Within Castilla y León we find cities as beautiful as Burgos with its majestic Cathedral or Segovia with its impressive aqueduct. In this occasion we will emphasize the essential thing to see if we decide to visit Ávila.
As with the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago, the rise of the city was in the 16th century. It became an important pilgrimage destination because of the supposed apparition of Saint Teresa of Jesus.
What to see?
This city cannot be left behind within this autonomous community, much less being the highest in Spain. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Ávila is not only known for its height. The city stands out notably for the medieval walls that delimit the historical helmet of the same one. Once we have penetrated its walls it will seem that we have gone back in time. We will find Renaissance palaces, Romanesque churches and even many medieval elements. Discover below what you can’t miss if you visit Ávila.
It’s the city’s hallmark. It has a total perimeter of 2516 meters and its shape is practically rectangular. Its structure is maintained complete as for the one of Segovia. If you have time it is advisable to visit it to be able to appreciate the details that it hides, in addition it is possible to go up and to see it for an economic price.
Considered the first Gothic cathedral in Spain, it was declared a National Monument and World Heritage Site. It is in the centre, attached to the wall. As a curious fact we will say that it is still unfinished and is covered in brick to prevent deterioration.
If we go through the walls of the wall, in the interior of Ávila we will find a series of Renaissance palaces from the 15th to the 16th century. Some of these palaces are: the Palace of the Mújica (Tower of the Guzmanes), the Palace of Valderrábanos, the Palace of the Marqués de Velada, the Old Episcopal Palace and Episcopio, among others.
Plaza de Santa Teresa de Jesús y la Iglesia de San Pedro
In the Plaza de Santa Teresa de Jesús, outside the city walls, where the largest market in Ávila is held. In this square we also find the Church of San Pedro, a beautiful example of Romanesque 12th century.
Basílica de San Vicente
After the Cathedral of Avila, this basilica is the most important. It can be found outside the wall, on the site where it is believed that Saint Vincent was martyred. Romanesque style, was built mostly in the twelfth century but completed in the fourteenth century.
Plaza del Mercado Chico
As in any city that prides itself, we will find the main square, in this case under the name of Plaza del Mercado Chico. We can find the town hall or the Church of San Juan Bautista. It is so called because of the ancient celebration of the market.
Royal Monastery of Santo Tomás
We return to leave the walled enclosure to meet in a place of peace this Monastery. Built thanks to the Catholic Monarchs in 1483, it also served as their summer palace.
Viewpoint of “Los cuatro postes” (The Four Posts)
The best viewpoint in the city of Avila where we can observe the city with all its majesty. Especially noteworthy are the views we will find if we decide to approach at night. Like the Alhambra in Granada, we will be able to see the impressive illumination of the wall that makes it even more grandiose and impressive.
We know that visiting the city and its impressive monuments will awaken the appetite. And not everything is to see, we must also taste as Ávila also stands out for its rich gastronomic offer.
Within Avila’s gastronomy we can highlight dishes as typical and famous as the chuletón de Ávila (the most famous dish), the patatas revolconas (mashed potatoes with garlic, paprika and torreznos), the sopa Castellana or the Judiones del Barco. We can also taste their meats such as sirloin or roast suckling pig, lamb, etc.
And if after eating what we want is a good dessert, this city also offers us something very typical and unique, the yolks of Santa Teresa. Other sweets that we can highlight are the puff pastry of San Juan de la Cruz or Huesos de Ávila.
Ávila has a privileged position on the Spanish map, nestled in the Sierra de Grelos. If you like nature and more the mountain we invite you to do one of the routes through this Sierra.
The mountain range of Gredos is full of routes, infinity of possibilities, routes of great beauty. We can practice them in winter, spring and summer, the contrasts of the landscape are spectacular. Among the itineraries that are known we will show you the best known.
Route of the five lagoons of Gredos
A route with the same beginning and end, Navalperal de Tormes, one of the most spectacular in this mountain range. It will take us to the Cinco Lagunas circus through the Garganta del Pinar. A rather hard itinerary but worth doing.
The Throat of Hell
It is the ideal route if we want to make it with children since it does not suppose more than three kilometers if we go directly. It’s situated in the valley of Jerte and we can surround it to be something longer through the forest, completing a spectacular family experience.
The four lagoons of Barco
This route is very similar to the one of the five lagoons, being crossed in a few days, passing by 4 of the lagoons. The beginning of this route is in Nava del Barco choosing to continue to the lagoon of Galin or through the throat of the Nava. Three of the lagoons are very large and circular.
This is one of the routes that starts from Navaluenga, as there are many with that beginning. It is massified especially in the summer months. Lanchamala’s itinerary is one of the hardest due to the difference in level in its 20 kilometers, it is not a challenge for everyone.
For a weekend it may be the most recommended route due to its duration and difficulty. With a total of 11 kilometres starting at the Gredos platform, we will arrive at Morezón who will give us the best images of the Gredos circus. Perhaps it is one of the most recommendable and spectacular thanks to that spectacular gift for our eyes that gives us.
Do you want to make a weekend getaway and don’t know where? Ávila offers you what you are looking for, tranquillity, culture, nature and gastronomy.
Maybe you’re interested:
–Asturias – What to see and do?
–Burgos – What to see in two days?
–Segovia – What to see and do in Segovia?