With its rich history, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine, Badajoz is the perfect destination for those looking for an authentic Spanish experience. Go somewhere in Southern Spain that is not overrun with tourism and is not on the bucket list of travellers, Badajoz remains true to its roots, offering an authentic taste of Spain. Nomad Girl gives you 10 reasons why you should visit Badajoz this summer.
1. Rich history
Badajoz is a city located in southwestern Spain, known for its rich history and cultural heritage. It was founded by the Moors in the 9th century and was later conquered by the Christians in the 13th century. Badajoz played a key role in the Reconquista, a period of time when the Christian kingdoms of Spain regained control of the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslims. The city has also been a strategic location for military campaigns throughout history.
Visitors can explore the impressive Alcazaba fortress, which was built in the 9th century and expanded over time. The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista is another notable landmark, with its Gothic and Baroque architecture. In addition, there are many museums and art galleries showcasing the city's rich cultural heritage. To fully appreciate the history of Badajoz, visitors are encouraged to take a guided tour of the city, which can be arranged through the local tourist office.
2. Shopping and markets
With its numerous markets and shopping centres, Badajoz offers an array of shopping experiences that cater to all tastes and budgets. One of the most popular markets is the Mercado de San Juan, where you can find fresh local produce, meat, and fish. The market is open every day except Sundays and is perfect for those looking to buy ingredients for cooking or for a quick snack. Another popular shopping center is the El Faro shopping mall, which boasts a variety of international and local brands. If you're looking for something more traditional, the Plaza Alta market, held every Saturday, is the perfect place to shop for handmade crafts and souvenirs. Make sure to bring cash and arrive early to get the best deals!
Nestled in the southwest of Spain, Badajoz boasts a rich gastronomic heritage that draws inspiration from both its land and its history. The region is renowned for its Ibérico ham, a delicacy produced from acorn-fed pigs that roam freely in the oak forests. Another must-try is the torta del casar, a creamy cheese made from raw sheep's milk that has been aged for at least 60 days.
Badajoz's cuisine is also influenced by its proximity to Portugal, evident in dishes such as bacalao a la portuguesa, a hearty cod stew with potatoes and peppers. For those with a sweet tooth, the region's convents produce delectable sweets such as perrunillas, almond-based cookies, and huesos de santo, a marzipan filled with sweet potato. Whether you're a foodie or simply looking to savour the flavours of Spain, Badajoz's gastronomy is a must-try.
4. Badajoz nightlife
Visitors to Badajoz can expect to enjoy a wide range of entertainment options, from lively bars to pulsating nightclubs. For those who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, there are plenty of cozy cafes and lounges where you can unwind after a long day of sightseeing. The city's nightlife scene is especially lively on weekends when locals and tourists alike flock to the streets to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. If you're looking to experience the best of Badajoz's nightlife, be sure to check out some of the city's most popular hotspots, such as the Plaza Alta and Plaza de San Francisco. Also try out the Rincón Nazarí popular with locals and famous for its Moorish architecture.
4. Outdoor activities
Badajoz is a city in Spain that offers a plethora of outdoor activities for tourists and locals alike. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, then you should definitely try your hand at rock climbing at La Pedriza. With its rocky terrain and stunning views, it is perfect for both beginners and experienced climbers. If you are more of a water person, then kayaking down the Guadiana River is a must-try.
The river is calm and serene, making it a perfect place for a leisurely paddle. For those who love to hike, there are several trails in the Sierra de Hornachos that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. And if you are a history buff, then a visit to the Alcazaba of Badajoz is a must. This Moorish castle has stood the test of time and is now open to visitors year-round. With so much to see and do, Badajoz is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
6. Badajoz Summer festivals
If you're looking for an unforgettable summer experience, Badajoz is famous for its vibrant summer festivals, which attract thousands of visitors every year. The festivals are a celebration of the city's rich cultural heritage and offer a unique opportunity to experience the local traditions and customs. The most popular festival is the Alcazaba Festival, which takes place in July and includes live music performances, fireworks displays, and traditional food and drink.
Other festivals include the San Juan Night Festival, which welcomes the summer solstice with bonfires and beach parties, and the Badajoz Carnival, which takes place in February and is known for its colourful costumes and lively music. With so many festivals to choose from, Badajoz is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a fun and exciting summer adventure.
7. Badajoz Natural beauty
One must-see destination is the stunning Sierra de Hornachos Natural Park, which is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare species of birds and reptiles. Another top spot is the Alange Spa, where you can relax in natural hot springs surrounded by scenic mountain views. And if you're looking for a bit of adventure, head to the Guadiana International Natural Park, where you can go hiking, kayaking, and even horseback riding.
8. Badajoz Wine tourism
Wine tourism has become increasingly popular in the region, as it offers visitors the opportunity to explore the vineyards, taste the local wines and learn about the winemaking process. If you're planning a trip to Badajoz, be sure to visit some of the many wineries and vineyards in the area. You can take a guided tour of the facilities, learn about the different grape varieties that are grown in the region, and even participate in wine tastings.
Some wineries also offer workshops on the art of winemaking, where you can learn how to blend your own wine or even create your own label. Try to visit Bodegas Medina which used to be an old convent and has a museum of winemaking.
9. Badajoz Traditional crafts
The city's craftsmen have been practicing their skills for centuries, passing down their knowledge from generation to generation. Visitors to Badajoz can witness these traditional crafts being made in workshops and shops throughout the city. One of the most well-known crafts in Badajoz is pottery.
The city's potters create beautiful ceramics, ranging from functional pieces such as plates and bowls, to decorative items like vases and figurines. Another popular craft in Badajoz is handwoven textiles. Skilled weavers create beautiful blankets, shawls, and rugs using traditional techniques and designs. Visitors can also find craftsmen creating intricate leather goods, such as wallets, belts, and bags.
10. Affordable prices
Compared to other popular tourist destinations in Spain, Badajoz offers visitors a more affordable travel experience without sacrificing quality. From accommodation to food and activities, visitors can enjoy all that this city has to offer on a budget. One of the recommendations is to holiday at the ILUNION Las Lomas Hotel in Badajoz. There is a good discount on this hotel stay if you become a member of the ILUNION Unicos club.
Overall, Badajoz is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you're interested in history, culture, nature or wine tourism, this destination is definitely worth adding to your travel itinerary. With its friendly locals and welcoming atmosphere, you'll feel right at home in no time.