This is a one square town, and the restaurants are ludicrously over-priced. There is a dearth of cheap, local-friendly bars and eateries.
We visited Trujillo last week on a tip from The Guardian, and thought best to warn other prospective visitors that this is not a place to visit outside of the warmer months i.e. June-September.
Our October visit was most disappointing - rain meant the beautiful square full of historic buildings was deserted and empty. We then discovered that apart from the square there really is absolutely nothing else in Trujillo - we couldn't even find a grocers, bakery or supermarket!
The historic buildings are indeed stunning, but many of them are abandoned and some derelict. The plaza with its bars and restaurants is pretty and pleasant to sit in on a warm summer's evening, but on a rainy autumn night we had to sit inside. The restaurants were charging silly prices - about 80 -100 euros for a meal for two - apart from the famous La Troya - which is where we went hoping for cheap and cheerful. Sadly however it was not all that cheap and the food was dismal (yes, the portions are enormous, but the food is hard to stomach).
Saddest of all, we couldn't find a single tapas bar to sit in.
In a town where so many businesses have closed down, there is an urgent need for local regeneration, new ideas and a proper strategy for redevelopment. The fact that so many historic old houses are falling into disrepair is really saddening and unforgivable.
We spoke to some locals and gathered that things are really tough economically. Trujillo has the potential to be a bustling and thriving place but to us it felt like a ghost town.
Shame on the town hall and the local government!
Google map: bit.ly/SeLL6L
Trujillo is steeped in history and is located in the heart of Extremadura, one of the remotest areas of Spain. The Plaza Mayor is unforgettable – an enormous square bordered with arches on two sides, a large fountain in the middle and dominated by the Church of Santa María la Mayor and an enormous equestrian statue of the explorer, Francisco Pizarro, a son of the town. Trujillo has a hilltop castle with wonderful views over the town and surrounding countryside, city walls, a wealth of monuments - churches, palaces and museums – and narrow, winding streets in the old quarter.
A number of bars and restaurants border the square, chairs and tables set out in front. There is nothing more pleasurable than sitting down at one of these on a warm evening to watch the people of the town go about their business. As the sun sets behind the far end of the square, the Church is bathed in an intense golden light. There is a pervading sense of timelessness and tradition about this place. For me it represents the essence of the real Spain that few people experience.
As you approach Trujillo by road, you will pass through an undulating landscape dotted with oak woods. And from time to time you will spot herds of black pigs. These are the pigs that produce the highly prized Jamón Ibérico de Bellota or Pata Negra. The pigs roam through the oak woods and feed on acorns (bellotas), herbs, grass and roots. This lends the special flavour and texture to the meat. The meat is cured and processed in Trujillo and you can buy paletas, jamón, chorizo and other products, as well as local cheeses and other regional products in the local shops. The restaurants also offer dishes based on these delicacies.
If you visit at the right time, you will catch one of the many festivals and fairs – the Chiviri and Semana Santa processions at Easter, the Cheese Fair in May, the Medieval Market and Fiesta of la Virgen de la Victoria in August, Extremadura Day in September and medieval and livestock fairs in each season.
Trujillo has a variety of hotels and hostals, including the Parador which is set in a 16th Convent. I would recommend the NH Palacio de Santa Marta which overlooks the Plaza Mayor. The former 16th century palace has been beautifully redesigned to incorporate and highlight the original features but at the same time it provides comfortable, stylish facilities.
Sitting in the main plaza of Trujillo as the sun goes down with a cold beer is a little piece of heaven. The ancient stone of the 16th century palaces reflects the golden light, a stork flies over the tolling bell tower, slowly the plaza fills for the hour of the passeo. The whole town is a delight, wandering through the winding streets past the palaces and churches built with the riches brought back from Peru by conquistadors such as Pizzaro together with his Inca wife, their portraits carved on the Pizzaro Palace.
Secret gardens glimpsed through closed gates, jasmine spilling over high walls. Check out tips for Caceres, Merida and Extremadura for more ideas on exploring Extremadura.
Trujillo is 40kms from Caceres and the same distance to Montanchez
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