Walking the Via de la Plata from Monesterio to Merida
From Monesterio, the Camino stretches through the South of Extremadura, a region of dry and sparsely populated farmland. Walking through dry land with little shade can be seen as challenging but we have split most stages into shorter days and the geography of the flat ground presents no particular difficulty, so it only requires an average level of fitness.
This trip createstonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free
This city is the place to be for ham lovers. Monasterio is well known for its delicious ham, so much that they even celebrate it in September by organizing a Monasterio Ham Day where one can try all types of ham at different stands. But not only at this time of the year the city has something to offer. If you are interested in ham you can even visit the Museo de Jamon or go to Los Templarios for a nice dinner. If you want more of a higher class experience at a restaurant where locals also go to El Rinconcillo is the place you should go to.
Zafra also is known as little Sevilla has beautiful things to offer. One of them is the Castle of Zafra (Palacio de Los Duques de Feria) in the middle of the town close to the Plaza de España. It offers a nice seating area in the courtyard where you can admire the beautiful architecture of the building.
In Almendralejo you are able to see the parish church of Purification erected in the 16th century or get some sweets made from the nuns of the order of St.Clare, also known as the convent of Nuestra Señora del Amparo.
Monesterio to Merida
Via de la Plata
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Monesterio is strongly linked to the history of the Camino de Santiago when Templars from the Order of Santiago brought wealth to the town, back in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Nowadays, little remains as witness to this heritage and Monesterio is a quiet Extremaduran town.
Day 2 20.7km
FUENTE DE CANTOS
Today the Camino can be quite exposed, walking on long undulating tracks, even though scattered oak holms and fig groves provide you with shelter from the sun here and there. A few kilometres after Monesterio, don’t miss the 5000 year old megalith, 10 metres off the track. Gazing pigs will probably be the only inhabitants you will see along the way, as the Camino here doesn’t pass through any villages before reaching Fuente de Cantos, a pretty village.
Day 3 24.2km
FUENTE DE CANTOS
When leaving Fuente de Cantos, we follow an ancient Roman route and we start to see the first vines of this section, a sign of changing soil. A few kilometres further on, we pass through Calzadilla de los Barros. After that, it is an isolated and peaceful stroll along undulating dirt tracks, bordered by vineyards and olive groves. The walking day ends in Zafra, a charming old town.
Day 4 19.8km
VILLAFRANCA DE LOS BARROS
The first few kilometres after Zafra gently climb up before zig-zagging down to the whitewashed town of Los Santos de Maimona. Then it is an enjoyable up and down walk through farmland, vineyards and olive trees with smashing views over the surrounding countryside.
Day 5 14.8km
VILLAFRANCA DE LOS BARROS
Leaving Villafranca de los Barros, we find ourselves surrounded mainly by vines as the area produces a well-known wine. The flat ground and short distance to Amendralejo makes today an easy and pleasant stroll through the countryside.
Day 6 28km
After Almendralejo, we start to see mountains in the distance to our right and the crops also diversify as sunflower and cereal fields alternate with vines and olive groves. Toremegia is the only town we pass through before continuing through the countryside before getting back to civilisation when approaching Merida and its rich historical heritage.
After breakfast, we bid you farewell.
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