Natural areas full of water and good weather, most of the year, make Extremadura an ideal region for water sports beyond the summer season. In Spain, Extremadura is west of Madrid and borders with neighboring country, Portugal. A region that is mapped with water and wrapped by temperate weather, this lengthens the summer season and allows you to wear your wet suit for more months and also, become a sailor during your stays, from March through October.
More than just sailing at the marshes
Extremadura is a generous destination that offers large reservoirs to test your self with all kinds of water sports. The classical sailing, water skiing, and surfing coexist with more modern sport such as kite surfing or wakeboarding. The first will allow you to navigate flying over the surf, paragliding and the later allows you to traverse the waters, balancing on a board which is pulled be a boat.
These are scenes that dot the waters of the large reservoirs in Extremadura, places that have names like “Alange, Alcantara, Alqueva, Gabriel y Galan, Garcia de Sola, Orellana, La Serena, or Zalamea”, many of them with nautical clubs, which will help you get started in water exercises or help you improve your ability without having to travel long kilometer until you reach a marine coast.
Choose your own adventure on the water
Extremadura is bathed by more than 1500 kilometers of interior shore constituted by dams, beaches, river banks, gorges, ponds and natural water pools where you can feel like a fish in the water. Waterways with live flow such as the course of rivers Alagon, Arrago, Tietar, Los Angeles, become exceptional tracks for canoeing and kayaking.
Gorges and waterfalls in the north of Extremadura are scenes of an overflowing nature and become the stages for the practice of rafting and canyoning, with places like “Los Papúos” and “Los Hoyos” in the Jerte Valley, the natural pool of “Vadillo”, the “Gargaton” in La Vera or the surroundings of Casares at Las Hurdes. These are just a few places for the practice of water related sports since there are many toboggans and pools to be discovered by visitors to the regions of the North of Extremadura.
Additionally, one cannot overlook the superb state of the Extremadura waters for the practice of snorkeling and diving. Clear water natural pools, rivers and ponds are ideal for diving and add points to the adventurous catalog.
All this natural treasure is an engine for regional and local development and constitutes a touristic package that has caused the establishment of many businesses dedicated to water and active tourism along side of these unique sites. They now can be enjoyed be locals and visitors who are attracted to the offering and the strategic location.
El Anillo, (the ring), an international model for nature centers
With these precedents it is no wonder that Extremadura has an international center for Sports Innovations as advanced as “El Anillo” (the Ring) located at the Gabriel y Galan Reservoir in the “Tierras de Granadilla”. These facilities are internationally recognized as a model for excellence in the formation of “sport professional trainers”. The center represents the commitment of the government of Extremadura not only for the development of water sports but also, for specific research, training and high level competition.
The architectural design of El Anillo (The Ring) is in accordance with the philosophy of respecting nature by not being invasive to the local environment. For example, its stainless steel façade reflects the surrounding nature.
Original article by Pilar Armero
Translated by Susana Windt
Published in August, 2016