61km (38 miles) S of Mérida, 172km (107 miles) N of Seville
One of the most interesting stopovers in lower Extremadura, the white-walled town of Zafra is filled with old Moorish streets and squares. The 1457 castle of the dukes of Feria, the most important in the province, boasts both a sumptuous 16th-century Herreran patio and the Sala Dorada with its richly paneled ceiling. The place is now a government-run parador. You'll want to spend time on the central square, the arcaded 18th-century Plaza Mayor, and on its satellite, the 16th-century Plaza Vieja (Old Square). In addition to these two important sights in Zafra, Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria is a church with nine panels by Zurbarán, displayed on the retablo in a chapel designed by Churriguera. The church, constructed in the Gothic-Renaissance style, has a red-brick belfry. Admission is free. It's open Monday to Friday 10:30am to 1pm and 7 to 8:30pm, and Sunday 11am to 12:30pm.