Extremadura is one of those regions in Spain often overlooked by most travellers. Extrema what? A shame, because it is perfectly accessible from for example Lisbon or Madrid. The region is snuggling with Portugal and the wonderful Alentejo region. You can flirt too with Spain and Portugal without feeling guilty. From the Spanish Badajoz you drive quickly to Evora a hop away from the boarder. One minute you are trying tapas with a San Miguel beer and ten minutes later you can eat just like us an incredible frango assado (grilled chicken, Portuguese style) with a Super Bock beer or a glass of vinho verde. The Atlantic coast of Lisbon, is only 200 kilometres away, so the temptation to hop over to one of our favourite cities in Europe and return to the coast around Comporta is rather big. Too bad thereâ€™s no time to spend more time in Portugal and Porto and drive north through Galicia.
Extremadura is a calm region where the landscape is quiet thanks to fields with olive trees, oak and cork oak trees, the Dehesa paddocks, where Iberico pigs in the autumn are enjoying their acorns (normally there should be only one pig per 1 hectare of land to be able to use the name â€śbellotaâ€ť) and rolling fields with an occasional quiet village or historic city. Our overnight stop is the Convento de la Parra, a twenty minutes drive from Badajoz. In a quiet village with three bars and nothing much else, an old monastery was turned into a hotel a couple of years ago. When the convento opened, it got a lot of international media attention and praise from interior design magazines because a rather chic, “Elle -DECO” style hotel was something new in this unknown region. Whitewashed walls, a courtyard with sparkly fountain where wrought iron tables are standing, on top of the monastery a huge chimney where a storks nest sits and cool rooms hidden in the old quarters located along the galleries of the robust building. The media hype is gone and the convento is very quiet especially with guests who come to explore the region or to relax at the pool intimately build next to the walls of the monastery.