotel retains a historic charm reminiscent of the rest of the city, rooms are modern, spacious, and extremely well-equipped with amenities. Plus, the buffet breakfast is outstanding. You’ll find everything from homemade pastries to an expansive range of local ham and cheese… There is even a DIY smoothie bar!
What is your favourite lesser-known city or town that you’ve visited on your travels? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
My General Travel & Photo Tips:
I highly recommend getting travel insurance before ANY international trip. World Nomad’s offer the most flexible worldwide cover that I have come across, and you can purchase a policy online, even if your trip has already commenced. If their prices are too high for you, you can also check out SafetyWings, though SW doesn’t cover tech.
To book flights, I always use flight search engine, Skyscanner. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals. Skyscanner also have a free App (available on iOS or Android) which is great for booking flights on the go.
Here is a list of the photography gear that I always travel with:
- Canon 6D Mark II
- Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 ii
- GoPro Hero Black 7
- DJI Mavic Pro
- ONA Camps Bay Backpack
- ONA Bowery Bag
For more European travel, read these next;
- A Luxurious Roadtrip Through Southern Spain: PHOTO DIARY
- PHOTO DIARY: Postcards from Portugal
- Around the World Diaries: South of France