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Stay in a hotel with history and enjoy the antithesis of the Spanish ‘costa’ experience.

This year marks 500 years since the birth of Francisco Orellana, the great Spanish explorer who discovered the Amazon in 1542, and who founded the city of Guayaquil in Ecuador. The house where he was born has now been converted into a beautiful and atmospheric hotel with just five rooms. The 15th century building has been tastefully and lovingly refurbished and boasts all modern comforts without losing any of its charming historic character. The decór and restoration work was carried out by the famous Portuguese architect Durante Pinto Coelho, before his death in July last year.

This unique hotel is situated in Trujillo in the Cáceres region of Extremadura. Much appreciated by the Spanish for its breathtaking countryside which offers a get-away-from-it-all experience, sleepy towns and great food, it is yet to become a popular destination for foreign tourists.

Cáceres city is 45 km away and is designated a UNESCO World Heritage City because of its blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance style architecture. An amazing 30 towers from the Muslim period still stand, of which the Torre del Bujaco is the most famous, and the city has a must-visit Jewish quarter. Far from the coast, Caceres is cold in winter and hot in summer, but stunning in spring, when the cherry groves in the Jerte Valley are in bloom.

Take a cheap flight to Madrid and rent a car. Trujillo is approximately 125 miles from the Spanish capital and Caceres a further 30. Prices at the Hotel Casa de Orellana (Calle de las Palomas, 5-7, 10200 Trujillo, Cáceres 0034 927 659 265) start from 80€ per person per night.

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