Avila and Segovia

Avila and Segovia featured Image
These 2 great cities will allow you will see everything from Roman aqueducts to Gothic cathedrals. Why not stay in Segovia, and visit Avila for a day trip.

Avila is known for its religious significance and its role as the birthplace of iconic female mystic, Saint Teresa. Once you arrive in Avila, soak in the incredible views from the vantage point of Cuatro Postes. Then, make your way to the most popular religious structures in the city: The Gothic Avila Cathedral and the Romanesque San Vicente Basilica. Amble along cobblestone streets, snapping as many pictures as possible of the famous medieval walls and the towers dating back to the 11th century.

There is a walkway 1,700 metres long on top of the iconic city walls of Ávila, open to the public. The views of the cathedral, the Plaza del Mercado Grande and the countryside around the city are well worth the walk. The cathedral was originally fortified and is attached to the city walls. It is believed to be Spain’s first Gothic cathedral.The other symbol of the city is Saint Teresa de Jesús, whose presence is everywhere in the city, from the statues in her honour to the name of Ávila’s most famous sweet: yemas de Santa Teresa. You can visit the Convent of Santa Teresa, built on the site of the house where she was born. The Museum of Saint Teresa stands next to it.The Real Monasterio de Santo Tomás, the Basilica of San Vicente and the Basilica of San Pedro are also interesting religious sites. To learn more about Christian mysticism and its representatives in Ávila, we recommend visiting the Mysticism Interpretation Centre.

Segovia. learn about this medieval city, its Roman history and its magnificent location between the Clamores and Eresma Rivers. When you arrive, start by basking in the sheer engineering skill and beauty of the Roman aqueduct, which boasts two tiers and is one of the best preserved landmarks left by the ancient Romans in Spain.

After the initial amazement at this magnificent feat of engineering, with 167 arches held together only by the balance of forces, it’s time to visit towers, Romanesque churches, synagogues, Renaissance palaces, convents, gardens, hidden courtyards, a fortress which could have inspired the creators at Disney… In Segovia you don’t need a bus to see them all. You can enjoy each step and make the most of the walk.

Next up is the Alcazar, a brilliant castle dating from the 11th century that served as inspiration for today’s Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World. A guided tour through Alcazar lets you get close to the stunning turrets and see the exact spot where Queen Isabella herself was crowned in the 15th century.

Apart from its monuments, the city of Segovia has a wide range of cultural attractions all year, and its streets and other spaces always have music, dance, theatre or literature to enjoy. Its best known festivals include Titirimundi, the Segovia Music Festival and the Hay Festival. As well as traditional museums like the Antonio Machado House-Museum (the famous writer lived here from 1919 to 1932), surprising new spaces are emerging, like La Cárcel, a former prison which now offers exhibitions, film seasons, microtheatre, and so on.

If you want something traditional for lunch, the most famous local dish is suckling pig in the legendary Mesón Cándido or in some new restaurant contributing a touch of modernity. If you prefer, you can visit a Michelin starred restaurant like Villena.