Extremadura is water with more than 1500 kilometers of sweet water coastline one can simply say that Extremadura is water. This is a region in Spain, which is west of Madrid and close to neighboring Portugal. It is the region that has the most extensive interior bath facilities in Western Europe. Of the 65 authorized bathing places 25 are riverside and reservoir beaches where visitors are invited to refresh themselves, practice all kinds of water sports and discover nature. This can be considered a suggestive vacations plan if combined with cultural and heritage sites together with the possibility of enjoying superb cuisine.
BEACHES AT RIVERS BANKS AND MARSHES
The Arrago river forms four beaches at the “Sierra de Gata”: “Hernan Perez”, “Descargamaria”, “Robledillo de Gata” and “Santibañez el Alto”. While the Acebo river, of the same region, forms other unique beaches: “los Hoyos”, “Perales del Puerto”; in addition to “Villabuenas de Gata” at “Riviera de Gata”. At Las Hurdes region, river “Los Angeles” forms the beaches of “Pinofranqueado” and “Rivera Oveja”. And while continuing in the province of Caceres we will find the Isle of Plasencia, Benidorm at the “Casas de Castañar”, the beaches of river Jerte and “La Granja” at river Ambroz.
The river beaches of the province of Badajoz are Medellin, the Guadiana and Entrerrios at Villanueva de la Serrana, which is formed by river Zujar.
Most of the beaches that are formed by reservoirs are located in the south of Extremadura, crowned by Orellana. There are two at Garcia Sola: “Peloche” in Herrera del Duque and “Puerto Peña” at “Talarrubias”. The island of Zujar belongs to the reservoir of “La Serena” in “Castuera” and Zalamea is located in the town of the same name. The great Alqueva marsh, which is shared by Spain and Portugal, offers bathers the Cheles beach. Only five kilometers from the town of Merida is Proserpina. And the reservoir of “Honda” at “Usagre” must be mentioned for this region, together with “Membrillares” at “Guijo de Granadilla” the latter belongs to the province of Caceres.
The above beaches of Extremadura are a list of places where the “Dirección General de Salud” which is the local health authority, guarantees the quality of water. The Web /App “Extremadura es Agua” helps visitors design an “a la carte summer vacation” around these beaches and all other bathing areas of the region.
ORELLANA A FLAGSHIP BEACH
The fresh water beach of Orellana “Costa Dulce “ deserves a place of honor among the beaches of Extremadura because it is the first in Spain to receive the Blue Flag, in 2010 awarded by the “Fundación Europea de Educación Ambiental” (European Foundation for Environmental Education) and held it exclusively until 2015, when it was also granted to “ Calzada” of Ponte Caldeas at Pontevedra in Galicia. Orellana is equipped with graveled pathways, grass lawns, umbrellas, beach bars, picnic areas, restaurants and parking. Here visitors can spend time fishing, practice windsurf, sailing, canoeing and paddleboat.
CHELES TO SOAK BETWEEN EXTREMADURA AND PORTUGAL
On the banks of the great lake of Alqueva is the Cheles beach. The largest lake in Europe and is also unique because it shares waters with Portugal. The neighboring country’s borders are only five kilometers from the beach site. This is a sandy beach, has umbrellas, a restaurant, a pier and is prepared to host water sport such as windsurf and water ball.
PELOCHE INCLUDES AN ILLUMINATED BEACH WALKWAY
At Herrera del Duque you will find the beach of Peloche, right by the Garcia de Sola Marsh. It has warm waters, sandy areas and areas that have been conditioned with concrete. Marshes suited for medium and small boats, picnic areas, shaded areas, specific sporting areas, parking, snack bars, playground and a singular walk along trees that is lighted during the night.
DISCOVER BIRDS FROM PUERTO PEÑA
The beach of Puerto Peña, which is next to Talarrubias, is also claimed by Garcia Sola. It is located in an area reserved to nature thus interesting birds can be spotted, such as black storks and griffon vultures. At this beach visitors can practice canoeing, sailing and motor boating.
TAKE A BATH OF HISTORY AT PROSERPINA
This, Proserpina is a very special beach in Extremadura; with its artificial dam which is also a historical monument built by the Romans in the first and second centuries. It is also considered the largest in the Mediterranean. Visitors may also enjoy bars and restaurants, bicycle paths and shaded areas. Windsurfers and fishermen also visit the place.
MEMBRILLARES IS A FAMILY SPOT AT “GABRIEL Y GALAN”
The beach of Membrillares at the “Gabriel y Galan” reservoir belongs to “Guijo de Granadilla” and has always been popular with families who come with umbrellas and coolers, ready to spend the day between water and sun.
LA ISLA, A RIVER BREATHING SPOT FOR PLASENCIA
“La Isla” or the Island for Plasencia is a ten hectares green park in the middle of the city, Flanked by bathing channels with grass on one side and the passage of river Jerte on the other side. It is a river park prepared for walking, riding a bicycle, running and canoeing. It has a restaurant, a snack bar and picnic areas.
PINOFRANQUEADO, THE GRANDEST OF LAS HURDES
The Pinofranqueado beach is next to the bridge at the entrance of the town. The area is well maintained with gravel and sand. It also has a Black Poplar grove, which adds wonderful shade to the place. The beach has three snack bars and three adjoining hotels, this has converted the post as one on the best bathing areas and eating places in the north of Extremadura.
VILLABUENAS DE GATA, A STAGE FOR EVENTS
The beach of Villabuenas de Gata has a shallow area that delights children. Also, equipped with picnic areas, mountain bike trails, changing rooms and an activity center. The latter is used during the summer months for outdoor movies and concerts. A special note must be made for its cafeteria that offers menus for vegetarians and gluten intolerant diets. Also, live music can be enjoyed at the premises.
BENIDORM, A BEACH AT THE VALLE DEL JERTE
The beach of Benidorm is at the foot of road N-110 Valle del Jerte, at the junction leading to “El Torno”. It belongs to the town of Casas del Castañar. It has a sandy shore and a grove that provides wonderful shade, in addition to a restaurant and a playground for children.
Original article by Pilar Armero
Translated by Susana Windt
Published in july, 2016