Zafra is a beautiful, little town in southern Extremadura which is well worth a stop when travelling between Caceres and Seville. Located at the base of the Sierra de Castellar mountains, the city is centred on the 15th century castle which was formerly a Moorish fortress. Today it serves as the Parador of Zafra, the town’s most distinguished hotel.
Venture into Zafra itself and you’ll be greeted with a whole host of attractions for you to explore at your leisure. One of the more picturesque areas is the main square, or the Plaza Grande, which is lined with arches all around it and makes for an unusual setting. It’s actually connected to a smaller version of it, the Plaza Chica, which joins its larger brother via one of the afore-mentioned arches, the Arquillo del Pan, which stands for “the small loaf of bread”, due to its unusual shape. Many little bars and cafés line these squares.
Further down from the square you’ll find more buildings which depict Zafra’s rich history including La Candelaria church which dates back to the middle of the 16th century. Look out for the three decorative screens behind the altar which were painted by the Spanish artists Zurbaran and Churriguera. Also of interest are the Iglesia de San Jose which also dates from the 16th century and the 15th century hospital of Santiago.
Staying overnight in this picturesque city is highly recommended and where better to stay than the fabulous Parador of Zafra. Another luxurious option is the Casa Palacio Conde de la Corte whilst numerous more affordable Zafra hotels are available such as the Huerta Honda next to the parador which is well known for its fine dining area in the open courtyard. Fine local dishes are prepared at Restaurante La Rebotica just off Plaza Chica whilst the Barbacana restaurant with its dining room upstairs serves everything from roasted pig to hake in clam sauce.