Badajoz province: an essential guide for travellers

Location and population

Badajoz is one of the region’s two provinces. Located in southern Extremadura, Badajoz province borders Portugal to the west, Castilla-La Mancha to the east, and Andalucía to the south. With an area covering 21,766 square kilometres, Badajoz is the largest province in Spain.

 

Badajoz province map

The province has a population of under 670,000. Over 150,000 people live in its capital city, which is also called Badajoz. About half of the province’s population lives in places over 10,000 people. Badajoz province has a low population density of just over 30 people per square kilometre.

Areas in Badajoz province

For the purposes of this website, I have divided Badajoz province into twelve travel areas, which are displayed in the map below. Click on the blue pins to reveal the area, the largest destination in that area and a place of interest.

All twelve province areas are also listed in alphabetical order below.

Areas

Badajoz
Campiña Sur
Lácara-Los Baldíos
La Serena
La Siberia
Mérida
Olivenza area
Sierra Grande – Tierra de Barros
Sierra Suroeste
Tentudía
Vegas Altas del Guadiana
Zafra-Río Bodión

Cities in Badajoz province

Five places fit my description of ‘city’ (destination with a population of over 25,000) – Badajoz, Mérida, Don Benito, Almendralejo, and Villanueva de la Serena.

Featured cities

Badajoz

Badajoz, plaza alta

Badajoz is the province’s capital and Extremadura’s largest city, located by the river Guadiana and bordering Portugal. Badajoz is home to Spain’s longest city walls, Europe’s largest Moorish citadel and one of the country’s most lively Carnival celebrations.

Mérida

Mérida_teatro romano

Extremadura’s capital is a World Heritage City of Roman origins boasting numerous and well-preserved archaeological remains including a theatre, an amphitheatre, several aqueducts, a citadel and Roman baths.

Towns in Badajoz province

Four places fit my description of ‘town’ (destination with a population ranging from 10,000 to 24,999) – Zafra, Montijo, Villafranca de los Barros, and Olivenza.

Featured towns

Zafra

Zafra_parador

Located in the Zafra-Río Bodión area, Zafra is a historical market town with two lovely main squares and a vast religious architectural heritage including a large Gothic church, former hospitals and several convents.

Olivenza

Olivenza_ayuntamiento

Long disputed between Portugal and Spain, the whitewashed border town of Olivenza retains remains of its defensive walls, a castle which holds an interesting ethnographic museum and noteworthy examples of religious and civil architecture.

Featured small towns

Medellín

Medellín_teatro romano

Medellín is located in the Vegas Altas del Guadiana area. Its medieval castle sitting atop a hill looks over a remarkable Roman Theatre on the hillside, a church which holds a local museum, and a medieval bridge over the river Guadiana.

Alburquerque

Alburquerque_castillo de luna

Located in a ham-producing area in Lácara-Los Baldíos, Alburquerque features one of Extremadura’s most recognisable castles and two gates on the western and eastern part of the old city walls lead to a charming medieval-gothic quarter.

Featured villages

Alange

Alange

Alange is a village located in the Sierra Grande-Tierra de Barros area. Its spa facilities include thermal baths dating back to Roman times. The remains of its Moorish castle look over the village and the nearby reservoir, where you can swim or practice water sports.

Esparragosa de Lares

Esparragosa de Lares_ruta fortaleza de lares

The municipality of this village located in La Siberia area includes an interesting walk to some fortress remains affording outstanding views of Cerro Masatrigo, an almost-conical (and climbable) hill nearly surrounded by the waters of the vast La Serena reservoir.

Reina

reina_alcazaba

Reina is located in the Campiña Sur area. The highlight of this tiny village is a large fifteen-tower Moorish citadel where two cisterns and a chapel still remain. It offers far-reaching views over hills, plains, villages and the nearby Roman city of Regina Turdulorum.

In Badajoz province you’ll also find

• Extremadura’s southernmost place: Monesterio, located in the Tentudía area.

• The farthest from the sea place in Extremadura: Helechosa de los Montes, located in La Siberia area, is 317 kilometres away from the sea.

• The lowest point in Extremadura: the eastern bank of the Alqueva reservoir, near Villanueva del Fresno (Olivenza area), is located at 150 metres over sea level.

• Extremadura’s top tourist attraction: Mérida’s Roman Theatre.

• Spain’s largest (and Europe’s third largest) reservoir: Embalse de La Serena.

• Extremadura’s longest bridge: Mérida’s Roman Bridge is 790 metres long.

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