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The Monfragüe Natural Park was the first protected area in the Extremadura region. It was declared a Natural Park on 2 March 2007. In 2003 UNESCO declared a Biosphere Reserve in 2003. This area can be considered as one of the most representative Mediterranean forests.

This natural area is a valley 30 km long and 7 km wide, traversed by two rivers (Tajo and Tiétar). The mountains that surround the valley are lower than 800 m and they host an important natural heritage (animal and plant species). The very diverse native plant species are well preserved. The animal species include more than 280 types of vertebrates, including some of the most representative Spanish species, such as the Imperial eagle, the Black vulture, the Black stork or the Iberian lynx – all of them critically endangered.

The presence of humans in the area 2,000 years BC is confirmed by the existence of cave paintings in the mountains located in the region. This area was called “Monsfragorum” by the Romans, that is, rough mountain. In the year 713, the Arabs conquer this land and build a fortress at the top of the mountains. The Cardinal Bridge starts being built in 1450 where the Tajo and Tiétar rivers meet, to facilitate the passage of people and goods between the populations in Plasencia, Trujillo and Jaraicejo.

The area became a strategic passage, thus attracting banditry, which caused King Charles III to have a town built (Villareal de San Carlos) in 1784, half way between Puerto de la Serrana and the Cardinal Bridge.

“La Dehesa” Hostel  is located in Torrejón el Rubio, in the heart of Monfragüe.

More information on hiking trails, car itineraries or visitor centres can be found at the following links:

 Monfragüe National Park

Monfragüe Biosphere Reserve

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