Destinations 

La Siberia - Biosphere Reserve

This district of Badajoz, which was declared a Biosphere Reserve on 19th June 2019, offers nature, heritage, five large reservoirs for bathing and practising water sports, and authentic gastronomy.

  1. Come to Extremadura
  2. La Siberia - Reserva de la Biosfera

Among dehesas, sierras and reservoirs

This district of Badajoz, which was declared a Biosphere Reserve on 19th June 2019, offers nature, heritage, five large reservoirs for bathing and practising water sports, and authentic gastronomy.

La Siberia welcomes the visitor with its dehesa pasturelands, plains, sierras, and large reservoirs on the Guadiana and Zújar Rivers. This territory has outstanding biodiversity and is a true paradise for lovers of nature, fishing, hunting, water sports, hiking, and mountain biking (BTT). Its uplands form part of the spurs of the Montes de Toledo. To the east it borders on the provinces of Córdoba and Ciudad Real and to the north on that of Cáceres, to be precise on a territory which is also recognised by the UNESCO: the Villuercas-Ibores-Jara World Geopark.

The La Siberia Biosphere Reserve includes eleven municipalities and is the first in the province of Badajoz and the third in Extremadura after those of Monfragüe (declaration of 2003) and Tajo Internacional (2016).

Here can be found the Cíjara Regional Reserve, an area of 25,000 hectares which is the habitat of red deer, wild boar, roe deer, and fallow deer and also of protected bird species such as golden eagles, black vultures, Egyptian vultures, and black storks. This surprising wild, mountainous, and green space was a hunting reserve as early as the times of Alfonso X the Wise.

The historical and cultural heritage of La Siberia is just as interesting. It ranges from prehistoric sites and cave paintings to the stamp of Rome on the ancient city of Lacimurga and also includes churches, castles, and the rich legacy of the Orders of the Temple and of Alcántara. It is worth visiting the Museum of the Extremadura Giant in Puebla de Alcocer, which is dedicated to Agustín Luengo Capilla, a local of 2.30 metres in height who lived in the mid-19th century.

This heritage route should include a stop at Herrera del Duque, a town which belonged to the Duchy of Osuna and the Order of Alcántara and where its noble past is reflected in several mansions and in the Casa de la Encomienda, which is better known as the Casa del Conco.

The tourist should not miss a visit to the castle of Puebla de Alcocer, which stands on a crag at an altitude of almost 700 metres and affords magnificent views of La Siberia and La Serena. This 15th-century fortress belonged to the Order of Alcántara and was the command or capital of these warrior friars, the influence of which was of great importance in Extremadura. The walls and the slender round keep of the castle with a diameter of twelve metres are still in a good state of repair.

La Siberia is a must for birdwatchers. This is borne out by its protected spaces such as the Special Bird Protection Areas (ZEPAs) of ‘Puerto Peña-Sierra de Golondrinos’ and ‘Embalse de Orellana y Sierra de Pela’, which is also a Site of Regional Importance (Lugar de Importancia Comunitaria, LIC) for the European Union and a Wetland of International Importance according to the Ramsar Convention.

The five large reservoirs of La Siberia (Cíjara, García Sola, Orellana, La Serena, and Zújar) make it easy to practice fishing and water sports such as sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, and paddleboarding. Among the bathing areas the Peloche Beach (Herrera del Duque) on the García Sola reservoir stands out.

And what of the gastronomy? In a land with abundant game and fish, honey, extra virgin olive oil, cheese, and traditional pork products among other delicacies, we can savour wonders such as escarapuche of river fish, soups, breadcrumbs, chickpeas, ajoblanco (cold garlic and almond soup), sautéed vegetables, stews, tasajo (a dish of game meat), and traditional sweetmeats such as chaquetías, candelillas, canelones, flores, and doughnuts.

La Siberia tourism website: www.turismolasiberia.com

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