Only 10 kms. from Merida you can visit the Cornalvo Natural Park. The name recalls the horn shape of the artificial lake and the white waters of the Albarregas River, reason why the Romans decided to baptize it “Cornus Albus” (white horn). There is a dam on the Albarregas river that supplied the Roman city of Emérita Augusta (current Mérida) with water. It was declared a National Monument in 1912. You can find also underground water pipes, fountains, villas, roads, bridges and even Roman watch posts.
It is an ideal place to walk outdoors. In its mountains there are specimens of wild cats, an almost extinct species that still lives in this park, as well as more than a hundred species of birds that coexist in this area, such as the black stork, the white stork, the blue elanium or the honey buzzard . On foot or by bicycle, this park serves as a pretext to disconnect from the world and delve into nature.
Only 4 km. from Mérida city centre you will find the Proserpina lake, which dates back to Roman times and is the largest known in the Mediterranean area.
Furthermore, this lake is part of the archaeological site of Mérida, declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. Locals call it “the pond.”
It was remodelled over the years, but it is still used as a bathing area. It features an artificial beach equipped with chiringuitos and the water museum.
23 km. from Merida, this town is known for its Roman baths.
You can also visit its castle, located on the hill of Culebra commanding the region of the Matachel River. It was built by the Muslims in the IX century and its Torre del Homenaje is still visible today. Not to be missed also the parish church of Nuestra Señora de los Milagros, the Culebra castle, the encomienda house and the hermitages of San Bartolomé and San Gregorio.
The Alange reservoir, which embraces the promontory where the town is located, is one of the largest in the Guadiana basin and serves as a venue for endless sports activities, both on its waters and surrounding area.
40 km. northeast, on the left bank of the Guadiana river, between Don Benito and Mérida, you will find the village of Medellín.
Vestiges of its Roman past are the theatre, several villas, building remains, ceramics, ancient coins and a mosaic with a geometric pattern, which was found near Las Galapagueras and dates from the I century. All these remains suggest that Medellín was probably the largest populated city in Extremadura until Merida was founded.
One of the greatest attractions of Medellín are its monuments and archaeological remains. In addition, on the hill crowned by the medieval castle is one of the most complete archaeological sites in Western Europe, where you will find a multitude of remains that go from the Bronze Age to the end of the Modern Age, proof that different cultures lived on these lands.