Monfrague National Park & Caceres – Spain & Portugal Tour 2009

Parque Nacional de Monfrague
Parque Nacional de Monfrague

The day dawned fresh and sunny and we headed straight to the Monfrague National Park. The main attraction of this place is its birds – particularly vultures, eagles and rare black storks. Although we aren’t big bird watchers, the idea of seeing big birds of prey in the wild proved irresistible and armed with a park map from the park office in Villareal de san Carlos, we set off to the Castillo de Monfrague where we parked and walked to the top – a steep 30 minute walk.

It was well worth the effort as the scenery is excellent and the park is amazingly rich with magnificent birds. Unlike most wildlife watching, patience wasn’t really required. Once we reached the top of the castle tower, vultures, eagles and other birds of prey were visible in all directions. You never needed to wait more than five minutes to see something new.

Castillo Monfragie
Castillo de Monfrague
view-monfrague-1-sm
The view from the top was quite something...

Looking down into the valley from the castle - above the birds!
Looking down into the valley from the castle - above the birds!

After an hour or so at the top, we made our way down to the car park where we had lunch.

We then continued on the EX-208 (an excellent road, like almost all we used in Spain) towards Caceres, where we were planning to use our first Spanish Aire*.

Driving in rural Spain is very relaxing...
Driving in rural Spain is very relaxing...

The motorhome parking area at Caceres proved to be everything we expected and was a thoroughly pleasant place to stay. We took full advantage of the facilities and also took a walk around the old town of Caceres, which is only 10 minutes walk away from the aire (signposted Albergue Municipal).

Caceres - official motorhome parking with service point
Caceres - official motorhome parking with service point
Doing the tourist thing in Caceres - a lovely town
Doing the tourist thing in Caceres - a lovely town

Despite it being Sunday afternoon, our walk bore fruit; we enjoyed two excellent ice creams and returned to the van with a fresh baguette and two chocolate pastries for breakfast the next morning.

Distance driven: 74 miles

*For full details of this and many other official motorhome parking and service areas in Spain and Portgual, I can thoroughly recommend “All The Aires Spain and Portugal”, £11.99, published by Vicarious Books. The book was our bible for this trip and worth its price several times over.

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