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The Spanish Ibex (Capra pyrenaica) is one of the bovine species of the Capra genus in Europe. There were four subspecies of this genus found in Spain, but two of them have recently become extinct.
The Capra Pyrenaica Victoriae is one of these four subspecies and is indigenous to several mountain ranges in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula. Its largest population is found in la Sierra de Gredos, between the provinces of Cáceres and Ávila.
It is characterized by its dark coat and, along with the Ibex of Beceite-Tortosa, has the largest antlers. Its horns are big and ringed, with a rugged surface, and shaped like a lyre. The growth of these horns is proportional to the age of the animal, adding one ring each year. The female goats have small, straighter horns. The males have an average weight of 90 kg and the females over 40 kg.
This game specie is hunted in vast zones where the density and quality of trophies allows for the hunt to be adapted to each person’s physical conditions.
In the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, toward the West, is the Central System, a long mountain range, formed by a series of mountains, among which we find la Sierra de Gredos, located between the provinces of Ávila, Cáceres, Madrid, and Toledo, and which gives the name to this subspecie of mountain goat.
La Sierra de Gredos presents a spectacular montage of lakes, cirques, gorges, ranges, cliffs, crags, and moraine deposits, with the Almanzor peak, at 2,592m being the highest point in the whole mountain range.
And although the relief transforms Gredos into a beautiful and spectacular mountain, from the biological perspective, its habitat provides us with one of the most interesting spaces in all of Western Europe.
The vegetation in the zone varies according to the altitude, and so it is possible to find a landscape of oak, chestnut, alder, ash, birch, poplar, willow, and Pyrenean oak, with the latter being replaced in various zones by the pine.
The main animal species, along with the Spanish Ibex, are the roe deer (capreolus capreolus), red-legged partridge (alectoris rufa), royal eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti), honey buzzard (permis apivorus), black vulture (aegypius monachus), and griffon vulture (gyps fulvus).
In the Gredos zone, we can find “Inns,” small boutique hotels with a welcoming ambiance and wonderful natural surroundings, suitable for discovering the gastronomy of the area.
Exploring gastronomy in Castilla y León means finding oneself in the epicentre of roast suckling lamb, suckling pig, and kid meat. It means having fresh beef and discovering the increased use of codfish and trout in recipes. It means discovering tradition and taste in the use of basic raw materials and farm produce. It means indulging in the sublime sweets made traditionally in old monasteries and convents, pastries which are over 300 years old. It means enjoying wine country with a rich tradition, which today makes high-end wines, all along the río Duero.
A gastronomy that is a true reflection of its geography and its climate.
Strong, delicious, and natural.
Gastronomy and Wine
Just two hours away from the hunting zone is Madrid, the capital of Spain. It is a cosmopolitan city that combines the most modern infrastructure with a vast cultural and artistic heritage, the legacy of centuries of passionate history.
Art and culture hold a prominent place in Madrid. The capital has 73 museums that cover all of human knowledge. Of note are el Museo del Prado, one of the largest art collections in the world; el Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, with over 800 paintings, sculptures, tapestries representing from primitive Flemish artists to the vanguard movements. And el Centro Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, dedicated to Spanish contemporary art, with the works of Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, and Juan Gris, among others.
Near to the Plaza Mayor is what is known as the “aristocratic centre,” where the Palacio Real shines, a monumental construction of the XVII century, a blend of baroque and classicism. Beside it are la Plaza de Oriente, el teatro de la Ópera, and the modern Almudena Cathedral, consecrated in 1993 by Pope John Paul II. La Puerta del Sol, surrounded by a varied and select commercial zone and el “Paseo del Arte,” so called because of its incomparable museums, palaces, and gardens, complete this monumental collection, where the Banco de España building, el Palacio de las Telecomunicaciones [Post Office Headquarters], and the fountains of la Cibeles and Neptuno shine with their own light.
But if there is one thing that characterizes Madrid, it is a deep and contagious passion for life, which is reflected in the friendly nature of its people. Concerts, expositions, ballets, a high-quality theatre listing, the latest films, sampling a wide range of the best Spanish and international cuisine, enjoying the charm of its bars and taverns, are some of the leisure alternatives in Madrid, apart from its tempting commercial offerings and shopping in traditional stores or the most famous establishments and international brands.