In spring, cherry blossom draws thousands of visitors to the Jerte Valley. Photo: Mancomunidad Valle del Jerte
Cherry blossom in Jerte Valley: over 1.5 million cherry trees
Once again, thousands of cherry trees are waking up in the Jerte Valley, making it one of those places you should visit at least once in your lifetime.
Cherry blossom, which lasts 10 to 15 days, takes place in April or May, depending on the climate every year. Although this year the trees were in full bloom around 14 April, there will be activities to celebrate this amazing show of nature until 3 May, in the context of the programme, ‘Spring and Cherry Blossom in the Jerte Valley’. Activities include children’s shows, a food market, guided tours, falconry displays, hiking and mountain biking tours, gymkhanas in natural settings to show wonderful sights like the ‘hellish’ gorge known as Garganta de los Infiernos, storytelling based on local myths and legends… A wide range of choices, indeed.
The Jerte Valley is an amazing place, not only because of the cherry trees that cover the land as far as your eyes can see, but also because of the whimsical terraced landscape, adapted to cherry growing. Both can best be appreciated from the viewpoints, by the gorges or on the banks of the river Jerte.
Tradition and nature
There is much more to the Jerte Valley than cherry blossom. To get the whole picture, you should visit the 11 towns that make the region: Barrado, Cabezuela del Valle, Cabrero, Casas del Castañar, Jerte, Navaconcejo, Piornal, Rebollar, Tornavacas, El Torno and Valdastillas. They are all charming in their own way. The Old Town in Cabezuela del Valle, for instance, has been designated as a Historical-Artistic Site. Its steep alleyways and building façades bearing the coats of arms of noble families are a must.
This time of year is also ideal to visit local wineries, forges and mills, which are open to the public and shown as they were half a century ago.
Even when the cherry blossom is over, the Valley is still worth a visit. From May to July, it is time for cherry picking – a season known in Spanish as ‘La Cerecera’ and celebrated with tastings, tours of farming cooperatives, and so on. As many as 200 varieties of cherries are grown in the Jerte Valley, the most outstanding being the one known as Jerte Picota. If you prefer hands-on experiences, you can always engage in agritourism activities and pick your own cherries!
One country, many springs
In addition to the Jerte Valley, there are many regions in Spain where the blooming season is spectacular. In February, almond blossom paints the fields in white or pink in Campo de Cagitán, Murcia (towns of Calasparra, Cehegín, Cieza, Mula and Bullas), and Tejeda, Gran Canaria.
In late March or early April, cherry blossom is also visible in Valle de las Caderechas, Burgos (over 50,000 cherry trees) and Sierra Mágina, Jaén, while in April, plum blossom has its own festival in Nalda, La Rioja, where you can taste artisan food specialties and go on guided tours of the main sights.
Late April is a good time of year to come to the Cider Region in Asturias for the Apple Blossom and learn everything about the art of cider pouring.
In May, all patios look gorgeous in Córdoba, welcoming visitors with lots of colourful flower pots. Major celebrations include the Courtyard Festival, the Feast of the Cross and the Córdoba Fair.
Also in May, Girona celebrates the blooming season with Temps de Flors, a festival that transforms the city into a giant garden.
In late May or early June, Gredos turns yellow as a result of its blossoming brooms.
These are but a few blossom examples in our country, which seems to come to life in spring. Of course, natural parks like Ordesa or Doñana and gardens like Quinta de los Molinos in Madrid or Cap Roig in Palafrugell look their best too. Celebrations go on until the summer sets in: Brihuega has its Lavender Festival in July.
Blossoms are transient gifts of nature that contribute to placing Spain among the world’s top travel destinations – especially in spring.