The Jerte Valley, cherry blossoms, the Garganta de los Infiernos in Extremadura. A route for hikers and the best ham of Spain.

Located in the Jerte Valley, this natural reserve is between the northwest slope of the Sierra de Tormantos, the southwest slope of the Sierra de Gredos and the Jerte river. In the area you can contemplate numerous waterfalls, as well as the giant kettles of the area known as Los Pilones.
You can visit at any time of the year, in fact, each station has its own charm.

Jerte Valley
Cherry Blossom Festival of the Jerte Valley. From mid-March to the end of April, coinciding with the orientation dates of the cherry blossom, different cultural activities, routes, gastronomic events take place … in the different towns of the region. Flowering lasts about 2 weeks, with a peak of a few days in which virtually all cherry trees (more than 1 million) are covered with flowers and all the flora and fauna of the throat awakens from the lethargy of winter. Nothing to envy Japanese blossom.
During the fall, the leaves of the cherry trees change color, just before they detach from the trees. The combination of greens and ochres is beautiful, and if you like photography you have to try to come to Jerte on these dates, usually throughout the month of November. There is a beautiful hiking trail that runs through the Centennial Chestnuts near Casas del Castañar. Throughout the autumn months different cultural activities take place that are part of the Otoñada del Valle del Jerte.

La Garganta de los Infiernos Nature Reserve
The environment of the Garganta de los Infiernos is beautiful and of great natural wealth, with numerous waterfalls in its innumerable streams that form a network of tributaries over the main gorge, which finally pours its waters into the Jerte river.

From that point there are two marked hiking trails that run through the Garganta de los Infiernos.

The main route is circular and is about 16km long and lasts approximately 6 hours. It is a very beautiful route, which runs through the interior of the nature reserve and allows you to contemplate landscapes and corners very representative of the flora and fauna of the Garganta de los Infiernos.

This long route contains the second route, the one that leads to Los Pilones, which has its own signaling and is linear 3 km (6 km round trip)

Los Pilones
Before reaching Los Pilones there is a detour that goes up to the viewpoint of the Chorrero de la Virgen. It is worth traveling these extra meters because the views are stunning.
The area of ​​Los Pilones constitutes a spectacular and surprising landscape.
River erosion has dug large pools in the rock, which are called giant kettles.

Cabezuela del Valle.
It is one of the most prominent towns in the valley, its historic center is declared a Historic-Artistic Site.
The church of San Miguel Arcángel is located on the site of the former synagogue of the Hebrews, donated to Cabezuela in 1494.
The Cherry Museum and the Water Interpretation Center. It is worth the visit.

Pork and goat are the two main protein sources in the Vallejerteña diet. The goat is consumed in cooked, raw as minced meat, seasoned with oregano, garlic, paprika and oil (it can also be fried). In the Serrano majadales, it is prepared in clams, sun dried, previously marinated. With goat’s milk, the cheeses that are so widely accepted are prepared.

From the river and gorges, subject to closure in many of its sections, the coveted gargantana trout, with red pints, which is usually prepared to wet or pickled, fried, etc …

But the pig maintains its role among meat foods. Reason why we propose assistance to a traditional slaughter to better capture its socio-family and ethnographic relevance.
In most of the restaurants of the region, they usually offer the diner a series of dishes typical of the Alto -extremeña area: potatoes, croutons, crumbs, stew, suckling piglet, trout with jerteña, excellent stews and sausages and desserts made with cherries The breakfasts that the lodges offer usually contain typical sweets of the region and their jams.

In Extremadura the pig is considered an emblematic animal. It has in the extensive holm oak and oak trees the optimal means for breeding and fattening. In the Valley each house used to prime one or two pigs to be slaughtered. Pork products partially ensured family feeding throughout the year. They become ubiquitous on rural tables and was a basic pillar of the food system. Around the traditional slaughter revolves a series of ethnic, social, ideological-religious values, as well as ritualizations of diverse implication. Aspects that make it a fundamental expression of Extremadura culture.

During the days of the slaughtering, the closest members of the extended family meet at the family home, being one of the best annual opportunities to strengthen kinship ties. The Matanzas calendar runs from November to February. They usually last two days, during which the house becomes a festive setting. The day before the preparations begin: gut mallets, bank hauling, troughs, wooden baths, mud holes, chopping and stuffing machines etc … The previous day pumpkins and potatoes are cooked in drums, so that they are drained to its elaboration

The slaughter day is early so everything is ready. The pig is slaughtered. There are currently tourist establishments that, within its program of activities, offer its client the ability to participate in a typical slaughter. Like some Town Hall, in collaboration with local tourism entrepreneurs, they offer participation in this act.

Every year, on the occasion of the Otoñada del Valle del Jerte, the best restaurants in the region organize the Pastoril Gastronomy Conference. Within these Days, the day they are presented to the public, different activities are carried out so that both the visitor and the local population can participate. For approximately two months, travelers are offered the chance to taste fantastic gastronomic proposals that recall and / or reinterpret the pastoral gastronomic tradition of the region. Menus made with products of the season and typical of the region: raisins, mushrooms, chestnuts, oranges and pomegranates, meats, trout …

The Picota Cherry Gastronomic Days will be held every year as part of the CERECERA between the months of May and July. Enjoy the genuine flavor of the Jerte Valley in the best restaurants in the region with a series of exclusive and appetizing menus becomes a reality. In the elaboration of the menus there is no lack of traditional dishes and other interesting proposals that incorporate the queen of cherries in its confection: La Picota del Jerte.

The artisanal elaboration of the homemade wine (of pitarra) is carried out in the cellar, where the necessary utensils and vessels are located. First the grape is stepped on the gamellón or lagar, a kind of wooden box with a ribbed mouth and then the grapes are separated from the grapes on the sgranaera (grid, table or wicker box). Poured over the oak vats, cook the must for six or more weeks, controlling the fermentation rises with extreme cleanliness. Once it has been cooked, the wine is deposited in jars where it rinses for a while. The feces and skins of the grape are passed through the squeeze and subsequently burned in the still to obtain the homemade brandy. Pitara wine of bright colors, dense aromas and strong flavor, has symbolized hospitality and friendly feeling in the Valley.

Iberinbound Travel, incoming travel agency specialized in Spain and Portugal, offers a wide portfolio of active tourism, no matter if in the city or out in the nature. In this special route for lovers of trekking and hiking, full of possibilities, we can create a perfect combination of adventure, nature and culture. We are at your service to organize a tailor-made holiday for all ages, genders and preferences.