The Jerte Valley changes its look depending on what time of year you visit.
When the cherries are in bloom, it looks like a sea of white beckoning you to explore. When the cherries are ripe, it’s an indescribably beautiful sea of red. This is my favorite time of year. And when there are no flowers or cherries, it’s still a wonderful natural park that’s home to the Jerte River.
We loved visiting during every time of the year. If you want to give your senses a gift, I recommend you start planning a trip.
Don't hesitate to visit this wonderful place, full of life and color. It lies in the valley of Jerte (Cáceres). It is ideal for hiking, in fact, to reach this gorge it is necessary to walk for a while, though the nature is wonderful (here is a short video on the way to the gorge). I have attached links to a couple of websites: Rural Tourist Apartments "Las Palomas" - www.Valledeljertelaspalomas.Com Rural Apartments "La Antigua Tahona" - www.Antiguatahona.Com.
I spent a week at this campsite, and almost every day we passed through the town to go shopping and visit places, it has friendly people, small shops and many restaurants. And what surprised me most was the beautiful natural pool in the river, where most of the people spend there this summer days, swimming and relaxing.
El Barrio de los Bueyes is the oldest neighbourhood in Jerte. The village was burned in 1809 by Napoleon's troops during the War of Independence and this area was one of the few that escaped the burning. Therefore, it still retains good examples of the typical architecture of the period, characterized by its arcades and wooden balconies and its half-timbered houses. There are also some bigger houses made of stone. An enjoyable place to visit.
This church is located in Independence Square. What is most striking is its bell tower, as it is independent and isolated from the rest of the temple. This is because it was a defence tower in medieval times. Attached to the wall of the tower is a public fountain with two streams of water, once used as a watering hole for cattle. Above it, a plaque commemorates the heroes of the War of Independence, as Jerte was looted by Napoleon in 1809.
Located in the center of town, Plaza Independencia is the main square in Jerte. In it is the parish church of the Assumption, with its large tower and there are also numerous examples of folk architecture in the houses that surround the square. The square is quite large and is surrounded by arcades and houses with large balconies and traditional wooden runners.
The royal road that joined the port of Tornavacas with Jarandilla de la Vera played an important role in the histories of both the Jerte and Ambroz valleys. One of the most illustrious figures to have used it was Emperor Carlos V who passed through on a palanquin in 1556 on his way to the Yuste Monastery, the place where he finished his life. Today, it’s known as the Carlos V route and it’s one of the most beautiful and famous roads through the Extremadurian mountains.
All along this route’s eight-hour itinerary, hikers have the chance to tread the same Earth as the imperial convoy: the shady elm and chestnut forests of the Valle del Jerte, the impressive rock formations of the Yeguas and Los Infiernos gorges, and the solitary landscapes of the high Gredos mountains which must, by the way, be done with care in the winter time. After crossing the mountain pass, hikers arrive in the verdant groves of the Valle del Ambroz.
The Carlos V Route begins at the Ermita de los Humilladeros in the town of Tornavacas in the Cáceres province. The Ermita (hermitage) is located in the lower part of the village, near the Jerte river, and you’ll find two paved paths leading out from behind it. From there to Jarandilla de la Vera, it’s 24 kilometers (about 6 or 6.5 hours of hiking). It’s a tough trail and a minimum of hiking experience is recommended. The maximum altitude change is 685 meters. Also, since the route isn’t circular, you need to have a way of getting back to Tornavacas when you’re through (there are public transportation options in the area). You can do the hike in spring, summer, and autumn, but I think that springtime is the best.
From the Ermita in Tornavacas, you head down to the river where you’ll see a stone plaque which marks the beginning of the trek. You’ll also begin to see the red and white signs which will mark the way for the remainder of the trail. The first landscape is made up of tranquil and fertile meadows divided by old stone walls. Later, as the trail begins its upward stretch, you pass through the magnificent chestnut forest dotted with oaks and beeches. You’ll pass through the Tres Cerros pass where you’ll see the original 16th-century stone trail. After, you cross the Puente Nuevo Roman bridge and ascend to Collado de la Encinilla Pass over the Yeguas gorge. After around 5 hours of hiking, you reach Yeguas Pass, the dividing line between the Jerte and Ambroz valleys.
Tornavacas is on the N-110 highway between Ávila and Plasencia. You can refill you water bottle in Tornavacas, Puente Nuevo, and various natural springs between Puente Nuevo and Yeguas pass. You can, of course, do the trail in the opposite direction.
This is the perfect way to cool off in summer. You can enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Garganta Chica, which in turn lead to the Garganta de los Infiernos. It is a real experience to enjoy bathing in natural waters. www.gargantadelosinfiernos.com