Mark had told us for years that we would love Extremadura and he was absolutely right, the raptors of course we loved but there was so much more, with over 40 lifers on my bird list. Vina Las Torres is an inspired choice of location and Belen and JP the perfect hosts, and the surrounding area is a joy too. Highlights then just too many to mention but Spanish Imperial Eagle locking talons with a Griffon Vulture and tumbling together awesome. Eagle Owl calling and then appearing in silhouette at dusk, Collared Pranticoles posing close by and giving a flying display. La Serena and Monfrague stunning but far from alone in special places, Trujillo also amazing. Mark and Simon both stars in looking after our every need and spectacular guiding with amazing views of nearly everything targetted. If you want somewhere to start doing birding trips then Extremadura would be very hard to beat. We both had a fabulous time our thanks to all at Speyside yet again, this was the best yet.
Belinda and Steve Batt
Being the first to spot a Golden Oriole outside Vina Las Torres – I think it was the fastest Mark moved all week. Mustn’t forget Belen’s excellent cooking.
Extremadura is such a wonderful place for birdwatching with such a varied and special species of birds present. Beautiful Pin Tailed Sandgrouse were seen along with displaying Great Bustards on the Plains. In Monfrague we had super views of Spanish Imperial Eagle – such a rare bird, along with Eagle Owl and 2 young on nest. The hosts at Vinas Las Torres were splendid and the accomodation and surroundings excellent. Thanks to everyone for a really enjoyable holiday.
The holiday exceeded our expectations in every way. Hotel Vina Las Torres was excellent with a great location and good food; our hosts were friendly and very helpful. The wildlife was terrific, with wonderful views of Great Bustards in flight and excellent birding for the whole week…….
Mr & Mrs B. Hertfordshire
…Spanish Imperial Eagle roughing up the Griffon Vultures at Portilla del Tietar . More than a dozen Great Bustards together; Great Bustards displaying. Belens cooking. Vina las Torres, with Bee-eaters, Hoopoes, Scops Owls, Azure-winged Magpies, Great Spotted Cuckoos, Golden Oriole etc etc etc! Crippling views of Pin-Tailed Sandgrouse. My first Black-eared Wheatear….
We reached Extremadura and eventually the wonderful Hotel Rural Vina las Torres, a family run former stately home set in quiet countryside 10km south of Trujillo. It is a perfect base for exploring the dehesa and steppes surrounding Trujillo… The owners, Juan Pedro and his wife Belen, were excellent hosts and were incredibly helpful and welcoming. The home cooked food here was also very good and we only ate out once during our stay. We actually found the prices in Trujillo to be surprisingly high so we were quite happy to eat at VLT.
Mike Watson & Evi.
The hotel is expertly run by its proprietors and the welcome we received here, as well as the food and hospitality we received over the coming days, was first class. But what about the birding? Well much has been written about the birds of this fantastic region, but this being my third visit to the Trujillo area, it was the ‘garden birding’ around the hotel that captivated myself ……. All in all this is a fabulous place, incredibly relaxing and bursting with birdlife, and you simply could not wish for a better base for exploring Extremadura. Whether its the garden birding or the beautiful sunset, stunning wildflowers or waking to the sound of Bee-eaters that takes your fancy, Vina las Torres has it all!.
Extremadura is one of the greatest birding areas in Europe. We recorded 161 species in the most delightful surroundings. Viña las Torres; in fact a very spacious, comfortable and, indeed, rather grand hotel in an idyllic setting. Red Rumped Swallows and Azure Winged Magpies were nesting in the gardens and drinks on the patio followed by dinner were a fitting end to our birding day.
So if you want to be serenaded by Scops Owl and Nightingale outside your bedroom window, wake up to Hoopoe and Blue Rock Thrush on the Hotel tower and view the Red Rumped Swallows nesting in the courtyard, then this is THE place.
A highlight of the holiday – I looked forward with anticipation to the evening meal. All were very good, some excellent.
Perfect – location, atmosphere couldn’t be better. Very Spanish!
Good variety and choice for lunches. Excellent attention to dietary preferences (vegetarian). I like use of local specialities and recipes.
Lovely hotel in beautiful setting. Hosts were very eager to please, nothing too much trouble. Enjoyed the traditional Spanish cuisine. Packed lunches were very good compared with other European trips.
I was completely overwhelmed at the sight of the accommodation – I’ve never had the experience of a ‘sunken’ bath before! The hotel, grounds and the locality was excellent. It was lovely to wander around the local lanes watching the birds. The food was delicious too! The most amazing site (and sight!) was at Plena Falcon – that huge cliff with seemingly hundreds of kites and eagles soaring around and above it. I’d never seen such a spectacle before! The birds of course were the ‘stars’ of the holiday, especially the Great Bustards, Purple and Squacco Herons, Little Bittern, Black Storks, Hoopoes, Eagle Owl and (my favourite) the stunning Black-shouldered Kite. Talking about ‘stars’, I am, as you may be aware, also an amateur astronomer. The night skies around the hotel were utterly spectacular – I wanted to bring it home with me!
The first day was very exciting culminating with really close views of Great Bustard. Also, an early morning trip when we saw Spotted Cuckoos, hoopoe and Lesser Bustard not far from the hotel.” “The hotel was in a lovely position with even a bee eater and Scops Owl at the gate!” ” Mark found a Roller on the wires as we drove home on our last day – magic!
Belen & Juan Pedro made me feel like one of the family, There were many highlights but the Bustards in flight was my most magical moment…or was it the Roller and the Bee-eaters
My best moment was as we walked outside Hotel Vina de las Torres on the first evening. The sun was shining, the fields and orchard groves were full of wild flowers ….as we started to walk I “called” a Hoopoe, a bird I was really keen to see, having never seen one before ! As we looked around there were Woodchat Shrike and Azure-winged Magpies – both new birds for us. A wonderful start and the holiday just built from there!
Jackie & Richard Kinsey