What to visit near the Ardila Rural Hotel and La Albuera Holiday Villa Rural Apartments in Badajoz, Spain?

Very close to the Ardila Rural Hotel and La Albuera Holiday Villa Rural Apartments you will find a unique natural environment and several villages of the Badajoz province (Extremadura, Spain) with great history that you can get to know through their monuments. From our accommodation, you will be able to easily tour Burguillos del Cerro, Zafra and Jerez de los Caballeros, amongst others.

Burguillos del Cerro: nature and historical heritage

Burguillos del Cerro, where the Ardila Rural Hotel and La Albuera Holiday Villa Rural Apartments are located, is a unique village at about 94 km south from Badajoz city (Extremadura).

Burguillos del Cerro offers several monuments of tourist interest:

 

  • Castle of Burguillos del Cerro: defensive castle of Muslim origin that finally belonged to the Order of the Knights Templar. Built in the 13th century on top of Burguillos del Cerro. You can visit its Gothic door, the towers, the courtyard, the tower of the homage and the chambers of the fortress.
  • Historic and artistic Grouping, where we can see the monumental vestiges of the Celtic, Roman and Visigoth settlements that inhabited the area: a medieval fortress, Casa del Corregidor and Cárcel Real (the Royal Jail).
  • Churches and convents; Hermitage of the Christ and hermitage of Our Lady of Amparo.
  • Las Llagas de San Francisco Monastery.
  • Plaza Alta and crosses, located at the exit of the village to guide the pilgrims.

Zafra, “Sevilla Chica” or the “small Seville”: Historic Grouping of National Interest

Zafra, located at the foot of Sierra de Castellar, changed property from family to family throughout its history, until it belonged to the County and Duchy of Feria.

Since ancient times, it has been a centre for trading, handicraft and livestock, with a great influence in its surroundings as part of Vía de la Plata in Roman times. As a legacy of its importance, Feria Internacional Ganadera y Tradicional de San Miguel is celebrated since 1453 and still remains nowadays.

Some of the tourist points of interest in Zafra are:

 

  • Alcázar of the Duchy of Feria, 15th century. It looks military outside and palatial inside. Nowadays it is the Zafra Parador. Around it you will find the medieval town, surrounded by a stone wall.
  • Plaza Grande and Plaza Chica (“Large Square” and “Small Square”).
  • Collegiate Church of La Candelaria (with an altarpiece by Zurbarán and an altarpiece by Churriguera).
  • Convent of Santa Clara, with the chance to visit it and its Museum, in order to get to know closely the history of Zafra and the life of the Enclosed Order of the Saint Claire Franciscan nuns.
  • Noblemen and upper class houses from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

 

The atmosphere and gastronomy of Zafra make it the perfect place to go in order to relax and eat well. Therefore we recommend visiting Zafra with no hurries, stopping on the way to have some tapas and a glass of wine… And then, on lunch or dinner time, you will be able to enjoy the local gastronomy of Zafra: lamb stewed casserole, Extremadura style “migas” (bread, garlic and oil stew), “bacalao monacal” (Monacal style cod), “zorongollo” (salad with red peppers), La Serena pie, Iberian tenderloin with cheese from Los Ibores area.

Jerez de los Caballeros, a great place to visit in Extremadura (Spain)

Jerez de Los Caballeros is known for having hosted, throughout history, Phoenician, Roman, Arab and Christian settlements, although the village as we see it nowadays has a lot of influence from the Knights Templar time.

It is also the birthplace of Vasco Núñez de Balboa, who in 1513 sighted the current Pacific Ocean in Panamanian lands, a milestone that changed the conception of the world map and promoted the exchange of knowledge and wealth amongst civilizations from several continents.

What to see in Jerez de Los Caballeros

The artistic heritage of Jerez de los Caballeros stands out for the importance of its Baroque art, not in vain Jerez de los Caballeros is considered “the city of the towers” and it is also declared Historic Artistic Grouping. Some of the points of tourist interest are:

 

  • Templar Fortress and Torre Sangrienta (“Bloody Tower”).
  • The Churches of Santa María de la Encarnación, San Miguel Arcángel and San Bartolomé.
  • Birth House and Interpretation Centre of Vasco Núñez de Balboa.
  • Toriñuelo Dolmen (Bronze Age funerary monument).
  • Roman Bridge of La Bazana.
  • Manor houses and palaces.
  • Artistic heritage from the 17th and 18th centuries that can be admired in the churches towers and facades, their altarpieces and imagery.

What to do in Jerez de Los Caballeros

These are some of the several cultural and leisure events of great tourist interest in Jerez de los Caballeros:

 

  • Semana Santa (Holy Week): declared a Fiesta of National Tourist Interest.
  • Templars Festival: it recreates the medieval past times in Jerez de los Caballeros.
  • Salón del Jamón Ibérico (Iberian Cured Ham Festival): a meeting point for producers of Iberian cured ham.
  • Belén Bíblico y Monumental Santa Ángela (Santa Angela Monumental and Biblical Nativity Scene): it is considered the largest Biblical Nativity Scene in the world, containing more than 10000 pieces in 450 m2.

Local gastronomy of Jerez de los Caballeros

Some typical dishes of this Extremadura town are: local casseroles, asparagus, “migas”, mushrooms, Iberian pork slice, cured meats such as loin, chorizo, spiced sausage, cheese… And some traditional sweet dishes are: “bollos turcos” (“Turkish sweet bread”), “pestiños” (sweet fried pastries with honey) and “flores de miel” (sweet fried pastries with honey, flower-shaped).

Roman Ruins of Regina, in Casas de la Reina

It is worth making a stop along the way during your tour around Badajoz and Extremadura to get to know first-hand the Roman Ruins of Regina, at 1’5 km from Casas de la Reina, between Seville and Mérida.

The Roman Ruins of Regina are declared “Bien de Interés Cultural” (Heritage of Cultural Interest) and they consist of the remains of an ancient Roman City (1st century AD). Its theatre, forum and some houses are kept well preserved, in an archaeological complex of about 40 ha.

Some of its most relevant elements are an aqueduct, two necropolises, the statue of the goddess Juno, and the Interpretation Centre that you will find in Casas de la Reina.