The Route of Emperor Charles V in Extremadura

During these past weekends, we have celebrated, the XXI Emperor Route, the walk that Carlos V undertook for his retire in the Yuste Monastery.

Have you heard about Charles V?

Charles V, also known as Charles I, King of Spain (1516-56) and Archduke of Austria (1519-21), was born in Ghent on the 24th February 1500. He was the son of Philip I of Habsburg (“the Handsome”) and Joanna I of Castile (“Joanna the Mad”), monarchs of Castile and Aragon.

He inherited the Spanish Empire extending across Europe from Spain and the Netherlands to Austria and the Kingdom of Naples and all the way overseas, nevertheless he didn’t achieve a universal empire.

He couldn’t hold his Empire together, became tired of power and was desiring to move to a peaceful place. As soon as he could, he isolated himself from the world, retiring in Extremadura, Spain, and abdicating in favor of his son Philip II and gave the Emperor title to his brother Ferdinand I.

The Emperor, sick and prematurely aged, abdicated in Brussels. The process took place between 1555 and 1556. In 1557 Charles landed in Laredo (Cantabria) to travel to his definitive retreat in the Monastery of Yuste in Spain (Cuacos de Yuste, Extremadura). Charles of Habsburg died at the Monastery on the 21st September 1558 at age of 58 years old.

Why is Emperor Charles V important in Extremadura?

In 1556, Emperor Charles V disembarked in northern Spain (Cantabria) to cover 550 kilometers to establish himself at Yuste Monastery in Extremadura, where he had planned to retire and die after completing forty years as a historic ruler.

He had chosen this Monastery before his abdication based on the Spain’s good weather, the desire of staying in a Jeronimos Monastery and the recommendation of his good friend, Luis Avila y Zúñiga a noble of Plasencia, some might say. With that in mind, he ordered to start building the Palace beside the Monastery some years before his retire, so it would be finished when he needed it.

Charles V arrived to Extremadura in November of 1556 to Jarandilla de la Vera town, where he stayed a couple of months in the Palace of the count of Oropesa until the Monastery was ready for him. This Palace is nowadays a hotel.

On February 3rd, 1557 he started his journey to Cuacos de Yuste. The end of his journey was the monastery, in Extremadura, where he passed away. This place not only has a great historic significance, as Charles V spent his last days here, but it’s an amazing scenery for connecting with nature and relax.

What is the Route of Emperor Charles V (Ruta De Emperador Carlos V)?

This is the route that Emperor Charles V took as his last journey before his retire in Extremadura. Four centuries later, this itinerary has been followed by people annually to commemorate his journey.

The route in Spain begins in Laredo, Cantabria and continues towards Medina De Pomar and Burgos, in Castille-Leon; Palencia; Valladolid; Salamanca; Avila and finalize in Caceres, Extremadura. This is where the final stage starts, in the town of Jarandilla de la Vera finishing in Cuacos de Yuste where the monastery is located. This trail is a part of the European Routes of Charles V.

Besides the historic relevance of the route, one can also enjoy various adventurous activities along the way, in different towns. There are several hiking trails available combined with natural waterfalls, chestnut forests and breathtaking viewpoints. Paragliding, hot air balloon rides and horse riding are some other activities that are also available. It is a special treat for walkers who are passionate about history.

The first weekend of February, in Extremadura, the Route is replicated from Jarandilla de la Vera to Cuacos de Yuste through Aldea Nueva town. It is a 10km route by foot enjoying very beautiful landscapes, representations and medieval markets in every town.

The main celebration happens in Cuacos de Yuste, where you will find plenty of people ready to celebrate, locals and tourists that not necessarily have done the trekking route but are as joyful to celebrate. There you can find some tapas included in your passport and concert that last until the night. You can decide to continue walking to the Monastery, which we strongly recommend to visit (is a short visit but with lovely views).

It depends on what you like the most to either join the trekking or just join the celebration in Cuacos de Yuste, but we think it is a very interesting way to visit this town. If you are not a fan of walking, there are free buses going to Cuacos, Aldeanueva and Jarandilla and vice versa.

Have in mind that in Cuacos de Yuste you will find lots of people and be prepared for some rain since it is winter, even though we were lucky this year and we enjoyed a wonderful spring time.

This past weekend has been the horse riding route to finish the Charles V Route of this year.

Do you want to know more about this iconic experience of a lifetime, like how to prepare for it and more details of your specific interest? Follow us on social media, we will be telling you more secrets that we have found! Have in mind that you can do the trekking route during the whole year by yourself and enjoy of nature, we can tell you when is the most suitable time and experience for you!

Contact us here: and we’ll assist you with everything that you need.

We’ll leave you the detailed agenda of this year event that you can download it here:


1st February 2020: XXI ROUTE OF THE EMPEROR

8:00 Opening of stalls selling the "Passport Carolino”.

8:30 Consommé offered for the walkers.

10:30 Theatrical representation: the departure of the Emperor and his entourage.

11:30 Theater performance in Aldea Nueva.

12:00 Treats and departure.

12:45 Theater performance for the arrival at Cuacos.

13:45 Arrive at the Royal Monastery of Yuste, Liturgy of the Word with Tedeum by the Order of "San Pablo First Hermit" to the glory of the Emperor Charles V, in the church of the Royal Monastery of Yuste.

14:00 Local tapas in the Plaza of Spain Cuacos de Yuste for the walkers.

16:00 Concert

8th February 2020: XVIIII Equestrian Route

9:00 Opening the stall selling the "Passport Caroline".

10:00 Consommé offered for horse riders.

11:00 Representation, delivery of imperial flags and output riders.

11:45 Arrival to Aldeanueva de la Vera. Local tapas and wine tasting for riders

12:30 Departure from Aldeanueva through the path of the Emperor.

13:10 Arrival to Cuacos de Yuste, parades and rise to the Royal Monastery of Yuste.

14:30 Aperitivo for horse riders.

15:00 End Road and draw for a trip to Ghent and basket with typical products of the area.

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