Parador de Zafra
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- Twin rooms (38)
- Double rooms (10)
- Single rooms (1)
- Room with living room (2)
- Capacity (111)
- Conference room
- Central heating
- Credit cards
- Currency exchange
- Swimming pool
- Airport (54km)
- Station (1km)
Parador de Zafra - 15th century castle (4*)
The Parador de Zafra, set in the medieval quarter of this beautiful city, offers an ideal base in which to explore the impressive historic surroundings. Appearances can be deceiving and, at first glance, the Parador seems to be a fortress, but journeying inside this magnificent building unveils a perfectly preserved palace.
In 1437, a member of the Suarez de Figueroa family of Galicia, Lorenzo, chartered the building of a magnificent fortress, which during the 16th and 17th centuries was converted to a palace and now houses the spectacular Parador de Zafra.
This Parador, which is steeped in history, still maintains the original nine towers which were built in Moorish style, and throughout the property elements from the Baroque and Renaissance elements from the 16th and 17th centuries can be found. If you look up when you enter the Parador, you will see there is still a reminder of the Suarez de Figueroa family present, in the shape of coats of arms which decorate the hallway.
Parador de Zafra’s bedrooms are spacious and elegant, and decorated in a classical style fit for royalty. The Parador's interiors offer throwbacks to its ducal history with coffered ceilings, ironworks, and large chests adorning many communal areas. These areas, such as the beautifully arcaded courtyard, constructed by the famous Spanish architect Herrera, well-tended garden, and outdoor swimming pool provide the perfect place to unwind after a day's exploring.
The Parador de Zafra's restaurant features many regional dishes such as lamb stewed with red wine, paprika and vegetables, Migas Extremeñas (a dish of savoury fried breadcrumbs and pork), and Solomillo Ibérico al queso de los Ibores (pork sausage and Iberian pork sirloin with goat’s cheese).
- Book a superior room to benefit from views of the plaza.
- To enjoy a walk along the top of the castle's fortified walls, ask a member of staff how to access the tower to take advantage of this fantastic experience.
Zafra, or Little Seville as it is known by the locals is situated in the heart of Baja Extremadura at the foot of the Sierra de Castellar mountain range between Caceres and Seville. Zafra’s fortified town walls were constructed under the orders of Lorenzo Suarez de Figueroa and each of the eight gates in these walls will take you through to the picturesque city of Zafra. The most beautiful of these gates is theJerez Gate which takes you through to Clavel Street where youare greeted with a sight of picture postcard proportions as small traditional balconies decorated with flowers line the street.
Meandering further along this path will take you towards the Grande and Chica squares, with the palm-tree filled Plaza Grande situated at the very heart of the city. These two squares are connected by a historic archway named ”Arquillo del Pan” which translates as “Small Arch of Bread”.
Buildings within this beautiful city are very much in keeping with the architecture from the 16th century and a walk through Zafra will lead you to the church of La Candelaria, the parish church of San Jose, several convents and many homes, many of which date back to the 16th century all the way through to the 19th century.
If you visit Zafra in the summer months you may be lucky enough to catch the ‘De La Luna Al Fuego’ festival. This is held yearly within the town walls and celebrates both the Corpus Christi and San Juan, which we know as Summer Solstice. Flowers are strewn throughout the street forming a floral carpet display and the event aims to take the visitor back to the street markets held during the 16th and 18th centuries whilst showcasing traditional rituals using fire and water.
Parador's 'Gastrobar' concept
Extensive lunch and dinner menus are served in the new 'Gastrobar', which offers a range of meal options from light snacks to 3 course dinners in an informal but well serviced environment. We hope you enjoy this new experience.
Restaurant meal times & typical dishes
Breakfast is served from 7.30 to 11.00 and dinner from 20.30 to 23.00.
It may be possible to arrive up to 22.30 and still enjoy a meal.
Regional dishes available at the restaurant include lamb stewed with red wine, paprika and vegetables, Migas Extremeñas (a dish of savoury fried breadcrumbs and pork), and Solomillo ibérico al queso de los Ibores (pork sausage and Iberian pork sirloin with goat’s cheese).
The opening dates for the outdoor swimming pools are from the 01 June untill the 30 September 2019.
Please note the opening and closing dates will depend on the weather and availability of lifeguards.
- Mrs S. of Sherborne
If one has a disabled badge one is able to park outside the parador free of charge but otherwise there are several public parking places nearby but they require a ticket. As we had requested an easy access room we looked at it but it was very dingy! And so we changed to a pleasant room overlooking the inner courtyard. Dining room and cafeteria off the courtyard. A short walk to the charming 8 sided main square where there are lots of restaurants and cafes. Our first visit here which we enjoyed.
