Close to the Portuguese border, 56 km along the A5 towards Lisbia, Badajoz hosts a handful of Moorish treasures such as the Alcazaba or the Espantaperros tower (dog scarer).
Badajoz offers all kinds of leisure activities, in addition to well-known events like Almossassa or the Carnival, declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest and one of the most fun and popular in Spain.
64 km south on the A66, along the Via de La Plata between Seville and Merida, you will find Zafra, with its two beautiful arcaded plazas, Plaza Grande and Plaza Chica. This town has been for century an important craft and trade centre, and today it still hosts the Feria Internacional Ganadera (“International Rancher’s Fair”), that was first held in 1453.
At its historic core, el Palacio de los Duques de la Feria, converted into a Parador, with its spectacular facade and its nine crenelated towers, the convent museum of Santa Clara and the Church of Candelaria are definitely worth a visit. Land of exquisite Jamón Ibérico and wine (it is along the Ribera del Guadiana Wine Route), Zafra festival “De la Luna al Fuego” takes the city back to the XVI century recreating the splendour of the Spanish Golden Age.
74 km from Merida, on the A-66 highway to the north, is the monumental city of Cáceres.
This city has been inhabited since Prehistory and its remarkable medieval and Renaissance historic centre was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1986. Enjoy its streets and squares where you can soak up history.
The city offers an interesting cultural programme: the Womad Festival, the Medieval Market of the Three Cultures, the Classical Theatre Festival, and the Holy Week, declared a Festival of International Tourist Interest.
86 km from Merida on the A5 towards Madrid you will find this city of conquistadores where the legacy of Romans, Visigoths, Muslims, Jews and Christians is still visible.
The spectacular Plaza Mayor and the historic complex have a magnificent palatial architecture.
Every tour of Trujillo should include the castle and the church of Santa María la Mayor.
Two world renowned explorers, Pizarro, the conqueror of Peru, and Orellana, the first to navigate the entire length of Amazon river, were born in Trujillo. The Plaza Mayor, central point of Trujillo life, hosts mass events throughout the year, such as Chíviri and the National Cheese Fair.
99 km from Merida south at the foot of the Sierra de San Miguel, Llerena awaits you. Because of its importance as an urban, political and administrative centre between the XV and XVII centuries, it attracted a multitude of artists, which turned it into a prominent artistic centre.
So much so that it was called “the little Athens of Extremadura”.
123 km from Merida, you will find one of the most beautiful towns in Extremadura, Guadalupe.
You can stroll through its XIV-XVI century historic centre and enjoy the typical Serrana architecture with its balconies and arcades. Its main attraction is the Real Monasterio de Santa María Guadalupe, declared a World Heritage Site.
Inside the monastery you can visit the Church of Our Lady and its beautiful altarpiece, where stands the Morenita (the Brown Lady) who gives her name to the monastery, the Camarín de la Virgen, the Cloister Mudejar, the chapter room, the chapel of San Jerónimo, the dining room and the courtyard of the Hospedería.
For the more adventurous there’s the Geopark of the Villuercas-Ibores-Jara, which opened in 2011 and is the only Geopark in this region and one of the eight that exist in all of Spain.
There are many itineraries you can follow while enjoying breathtaking views, geological formations such as the Collado de la Quebrada, the Gorge of the Pedroso, the Strait of the Peña Amarilla, … and there is also a great variety of fauna and flora.