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Monfragüe Greenway Nature Trail


CN Vía Verde de Monfragüe

Pastures of oaks and corn oaks in the surroundings of the Monfragüe National Park.

Located in the Monfragüe National Park and Biosphere Reserve transition area, this route makes the most of the Madrid-Valencia de Alcántara railway line, following close to the track that currently lends this service, among the oak and corn oak pastures in which the cattle and Iberian swine graze.

Arroyo del Tamujoso, desde la pasarela de madera

The Monfragüe Nature Trail leaves from the area known as Las Habazas, next to the EX-208 road crossing and the Madrid-Valencia de Alcántara railway, at less than 2 km from the Monfragüe train station and some 13 km from Plasencia and 8 km from Malpartida de Plasencia, passing entirely through the lands of this latter municipality.

The trail, which is entirely on firm asphalt, does not take long, after crossing a trail which leads to the CC-183 road, in entering an oak pasture, although it is not very dense on the sides of the trail. Likewise, the trail does not take long to find what will constantly accompany it: the new Valencia de Alcántara railway line.

In the sections in which the slopes on the side of the trail may be dangerous, wooden fences have been placed to prevent people from falling.

Pasarela para salvar el arroyo de Calzones

Momentarily moving away from the railway line, the trail curves round, passing over the Tamujosa creek on the first of four wooden walkways built along the route. When moving away from the railway line, the trees increase and this, together with the creek, makes it easier to see the cattle that graze on these pastures.

After a kilometre and a half, the railway track is neared again and is crossed via a concrete bridge. The railway track is then moved away from again for another kilometre until arriving at a new walkway that runs along on of the arms of the Calzones creek. The following walkway is almost immediately reached, and it acts as a crossing over a trail which leads to Malpartida de Plasencia. At this point you can see remains of the old railway uses of this track; in the shape of a building in ruins and old wooden sleepers that lay to one side of the trail.

Alcornoque descorchado

The trail stays parallel to the railway track for more than 7 km, during which only a few metres separate the old track from the new one. At this point, the trail crosses the track once again via a concrete bridge. Furthermore, during this section, the landscape of oak pastures changes to corn oaks, which are not only used in farming, but they are also used in the cork industry, as you can tell by the harvested tree trunks.

After crossing the last concrete bridge, the trail moves definitively from the railway track until the end of the route. The route passes along a wide curve, first among some more cork oaks, and then among oaks again, and Iberian swine replaces the cattle as the most abundant livestock. The last walkway, over the Haza creek, indicates that there is barely a kilometre and a half until the end of the trail.

Arroyo de la Haza desde la pasarela que lo cruza

During this last kilometre, the last gatehouse in ruins is left to the right. This was probably also used for the railway and it is located next to an irrigation pool. The final point of this route is reached just below an asphalt path that connects the different livestock estates in the area. Said path allows you to access the Haza de la Concepción mansion (2.4 km away), as well as the EX-108 road, via which, after crossing the Tiétar river, you can reach the Bazagona neighbourhood (3.5 km away, belonging to Malpartida de Plasencia) and the stop with the same name (4.5 km away)./p>



MIDE Camino Natural Vía Verde de Monfragüe

MIDE (Method for the Information of Excursions)

(Calculated according to the MIDE criteria for an average excursionist with a light load)


Further information

Monfragüe National Park and Biosphere Reserve

This National Park is located in the north east of the province of Cáceres, with the Tajo river being its main axis. It has a more or less rectangular shape, with a south east/ north east orientation, with mountain ranges to the north and the river to the south determining its borders.

This space has been protected since 1979 when it was declared as a Natural Park with Royal Decree 1927/1979 of 4 April. Later, the area was also named as a Special Protection Area for Wild Birds (1991 and expanded in 2004) pursuant to the Birds Directive 79/409/EEC, a Site of Community Importance following the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2003, including the park and its surroundings. Last of all, in 2007, by means of Act 1/2007 of 3 March, it was declared as a National Park.

Monfragüe is considered as one of the largest and most representative sites of Mediterranean forests and scrubland. It has been highly conserved, treasuring a wealth of flora and fauna, despite the fact that throughout its history, human intervention in this space has not been scarce.

The diversity of ecological environments, that include large, dense shady forests, riparian forests alongside creeks and the imposing rock lands of the mountain ranges, house more than two hundred species of vertebrates, who find refuge and an abundance of food so they can develop in this area. Birds stand out above all; here you can find one of the world's biggest colonies of black vulture (Aegypius monachus), the Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti), a bird of prey in danger of extinction with the biggest population density in the Iberian peninsula, and the black stork (Ciconia nigra) another bird that is also in danger of extinction and that emigrates from Africa each year to nest in Monfragüe, as well as Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus), black kites (Milvus migrans), booted eagles (Hieraaetus pennatus) and short-toed snake eagles (Circaetus gallicus), which during the spring and summer share the space with other sedentary species such as griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus), Spanish imperial eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus), red kites (Milvus milvus) and more.

In terms of mammals, among its oak, cork oak, strawberry tree and gall oak forests, or hidden among the rockrose, retama, heather and Spanish lavender scrubland, deer (Cervus elaphus), wild boar (Sus scrofa), fox (Vulpes vulpes), badgers (Meles meles), genet (Genetta genetta), wildcats (Felis silvestris), rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and more, find their protection.

Malpartida de Plasencia

Malpartida de Plasencia lies in between the Santa Bárbara mountain range, which separates it from Plasencia, and the waters of Jerte, on the dry lands that go as far as Vegas del Tiétar and that are littered with just a few irrigation pools. Its large expanse, some 372 km squared, takes it to reach the Tormantos and Cañaveral mountain ranges. Although its origins are still unknown, as the French troops destroyed the municipal archives in the Battle of Tiétar, there are Roman ruins, both in the town and its surroundings, where there are settlements that could have derived from the nearby Vía de la Plata. Celtic remains have also been found in a pasture.

Named as a town since 1961, its location is linked to Plasencia, as when this was founded in 1186, new settlements started to prosper nearby. It is said that one of those was called Malpartida, and it had a rapid surge as the transhumance taxes could be charged there without the need of going to Plasencia. These days the town's activities are spilt among the agriculture, construction and services sectors.

Its main monument is the 16th century San Juan Bautista church. This is a brickwork and granite building, with a style somewhere between the end of the Gothic era and the beginning of the renaissance. It has just one nave with four slender sections and the choir is one of its most visited elements.

The people from Malpartida share an intriguing demonym; they are called "chinatos"(the stone throwers) which is a nickname that seems to come from the ancient rivalries with the people from Plasencia, who they did not doubt in throwing stones at. It seems that those from Malpartida took the John the Baptist statue from Plasencia and when those from Plasencia tried to snatch it away from them, those from Malpartida threw stones at them. There is also the belief that this nickname comes from a small nearby hamlet called La China.


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