In autumn, the Ambroz Valley in northern Extremadura, comes alive with a palette of ochres, browns and reds. To celebrate this natural spectacle, the towns and villages in the area organise ‘Otoño mágico’ (Magic Autumn), which is a wide-ranging cultural programme that brings entertainment and fun to the whole valley.
Festivals includes the chance to sample typical dishes, mushroom collecting courses, guided visits to the most spectacular sights in the area. Theatre, concerts, traditional games, exhibitions, bike routes, a mountain race, a photography competition and the Cattle Migration Festival, are among some of the activities. What’s more, ‘Otoño mágico’ offers visitors a good excuse to explore the Ambroz Valley. With options such as strolling through the streets of the Jewish quarter of Hervás, relaxing in thermal baths dating from Roman times in Baños de Montemayor, embracing age-old trees, and following the Roman road known as the Silver Route, either on foot or by bike.
The narrowest street in Spain is in Hervás: at just half a metre wide, pedestrians touch the walls when they pass and, if they have just eaten a zorongollo (roast tomato and pepper salad) or a cochinillo cuchifrito (fried suckling pig), there’s a good chance they might not pass through at all!
The “travesía del Moral” is the star of the Hervás Jewry: it is a district of steep lanes that lead from the Plaza to the River Ambroz and the Medieval Fuente Chiquita Bridge. The adorable houses with large overhangs and balconies, the ground floor in stone or white painted adobe and the top floor of trussed chestnut timber (as chestnut trees are abundant in the Hervás mountain range), are a real delight. It is a truly beautiful, fun and relaxing experience to wind down with now that summer is officially over.
You will remember this one for a long time to come… I promise.
Happy Autumn everyone!