Tajo Internacional by bike

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Tajo Internacional is a veritable theme park for cycling enthusiasts. This territory has a multitude of paths and trails, some of which make up several stages of the Tajo Natural Trail (GR113). It should be stressed that one of the most important Spanish mountain bike events (Non Stop Madrid-Tajo Internacional-Lisbon) passes through this area.

David Cachón - BTT

Tajo Internacional MTB Centre

Such is the potential of mountain biking at Tajo Internacional that the most representative routes are ordered, marked, and classified in a MTB centre, a tourist space devoted to enjoying mountain biking.

Here you will find information on the paths marked, signposted, and classified according to the level of difficulty (green, blue, red, or black).

Moreover it is a point of reception and information on the itineraries which provides informative posters and maps of the routes, cultural information on the area, washing points, and even an urgent bike repair point.

To be precise the Tajo Internacional MTB Centre has a total of 321.17 km distributed on 11 marked MTB routes:

Alcántara – Zarza la Mayor – Gata Royal Drovers’ Road – Alcántara

Type of route: Linear – Circular
Difficulty: Very Difficult (black)
Distance: 54.71 km

The route begins at the reception point of the MTB Centre in the town alongside the Tourist Office. The route takes us into the town to discover some of its monuments. After reaching the Convento de las Comendadoras there is a path which descends to the Roman Bridge. We ride on what is known as the Trail from Alcántara to Zarza la Mayor through undulating territory covered by mixed woodland of holm oaks and stone pines, pasturelands, and banks of embedded river courses where Mediterranean woodland can be seen in all its splendour. As we approach Zarza la Mayor the Mediterranean woodland gives way to olive groves. From here the route leads southwards to Piedras Albas following closely the Gata Royal Drovers’ Road. On this section we will explore the great Dehesas of La Peraleda and Valdealcalde. On a hillside stands the village of Piedras Albas, surrounded by dehesas, common land, and some orchards with olive trees. The final section reaches Alcántara on the Camino de los Estorninos (Starling Trail).


Lands of Alcántara

Type of route: Circular
Difficulty: Easy (blue)
Distance: 15.87 km

It starts from the Alcántara Tourist Office. We take the Gata Drovers’ Road in a southerly direction. At the wasteland we link up with the Merinas Drovers’ Road. Through the Colada de la Recovera we cross the EX 207 road; we continue along this outflow in a northwest direction in very undulating terrain which we will enjoy with our bikes continuously rising and falling. There are numerous farmhouses and huts; these huts are always inseparable from the cultural landscape of Extremadura and are without doubt one of the most genuine constructions and so well adapted to the environment. The route continues to link up with the Mata de Alcántara road which we follow for one kilometre to link up with the Tajo Natural Trail; we follow this itinerary to Alcántara.


Dehesas of Brozas, Mata de Alcántara, and Villa del Rey

Tipo de recorrido: Circular
Dificultad: Fácil (azul)
Distancia: 36.12 km

La siguiente ruta parte desde Brozas en dirección Mata de Alcántara y rodeando el embalse de la Charca de Cueto. Nos adentramos en zona de grandes dehesas: la dehesa boyal de Villa del Rey y la dehesa boyal de Mata de Alcántara, conocida como “Montosa y Giralda”. Llegamos a Mata de Alcántara pasando por muy cerca de las Ermitas de San Lorenzo y Santa Marina mediante el camino vecinal de Alcántara a Navas del Madroño. Una vez llegamos a Mata de Alcántara recorremos su entramado urbano y seguir hacia Villa del Rey. Nos encontramos con la Ermita Virgen de los Hitos que enlaza con la Vía de la Estrella, uno de los caminos utilizados por los peregrinos que se dirigen a Santiago de Compostela. En torno a 8 kilómetros es la distancia que queda para volver al punto de inicio, pasando la Charca García, el paisaje nos deja una enorme dehesa de encina y pastizal.


Dehesas de Membrío, Salorino y Herreruela

Type of route: Circular
Difficulty: Easy (blue)
Distance: 36.12 km

The following route leaves Brozas on the Mata de Alcántara road and circles the Charca de Cueto Reservoir. We penetrate an area of large dehesas: that of the common ground of Villa del Rey and Mata de Alcántara which is known as “Montosa y Giralda”. We reach Mata de Alcántara passing very close to the Chapels of San Lorenzo and Santa Marina on the local road from Alcántara to Navas del Madroño. Once we reach Mata de Alcántara we enter the village and continue towards Villa del Rey. We come to the Chapel of the Virgen de los Hitos which links up with the Vía de la Estrella, which is one of the routes used by pilgrims bound for Santiago de Compostela. A distance of some 8 kilometres remains to return to the starting point; after passing the Charca García the landscape is that of a huge dehesa of holm oaks and pastureland.


Circular to Sierra Escudera

Type of route: Circular
Difficulty: Easy (blue)
Distance: 17.3 km

Between the banks of the Tajo and the foothills of the Sierra de San Pedro lies the small village of Carbajo where the itinerary begins. We start from the parish church of El Salvador alongside the plaza towards Santiago de Alcántara. We penetrate the Sierra de Carbajo, enjoying the landscape and the multitude of red deer which can be observed. On the whole of this section to Santiago de Alcántara we follow the itinerary of the Tajo Natural Trail.

We reach the municipal district of Santiago de Alcántara, a visit to which is essential to get to know the essence of the Tajo Internacional Nature Reserve. On the outskirts and parallel to the reservoir stands the Chapel of San Cristóbal, an attractive spot provided with picnic areas, grills, and drinking water. After a steep climb on the trails of Sierra Escudera we gain height to obtain spectacular views. From the top we quickly descend to Carbajo.


