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Spanish secrets, part 11

Part eleven of beautiful and lesser known places in Spain offers a very beautiful scenery and the opportunity for a refreshing bathe in the summer heat.

los-pilones-1It is a nature reserve with the scary name La Garganta de los Infiernos, which translates to something like “Hell’s Gap.” It is an extreme area also in the fact that it is located in Extremadura in the Cáceres province in the westernmost part of Spain.

It is located between the northwestern slope of the Sierra de Tormantos, and the southeastern slope of the Sierra de Gredos and the river Rio Jerte. In the area one can see several waterfalls and kettle holes in an area known as Los Pilones. All streams and waterways form a network of tributaries to the main canyon and all these flows eventually into the river Río Jerte.

los-pilones-2The two main attractions are the 13 large kettle holes and the stunning waterfall Chorrero de la Virgen, which can best be seen from the viewpoint of “El Mirador del Chorrero”.

The vegetation in the area is very varied since the height spans between 300 and just over 2,000 meters above sea level. The highest peaks in the area are Cuerda de los Infiernillo (2281 m) and Cerro del Estecillo (2290 m).

It is especially popular in the summer to come here to take a refreshing dip in the icy natural pools. But the area is available all year.

los-pilones-4It’s easy to get there. The Visitor Centre “El Centro de Interpretación de la Garganta de los Infiernos” is located on the highway Carretera Nacional 110, Km 368, about 3 km from the town Jerte. From the vistor centre there are many hiking trails. The most widely used is the one that goes directly to the kettle holes. It is an easy walk of about 3 km (6 km round trip) and it is no problem to bring children on this trip. Before going to the potholes it might be worth making a detour up to the viewpoint “El Mirador del Chorrero” and admire the stunning views of the water falls.

los-pilones-3

At the visitor centre you can get all the necessary information both in Spanish and English, but remember that it is closed during the siesta. You can also get a guided tour if you wish. There is a restaurant close by called “Napoleon Valle del Jerte” and inside the city Jerte there are several restaurants and even hotels. In addition there are two campgrounds in the area Camping Valle del Jerte og Camping Bungalows Rio Jerte.

For more information: Turismo Extremadura.

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