Soak up Spain's fascinating history and legendary culture on an Avila and Segovia day trip from Madrid. Explore the walled city of Avila, Spain’s best-preserved 11th-century fortified town, and discover why it is known as the City of Stones and Saints. Then unravel centuries of history in the city of Segovia, from its two-tiered Roman aqueduct to its Moorish fort and stunning Gothic cathedral. With the option to indulge in a gastronomic lunch, your trip to these two UNESCO World Heritage sites is a feast for all the senses!
Choose your preferred tour option when you book. Then, on the day, depart Madrid by air-conditioned coach and relax as you travel toward your first stop, Avila. On route, hear tales of this beautifully preserved medieval city, an important pilgrimage site for being the birthplace of the Spanish mystic, Saint Teresa, in the 16th century. Take in the fortress design and alabaster chapels of Avila Cathedral, and visit the Basilica of St Vincent, a sublime Romanesque church that houses the richly engraved tomb of the martyred saint also we will visit the Walls of Ávila, (On Mondays, form November 2018 to March 2019, we will visit inside of the Basilica of San Vicente due to the closure pf the Avila Walls). Back aboard your coach, continue to Segovia, a history-steeped city with Roman roots, set between the Eresma and Clamores rivers.Head into the elegant center, and admire the stunning, two-tiered Roman aqueduct, one of the best preserved ancient monuments in all Spain. Gaze in awe at the scale and symmetry of this engineering marvel, and learn how it was constructed without mortar during the 1st century AD, and consists of 166 arches and 120 pillars. Then, continue to the Alcazar, a spectacular 11th-century fortress-palace that was one of the inspirations behind the Walt Disney Cinderella castle. Take a guided tour of the UNESCO-listed, 13th-century building as you hear how it served as a royal palace, prison and artillery college. Admire its distinctive turrets and courtyards, explore its artillery museum, and learn how Queen Isabella was crowned here in 1474.
Next, see some of old Segovia’s other highlights, including Segovia Cathedral. The last Gothic cathedral to be built in Spain, this splendid church was finished in the 18th century and boasts a richly Gothic façade and unusually simple interior. Take free time for lunch (own expense) during your explorations. Alternatively, upgrade to enjoy either a simple tourist-style meal or a delicious gastronomic feast showcasing Segovian delicacies such as roasted suckling pig — the choice is yours! See the Itinerary for sample menus. After your time in Segovia, return to Madrid where your tour concludes at the start point. Itinerary Sample Menu (subject to change) Tourist Lunch: La Granja white beans Beef cooked 'Segovian style' Dessert Gastronomic Lunch La Granja white beans Roasted baby pig Segovian cake Mineral water, wine and coffee