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Natural beauty in Spain’s Extremadura

Extramadura’s Monfragüe National Park is a Unesco biosphere reserve

Little-visited Extremadura in the west of Spain is the perfect place to soak up country life away from the summer crowds of the coastline. It doesn’t get much wilder than Monfragüe National Park, whose ancient forests, tumbling cliffs and river gorges form a brilliantly preserved mountain landscape. You might not see many fellow walkers here, but with 280 animal species there’s no shortage of company, from birds such as the black vulture and the endangered Spanish imperial eagle, to Iberian lynx, wild boar and deer. In nearby Trujillo, a hilltop town little changed since conquistador days, Trujillo Villas offers lodgings and trips exploring the park, including guided walks to such highlights as the outcrop of Salto del Gitano, and a night of astronomy in a 12th-century castle, with drinks under the stars.

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The July 2016 issue of Lonely Planet Traveller UK.