Types of AccommodationMany aspects of finding suitable accommodation in Extremadura are similar to elsewhere in Spain and Europe, although there are a couple of interesting options that benefit from some extra explanation.
Hotels in Extremadura follow internationally recognized rating systems and several of the big chains run hotels in the major cities. What's more, Spain possesses an excellent group of publicly owned hotels called Paradores, which are often set up in renovated period buildings. Paradores aren't cheap, but they offer a unique set of surroundings instead of anonymous modern hotels. Extremadura is no exception to this, and Paradores are located in Zafra, Mérida, Trujillo, Cáceres, Plasencia and Jarandilla de la Vera. The Zafra Parador is perhaps the most striking one, housed in a castle close to the town centre.
As a complement to the Paradores scheme, the Junta de Extremadura (regional government) has set up a network of Hospederías with public funding and private management. The idea is similar to Paradores, but often in smaller towns and villages. They're worth considering when deciding where to stay.
Hostales (not hostals but lower standard hotels) and Pensiones are a widely available cheaper option, but camping remains an great inexpensive choice.
This is especially true in the rural areas of northern Extremadura some campsites can be found in gorgeous countryside. They only get crowded during Spanish school holidays and a few even offer bungalows/log cabins as an alternative to taking your tent. One word of warning if you arrive on a balmy August evening, don't forget your pitch will need some serious shade come the following midday!
A final and relatively new idea is Casas Rurales (Rural Houses). These fall into two (not immediately clear) categories: some of them operate like French gîtes, i.e. houses and villas in the country that are let out to visitors. However, other Casas Rurales are more like country hotels, offering B&B and even an on-site restaurant.