Walking the Via de laPlata from Merida to Caceres
This Walking Holiday explores the 3rd section of the Via de la Plata (Camino Mozárabe) from Merida to Caceres, the longest of all Camino routes to Santiago de Compostela! It runs through the whole country from South to North, from the hot Andalucian plains to the green mountains of Galicia, from Moorish influenced buildings to traditional stone farmhouses and much more! This Camino in its entirety offers most of Spain’s rich and mixed culture.
In this section, the Camino heads North, through Extremadura Province, a land of dry and gently hilly landscapes that sometimes seems to be more inhabited by cerdos ibericos (dark brown pigs typical of the region) than by people. Indeed, there can be long enough gaps between villages, giving you time to enjoy open landscapes of crop fields and vines, cork oak forests and wild flowers all year round. We know the long stretches with little shade can make the Via de la Plate route challenging, so we have split most stages into shorter walking days so anybody with an average level of fitness can make it to Caceres.
Merida was founded in 250 BC and the Roman heritage is still visible at every corner of the city nowadays. More than a UNESCO World Heritage site, this small-sized city has plenty to offer, and tourists always enjoy its lively buzz, hopping from tapas bars to wonderful restaurants.
Merida to Aljucen (16km, 4h15)
Leave Merida crossing over the river via a Roman bridge (over 2000 years old), from which there are beautiful views of the impressive Roman Acqueduct. Then we head towards the Prosperina dam which once was the biggest water reservoir in the Mediterranean Roman Empire. The red-earth landscape becomes hillier and there are also more oak trees to provide you with shelter from the sun. After a short days walking, we reach Aljucen from where we will be transferred back to our hotel in Merida.
Aljucen to Alcuescar (21km, 5h15)
Transfer back to Aljucen. Shortly after Aljucen, we enter the National Park of Cornalvo, a landscape of scrubland, red earth tracks, pasture and oaks. Then the farmlands alternates between cork trees, vines, olive trees and livestock until you reach the first and last village of the day: Alcuescar.
Alcuescar to Aldea del Cano (15km, 4h15)
From Alcuescar, it is at first an easy and peaceful walk to Las Casas de Don Antonio and its well restored Roman Bridge. Later, we walk on the original Roman road as we pass by what is known as miliario (Roman milestone) and cross one more Roman bridge before reaching Aldea del Cano.
Aldea del Cano to Caceres (23km, 5h45)
On this last day, we leave Aldea del Cano and continue through the flat and dry lands of Extremadura. We later cross a long Roman arched bridge at the entrance to Valdesalor. It is then a hilly landscape with little and scattered shade all the way to Caceres and its old town, perched on top of a hill.
Caceres. End of the Camino
After breakfast, we bid you farewell.
- Great mix of comfortable accommodation in 2-3* hotels or equivalent
- Bed & Breakfast
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
- Our Holiday/ Pilgrim Pack
- 24/7 Customer Service
- Great dinners with local food
- Extra nights
- Upgrade to authentic & luxury accommodation
- Airport transfers
Option 2 – Madrid
Virtually every company flies to Madrid
Spanish national company: www.iberia.com
1- Seville Airport, bus to Seville bus station (Approx. 25min). Then, bus to Merida (Approx. 2h30), 7 departures a day
2 – Madrid Airport, bus to Madrid bus station (Approx. 20min). Then bus to Merida (Approx. 4h30), 7 departures a day.
Option 1 – Sevilla
From Caceres, bus to Sevilla, 7 departures a day (Approx. 4hours).
Option 2 – Madrid
From Caceres, bus to Madrid, 7 departures a day (Approx. 4hours).