We leave Mérida behind pedalling on the banks of the Guadiana as we enjoy a Special Bird Protection Area for aquatic species and cross the river by the old Roman Bridge. On this stage of EuroVelo 1 we cover a distance of 63 kilometres on the N-630 towards Seville. We cross the district of Tierra de Barros and the agricultural lands create a mosaic of vegetation in this area, which is famous for its wines with their Ribera del Guadiana Denomination of Origin.
Only 19 km away we cross the small town of Torremejía where we can stop to visit the Casa-Palacio de los Lastra, a fine Renaissance construction which has now been renovated as a hostel. A little further on and surrounded by an immense landscape of vines and olive groves we come to Almendralejo, the home of Romanticism as it is the birthplace of José de Espronceda and Carolina Coronado. It is worth strolling through its streets and visiting its churches and mansions, but its true attraction lies in its wine cellars. We can visit the Museum of the Sciences of Wine and taste some of its wines and even its cava, as this is one of the few places in Spain outside Cataluña to produce sparkling wine with this same denomination of origin.
We continue to enjoy a pleasant ride through the plains of the Tierra de Barros towards Villafranca de los Barros, which is known as the Town of Music and where we have the opportunity of visiting the interesting collection of the Historical-Ethnographical Museum (MUVI). This town is studded with religious and civil buildings of historical-artistic interest, as is the case at the following point of this stage, Los Santos de Maimona, where you should not fail to visit its parish church with its impressive plateresque doorway. Don’t miss either its Manuel Santiago Morato Museum of Plastic Arts or the Palacio de la Encomienda, the best preserved example of Santiago architecture in Spain.
We pedal along a road which crosses the Sierra de San Cristóbal to reach from Los Santos de Maimona the welcoming and noble town of Zafra, which has been declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble and is internationally known for its International Stockbreeding Fair (Feria Internacional Ganadera, FIG). This will be the end of our stage. We can stay in the Palacio de los Duques de Feria, which is currently the Parador de Turismo, or in any of the many accommodation establishments of this small town. Recharging our batteries as we savour the exquisite gastronomy of the area and relax visiting the Museo de Santa Clara devoted to monastic life, or strolling among the monuments of its old quarter.