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In summer the tourist offices of Segovia, Toledo, and Aranjuez organize Trénes Turísticos (miniature tourist trains) that glide past all the major sights; contact the local tourist offices for schedules.
A great way to really get to know Extremadura is by bike, and you can cut down on the map reading by following the ancient Roman Ruta Vía de la Plata: it runs through Extremadura from north to south along A66, dividing it in two, and passes by such villages as Plasencia, Cáceres, Mérida, and Zafra. Parts of the Ruta Vía are still preserved and bicycleable. Note that the region north of the province of Cáceres, including the Jerte Valley, La Vera, and the area surrounding Guadalupe, is mountainous and uneven: be prepared for a bumpy and exhausting ride. The regional government has opened a Vía Verde, or "green way" path along disused railways, which goes from Logrosán (a couple of miles southwest of Guadalupe) to Villanueva de la Serena (east of Mérida and near Don Benito). This path is a roughly cleared track, more like a nature trail for hikers and bikers, and closed to motor vehicles. Check www.viasverdes.com for maps of this and other trails.
Equiberia leads horseback tours ranging from 1 to 10 days, a unique way to experience the gorges, fields, and forests of the Sierra de Guadarrama.
Horseback riding tours are also an option in Extremadura, and Hidden Trails, based in Vancouver, Canada, offers weeklong riding tours of the Gredo Mountains on the border of Cáceres province. Valle Aventura organizes hiking, horseback-riding, cycling, and kayaking trips in the Jerte Valley.
Equiberia (Navarredonda de Gredos, Ávila, 05635. 689/343974. www.equiberia.com.)
EuroAdventures Vacations (www.euroadventures.net.)
Hidden Trails (888/987-2457 from the U.S. or Canada; 604/323-1148 in Canada. www.hiddentrails.com.)
Valle Aventura (636/631182. www.valleaventura.com.)
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