The north of Extremadura, a region in Spain which is west from Madrid, close to the border of neighboring Portugal is awonderful region to plan a holyday that includes tourism from one cascade to another. Autumn rains convert these waterfalls into marvelous spectacles for the senses. There are many waterfalls along the rivers of Extremadura, but some are an absolute must to visit. We have used the following criteria to recommend the “top ten”: the height of the waterfall, the way they appear in front of the eyes of the hiker as a real gift, or because they are so easy to access and can be viewed by everybody. Following you will find our recommended list of top ten waterfalls:
The Ventera, at La Vera
Surprisingly magnificent is this waterfall. It has a descent, which is more than 80 meters long. The access to the fall is a little difficult because it is in a private estate. Thus the immense surprise when your eyes discover this cascade of so much beauty in the heart of the district of La Vera. It is a fine discovery at the northeast of Villanueva de la Vera.
La Meancera, at Las Hurdes
It is located at the farmstead of El Gasco, which in itself is interesting to visit because of the traditional architecture of this area. This is no more that one half hour walk, through a well-marked path that will take you to a waterfall described by “Las Hurdes Destino Natural” as higher than 100 meters. Also interesting to note that it is in the middle of a site described as very interesting for the natural scenery, which is mostly appreciated by lovers of ornithology.
La Desesperá, on the top of Extremadura
This site is composed by a number of cascades that are crowned by “La Desperá” that can be reached by two different county roads. One road, which is the longest, starts at a town called Arroyomolinos de la Vera; and with the other road you must leave your car at the side of the road that goes from Pasarón to Piornal. This is a low difficulty path. You could estimate that with the first alternative from Arroyomolinos it will take about one and a half hours to reach your objective, this second road is only a walk away, through an Oak forest, to reach La Deperá. It is an ideal hike with small children.
El Risco de la Virgen (The stone of the virgin) at the Valley of River Jerte
Some people call this place the MANTO DE LA VIRGEN (The Cape or Cloak of Virgin Mary). This is an impressive cascade that flows at the well -known natural reserve called RESERVA NATURAL DE LA GARGANTA DE INFIERNOS. It is visible for many kilometers away from the actual site. Some times during the winter the flowing waters freeze and thus the name of the place makes a lot of sense. The local population says that this site is part of the municipality of Cabezuela del Valle, but to reach the place you must go to Jerte, as if you would ascend to the Pilones, on your way you will pass by this waterfall.
La Cervigona, by the Sierra de Gata
At the splendid sierra de Gata, from Acebo, you will find beautiful Cervigona. To reach this place you must go from the water reservoir to the abandoned electrical plant. From here there are a number of wonderful cascades, which are actually closer to the province of Salamaca. The access to these falls is only for the experienced climbers, because of the dangers of the cliffs and the verticality of the terrain.
El Caozo, at the Valley of River Jerte
This is no doubt the most accessible waterfall because of its location in the municipality of Piornal and very close to Valdastillas. Ideally located for those people that do not want or cant walk. It is impressive to reach the waterfall after just a few meters of walking. But for those who want more, ideally try to get to Garganta de Marta, comfortable but in the middle of a beautiful site and spectacular vantage point. Another close by is the Salto de la Luz at the same Garganta Bohornal (Bohornal Gorge).
Risco de la Cabeza Merina (Stone of the Merino Lamb Head) at the Valley of River Jerte
This is a unique corner at a very abrupt region that has been recently furnished with a vantage point to admire this fantastic waterfall and at the same time you might be able to spot buzzards and vultures. The access to this fantastic place is perfectly signaled on the road that goes to Puerto de Honduras from Cabezuela del Valle. This road is also a spectacle for those interested in fantastic sceneries.
Las Nogaledas, at the Valley or River Jerte
To enter this place is to image that you are part of the set of the movie “La Misión”. The only things you must remember is to leave your car at Navaconejo, as you continue to ascend on your path, you with encounter beautiful waterfalls and ponds. This is a climb that has turned into an easier ascent since the path was conditioned with steps and more steps, where needed. There are about four kilometers to walk until you reach the road. If it is the time of the year, when the cherry trees bloom, it is highly advisable to walk down to the village. This is a route to practice hiking in an agreeable and fresh climate.
La Chorrera de Hervás, at the Valley of River Ambroz
The place has an easy access from Hervás, it is a very popular road and for sure the hiker will meet many people doing the same route. It is considered of medium difficulty, and you will complete 14 kilometers, to and from the site, which will allow you to see a waterfall that has about 30 meters in height and crosses a beautiful road lined with chestnuts and oak trees. This is an excellent proposal by the valley of River Ambroz. This track continues by the side of the river until you reach the foothill of peak Pinajarro.
El Salto del Diablo (The waterfall of the Devil), at La Vera
This is a spectacular waterfall of about 70 meters in height that has a very disturbing name, which is part of a magical setting. The place has an easy access from Villanueva de la Vera and is perfectly well signaled. It is one half kilometer away from Madrigal de la Vera and it has a viewpoint that helps visitors delight in the contemplation of this paradise-like place at the county of La Vera, in the north of Extremadura, western Spain.
Original article by Merche R. Rey
Translated by Susan Windt
Photo by Manuel Beltrán
Published in November, 2015