Holms and cork oak trees of the Dehesa are the centuries-old hallmark of Extremadura. A quarter of the whole country is covered by the Dehesa. Architects of the golf clubs Don Tello, Guadiana and Norba got their inspiration from these traditional trees and let dozens of them grow on the courses. Players on the 18-hole estate must skilfully avoid the old oak trees, but they do not mind and accept their existence because the three golf courses are an integral part of Extremadura, and are not arbitrarily designed like other courses.
The Guadiana golf course is situated along the Guadiana River in Badajoz, on the border with Portugal. Anyone who likes to be comfortable and fastidious can book a room in the four star hotel next to the golf arena. Norba, the oldest golf club in Extremadura and active since 1993, is located on the verge of the old city of Caceres at the picturesque El Roble Valley. Visitors can start their promenade there and go out for dinner in the Plaza Mayor. This is another way to relax.
Guests at the Don Tello club in Merida will be at ease, not only owing to the excellent club facilities dating from 1994, but also because of the fantastic riding stable and swimming pool. All three clubs are provided with well developed tennis courts. Demanding guests will not therefore have to renounce all that makes their holidays a pleasurable recovery. All courses are in the immediate vicinity of Merida and Caceres. The Don Tello can best be reached by following southwards the A-road N 630 from Merida. Anyone who wishes to do a little bit of cooling-down after golfing will be able to do this a few kilometres south in the stylishly furnished Roman thermae von Alanga, active since 1812. The related wellness hotel complex, with the four star Aqualange house and three star Varinia Serena hotel, expressly cater for the health and wellbeing of their guests. Massage, peeling sessions, diet courses and many more are offered for the relaxation of body and soul. Tourists who would like to be cosseted in bathhouses will get their money’s worth at the Balneario Valle del Jerte. Valle del Jerte, also called valley of cherish trees, provides a picturesque feeling to the scenery there. The whole bathhouse is supplied by spring water. The Balneario offers all you desire from thermal baths and saunas, from light therapy to ice baths and face and body massages.
The Balneario El Raposo in the vicinity of Badajoz offers plenty of wellness sessions too. The uniqueness of this hotel is that the runnel that flows through the complex provides it with sludge used for face packs. Thus, El Raposo counts among the few privileged bathhouses which do not need to be supplied with sludge, but get it new directly from the runnel. The sludge is temporarily stored in tanks for maturing, in order for it to have a better effect on the skin. The bathhouse is part off a comfortable hotel featuring a 60,000 square metre park. The well-trained and experienced members of staff take the wishes of the guests at the spa hotel very seriously. The successful functioning of the health spa over the last 80 years is now bearing its fruits.
The history of the bathhouse El Raposo begins with a sick Iberian pig. It suffered from joint pain and was not able to follow the others which were trekking through the current bath estate. The shepherd missed it one day later and began to search for it. He found it lying in the runnel covered with sludge. He thought it has died, but the pig stood up fitfully and walked back dapperly to its fellow pigs as if it had always been healthy. The shepherd told about the salvation of the sick pig in all the villages he visited, and the story of the miraculous healing spread like wildfire. The runnels and the area were soon called la cochinita, the small pig, by the inhabitants of the region. Subsequently, farmers brought all their sick animals to the muddy runnels and according to the legend all pigs, sheep and goats were healed from their diseases. Then people began to take sludge baths too. Many of them were healed. The water of la Cochinita became a mineral spring. Only a generous donor who would construct a bathhouse in the zone of the miraculous water had to be found. It was then that Don Jose Hidalgo eventually ordered the construction of several swimming pools in 1886, into which the miraculous water flowed. That was the origin of the first clinical bathhouse. In 1921 a second wonder occurred. The brother of the director of the complex suffered from rheumatism, but he took several baths in El Raposo and was healed. There are even today people who are allegedly getting better thanks to the water of La Cochinita rather than from doctor’s treatments. Doctors and care assistants today make use of special rheumatic therapies which use the miraculous water to its full effect.