In this first edition of our new magazine published by our association “Somos Sierra de Gata”, founded in June, 2015, we would like to extend a heartfelt welcome to all our foreign visitors and residents in the hope that you will feel part of our community and at the same time, we would also like to encourage any possible future residents, so with this purpose in mind here follows a short description of this very special part of Spain.
The Sierra de Gata is a magical place, imbibing the visitor with a sense of mystery, of ancient customs, with a great feeling of inspirational tenderness. Situated in the northern part of the province of Cáceres, Extremadura, between the Portuguese border and the province of Salamanca, the Sierra de Gata is an extense region, including 6 valleys surrounded by undulating hills, the highest of which reaches up to almost 1500m, and housing 22 small towns and villages, ranging from 200 to 2.500 inhabitants with the exception of Moraleja with approximately 7.500. The area has some of the best roads of the whole of Spain, and is reachable in approx. 3 hours from any of the main airports of Madrid, Oporto, Lisbon, and low cost from Valladolid.
This is one of the least known areas of the whole of Spain, but has a wealth of possibilities for even the most discerning traveller. It is an ideal solution for small activity groups, especially walkers, bird-watchers, horse-trekkers, artists and so forth, with verdant countryside and magnificent views. There is an abundance of historical buildings and churches to be explored, along with several ruins of mediaeval castles, Arab tombs and Roman causeways; villages with an architectural style reminiscent of past centuries
Accommodation is provided by a large range of country guesthouses, some of which can be rented as a whole, others as rooms, but mostly with a special, cosy, rustic style which is very appealing to all. The Sierra is interlaced with crystal clear rivers, providing natural pools for summer entertainment, all completely free of charge, and many with manicured lawns and small bars and cafeterias, in addition to a large municipal pool in each village for the use of which a small charge is levied.
The region is renowned for its gastronomy. The total absence of heavy industry gives way to local ones, in which the elaboration of Extra Virgin Olive Oil stands out, having reached international fame and winner of a great many prizes. In addition, the local goats’ cheese, honey and wine are very popular as cottage industries and the whole region has a wealth of craftsmen, including the famous lace-makers, who sell their wares at the regular village fairs.
Our intention is to publish quarterly; we are already overwhelmed with the marvellous response we have received from people from all walks of life, with some very interesting reviews and have already started to prepare for the next edition.
You will find several articles about various enterprises, hobbies, poetry, short stories, sports and so forth, plus interviews and references to some more serious issues, in addition to a list of some of the projects we are trying to achieve for the Sierra, all of which we hope will serve as inspiration for any ideas you may like to contribute. If anything, it will provide you with an excellent opportunity to practice your Spanish!
We would therefore be delighted to receive any comments or suggestions you may have in order to constantly improve this exciting new project which we have commenced with great enthusiasm.
In addition, we would also welcome any photos or articles you may like to send us in English, the language we have chosen as a common denominator for the diverse nationalities we are accumulating here in the Sierra, all of whom are integrating perfectly in this glorious part of the country, and with great pleasure we would welcome any new members to our Association.
Incidentally, for anyone wishing to build or renovate, we can also put you in touch with a variety of architects, lawyers, builders, carpenters and so forth, some of whom also speak English.
We hope to hear from you soon!
Jakki Cosway, Valverde del Fresno