A land of castles, historic towns, and art and architecture. Great theatre classics that come back to life every summer under the light of the moon. Gastronomic delicacies with their very own Designation of Origin. And landscapes that hold a number of surprises. Come and visit the province of Badajoz, and see for yourself.
10Mérida, the way it was in Roman Empire times
This is a World Heritage site, and it's definitely bound to make an impression. Just take a visit to the Roman theatre, the amphitheatre or the temple of Diana to experience the sensation. It is one of the foremost archaeological sites in Spain, and in July and August comes to life again during the International Classical Theatre Festival.
10Badajoz, a fortress dedicated to art
The Arab Alcazaba, or fortress, presides the ancient defensive system of bastions and city walls. Many of these fortified spaces have been restored and are now places dedicated to culture. The MEIAC, the Archaeological Museum and the Carnival Museum are a few examples.
10Zafra: also known as "Sevilla la chica" or "Little Seville"
The wealth of monuments to be found in Zafra is the reason it is popularly known as "Little Seville". It is an obligatory stopping-off point on the Silver Route, and offers the chance to stay overnight in its Alcázar fortress, a 15th-century palace today converted into a Parador hotel.
10Olivenza, an architectural melange
Did you know that Olivenza was founded by the Knights Templar in the 13th century? And that for many years of its history it formed part of Portugal? It's precisely that mixture of Castilian and Portuguese traditions that you'll see in its architecture and its monumental heritage.
10Jerez de los Caballeros, birthplace of Núñez de Balboa
This is the birthplace of Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the first European to lay eyes on the Pacific Ocean. In addition to this claim to fame, Jerez de los Caballeros is also a magnificent historical town. Highlights among its numerous palaces, mansions and churches include particularly the Baroque churches of San Bartolomé and La Encarnación.
10Medellín, castles and conquistadors
This is the birthplace of another historic figure: Hernán Cortés. This distinction is commemorated by the statue in the square of the same name. But Medellín's most outstanding feature must be its 15th-century castle and right beside it, the ancient Roman theatre.
10La Serena, an "inland sea"
In the region of La Serena you'll have the opportunity to bathe at the only freshwater beach with a blue flag anywhere in Spain: the Orellana reservoir. And don't miss a visit to Castuera, and –if you're a keen reader– to Zalamea de la Serena, the setting for the play "The Mayor of Zalamea" by Calderón de la Barca.
10La Siberia, activities in the heart of nature
The castle of Puebla de Alcocer offers a panoramic view of the plain of La Siberia. In this region you'll find the regional reserve of El Cíjara, an area with a wide diversity of protected species. The activities on offer include collecting wild mushrooms, hiking and hunting.
10Dehesa de Extremadura Iberian Ham Route.
This is a chance to tour the 33 municipalities in the south of the province of Badajoz, and learn everything there is to know about the delicacy that is the cured ham of Extremadura –with its own Designation of Origin–, including activities such as visits to curing plants and ham tasting sessions. And in September, don't miss Cured Ham Day in the town of Monesterio.
10Ribera del Guadiana Wine Route
This wine tourism route takes in around twenty municipalities in Badajoz. Visits to wineries, wine tasting, meals paired with wine... What takes your fancy? Round off your experience with a visit to the Wine Science Museum in Almendralejo.