CÁCERES is in many ways remarkably like Trujillo. It features an almost perfectly preserved walled town, the Ciudad Monumental, packed with solares built on the proceeds of American exploration, while every available tower and spire is crowned by a clutch of storks’ nests. As a provincial capital, however, Cáceres is a much larger and livelier place, especially in term time, when the students of the University of Extremadura are in residence. With its Roman, Moorish and conquistador sights, and a number of great bars and restaurants, it is an absorbing and highly enjoyable city. It also provides a dramatic backdrop for an annual WOMAD festival, held over the second weekend in May and attracting up to 70,000 spectators.
The walled Old Town stands at the heart of Cáceres, with a picturesque Plaza Mayor just outside its walls. These are basically Moorish in construction, though parts date back to the Romans – notably the Arco del Cristo – and they have been added to, refortified and built against throughout the centuries. The most intact section, with several original adobe Moorish towers, runs in a clockwise direction, facing the walls from the Plaza Mayor. Almost everything of interest is contained within – or a short walk from – this area; try and base yourself as close to it as possible.