How to get there
The Parador is located in the centre of the town, next to the Santa Marina church and close to Calle Sevilla. Zafra is between Seville and Mérida along the 'Ruta de la Plata' (Silver Route), via the main N-630 road, 141 km from Sevilla and 60 km from Mérida; and 73 km from Badajoz along the N-432 from Badajoz-Granada.
Merida - 60km
Caceres - 128km
Trujillo - 150km
Carmona - 169km
Sevilla Airport - 160km
Region & Cuisine
Consisting of just two provinces (Cáceres and Badajoz) of roughly equal size, the Autonomous Community of Extremadura is the fifth largest in Spain but probably one of the least known. It is also one of the least populated, with just 27 inhabitants per square kilometre compared with the national average of 75.
Geographically, Extremadura borders the regions of Castilla y León to the north, Castilla La Mancha to the east and Andalusia to the south, with Portugal forming the border to the west. Extremadura has no coastline but two major rivers cross the region from east to west: the River Guadiana, which runs south through Portugal to reach the coast on the easternmost Algarve, and the River Tajo (Tagus in English) which flows west to reach the Atlantic in Lisbon. The climate of Extremadura is similar to that of northern Andalusia – winters are relatively mild and summers can be, and often are, very hot.
Essentially a rural region, Extremadura has a variety of landscapes. In many places mountainous and with an abundance of water, the region’s many nature reserves are a haven for an exceptional variety of wildlife. In particular, above Monfragüe Nature Park (one of the largest of these reserves, between Trujillo and Plasencia) the sky is dotted with tawny vultures, black storks, golden eagles, peregrine falcons and Egyptian vultures. At ground level foxes, wildcats, badgers and especially lynx inhabit the region’s many forests. And everywhere there are storks with their nests on houses, churches, belfries, rooftops, traffic lights, radio masts...
Known as the land of the Conquistadores, Extremadura provided a significant number of the noblemen, friars and adventurers who – following the return of Columbus from his voyages of discovery – embarked upon the colonisation of the Americas. Statues of many of these ‘worthies’, including Francisco Pizarro and Hernán Cortes, can be found throughout the region.
The principal cities of Extremadura are Badajoz, Cáceres, Plasencia and Mérida – all steeped in history with perhaps Badajoz, due no doubt to its proximity to the Portuguese border, developing more than the others into a modern commercial metropolis. Cáceres, a university city, is well worth visiting, its historic quarter having been bestowed with the title of World Heritage City and considered the third monumental ensemble in Europe. Plasencia, founded in the 12th century by king Alfonso VIII, boasts an important artistic heritage which has merited its declaration as an Ensemble of Historical and Cultural Interest.
Special mention, however, must be made of Mérida, the capital city of Extremadura. Mérida was also the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania, and an important centre during the spread of Christianity. Founded in the year 25 BC the city retains many remarkably well preserved examples of Roman architecture including the Roman Theatre, the huge Amphitheatre, the Arch of Trajan (a triumphal arch dedicated to the Emperor Trajan) and the Roman Bridge, one of the largest of its kind with 60 arches and over 800 metres in length. The monuments of Mérida were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.
The cuisine of Extremadura is typified by centuries old recipes, such as the varieties of lamb dishes adapted from the Moors, and by making use of the excellent agricultural produce available throughout the region in many versions of soups and stews. Also particularly good are the cured meats from the areas using the name ‘Dehesa Extremeña’, and freshwater fish (trout, tench) from the rivers. The region produces several excellent cheeses from ewe’s milk and goat’s milk, a notable and delicious example being ‘Casar de Cáceres’. Both Islamic and monastic influences are discernable in the region’s wide range of desserts and other sweet treats. Extremadura produces both red and white wines, and a sparkling ‘cava’, and for the more adventurous two liqueurs of note – one made from cherries and the other from acorns. Should anyone really want to know, the latter is produced in the hills of La Vera in the north-east of the region.
Please be aware of the following:
- 'Special Offers' are subject to the availability of a number of rooms per night and/or a specific meal basis.
- Age restrictions apply to the 'Golden Days' Offer (for those aged 55 and over) and the 'Young Persons' Offer (for those aged between 18 and 30). All reservations made using these tariffs are checked upon your arrival at the Parador(s) booked to ensure that at least one person in a room qualifies for the restricted tariff. In the case that you do not qualify for the restricted tariff, the Parador will apply the standard rate without exception and you will be required to pay a supplement locally. However only one person (per room) needs to qualify for either of these two reductions.