Our time in Zafra, Extremadura, was very short, mainly due to the unbearable heat. Our arrival on the outskirts was somewhat disappointing and it looked nothing more than a collection of industrial units and a commercial park. Driving into the centre thankfully changed that initial perception.
Zafra, like most Spanish towns, has grown outwards from a central focal point, in this case a fort which dates back to the bronze age. The little plazas outside the fort are quite pretty and the park over the road is pleasantly shaded with pathways to follow, lawns to picnic on and sports arenas for those capable of functioning in high temperatures.
The pathways around the main plaza are lined with palms and there are sculptures and fountains which add to the appeal.
It is said that in the caves nearby the town there is evidence of neolithic man’s work; cave paintings and crude tools have been pulled from the land and give some indication as to the age of the region’s population.
The fort itself is almost buried behind more modern buildings and only the turrets remain exposed. Inside the court is lined with arches.
We arrived on the hottest day of the year and it was difficult to do anything but seek air conditioning and ice cold drinks. A little cafe in the main plaza provided all that and we made the most of the fonts in the park , filling or water tank and bottles with cool drinking water.
It’s a shame the conditions were against as with more time I’d have enjoyed some exploration and fact finding, but our journey north towards cooler climes was far more important, especially for Sweep who was suffering badly from the heat.
Suffice to say, Zafra, while home to a pretty old quarter and impressive fort, is now a very modern town with all the modern comforts and conveniences. It’s worth a visit to see how the old and new have managed to work together – if they really have.
Have a look at our gallery of Zafra’s central plaza.
Please leave your comments in the box below or talk about Zafra on our forums by clicking here.