Tres Riveras (Santiago de Alcántara – Herrera de Alcántara)

Type of route: Linear
Difficulty: Red (Difficult)
Distance: 20.34 km

The starting point for this route is the El Péndere Environmental Information Centre in Santiago de Alcántara. Once we leave the built-up area we take the Tajo Natural Trail, which we will follow all the way to Herrera de Alcántara.

We follow the whole of the trail known as the “Vereda de Cedillo a Santiago de Alcántara”, an old route of the inhabitants of this indomitable landscape which appears on the left-hand bank of the River Tajo. The landscape is rugged and the trail descends to the banks on narrow paths only to climb once more to the hills.

We will find eucalyptus trees and Mediterranean woodland on the paths which take us to the three streams which we must cross: Rivera Aurela, Regato de las Tomasas, and Regato Negrales.


Vereda de Cedillo (Herrera de Alcántara – Cedillo)

Type of route: Linear
Difficulty: Easy (blue)
Distance: 17.97 km

This route, which links two villages (Herrera de Alcántara and Cedillo) is in the heart of the Tajo Internacional Nature Reserve. On the first section of the route we ascend the road to Herrera de Alcántara. Once there we take the Green Path, a marked route of the network of routes of the Tajo Internacional Nature Reserve which runs from Santiago de Alcántara to Cedillo.

Little by little, as we approach the banks of the Cabrioso Stream, the rockroses begin to dominate the vegetation. Once we have crossed the stream the route enters the “Cedillo and Río Tajo Internacional” Site of Community Importance (Lugar de Importancia Comunitaria, LIC) and the “Río Tajo Internacional and Banks” Special Bird Protection Area (Zona de Especial Protección para las Aves, ZEPA) which runs along the courses of the Tajo and its tributary the Sever. We reach Cedillo, the most westerly village in Extremadura which was founded by the Portuguese in the 18th century.


La Machera

Type of Route: Linear – Circular
Difficulty: Easy (blue)
Distance: 18.98 km

It leaves from the jetty of the Cedillo Reservoir. This area is known for its peculiar megalithic complex formed of several dolmens built of slate which we will discover as we advance along the paths. The route rises and descends to Cedillo on a simple itinerary which includes part of route number 7. Here the River Tajo has rich and exuberant riverside vegetation. This delightful route combines history with nature.


Las Lanchas

Type of route: Circular
Difficulty: Easy (blue)
Distance: 13.4 km

The route runs through the northwestern area of the municipal district of Valencia de Alcántara, where the natural environment includes one of the most representative landscapes of Extremadura: the rocky area or berrocal. We explore frontier territories steeped in history; the multitude of dolmens in the area is unmatched elsewhere in Europe.

The tourist office is the starting point. After exploring the town we come to the La Charrúa Trail, which is surrounded by large granite rocks and very near the area known as “La Campiña” with its ten small villages. We return to Valencia de Alcántara on the Casas del Corchero Trail and the Calleja de la Plancha to link up with the surfaced road of Buenavista on which we reach the built-up area of Valencia de Alcántara.


Hamlets of Valencia de Alcántara

Type of route: Circular
Difficulty: Very difficult (black)
Distance: 49.98 km

This itinerary is long and demanding which makes it suitable for cycle tourists who wish to test their physical stamina. The route starts from the tourist office and after leaving the built-up area of Valencia de Alcántara behind makes for the south. On rocky ground and through Mediterranean woodland we reach the Alpotrel Reservoir, which we skirt round. We continue to notch up kilometres on the La Aceña trail on spectacular rocky ground with dolmens everywhere. We explore the extensive pine and eucalyptus woods of Sierra Fría. Subsequently we return to the area of rocky ground and the dehesa; our legs add up the kilometres as we visit the hamlets of Las Huertas de Cansa and Las Casiñas Bajas. On the final section we move towards the north to pass beneath the imposing Roman aqueduct before arriving at Valencia de Alcántara.


La Legua Trail

Type of route: Circular
Difficulty: Easy (blue)
Distance: 24.98 km

For the most part it runs through an area of open countryside, dirt roads, cork oak groves, and impressive rocky ground which will not leave us indifferent. As far as kilometre 7.1 the itinerary follows Route 10 of the MTB Centre alongside the Alpotrel Reservoir, which we will find by initiating the route in the La Luengo quarter and which we access through the N 521.

From there we descend to the Cruz de la Legua trail which gives its name to the route. We cross the road which joins San Vicente de Alcántara to Valencia de Alcántara and come across the railway which is now almost abandoned and advance a few hundred metres parallel to it. Subsequently we move away from it and on the Los Barreros Trail we reach the banks of the Alpotrel, which we cross. From here we move along the Sotomayor Trail until we link up with the N 521 on reaching Valencia de Alcántara


The MTB Centre features the best enclaves of the Tajo Internacional Biosphere Reserve.

In the Tourist Offices of Alcántara and Valencia de Alcántara you will find support points and all the information you need on the MTB Centre.

Non Stop

Madrid-Tajo Internacional-Lisbon

This competition covers the distance of more than 770 km between Madrid and the Portuguese town of Alenquer near Lisbon on trails and rural roads in the shortest possible time. It is done in teams and there are no compulsory stops. At Tajo Internacional there is no doubt that the section between Alcántara and Cedillo is one of the famous stages of the competition.

Look for the companies belonging to the Tajo Internacional – Sierra de San Pedro Tourist Association which operate in the Tajo Internacional Reserve.

Tourist association