Ávila, a journey back to the Middle Ages
Avila city walls
Avila by night
Plaza de Santa Teresa square by night
A visit to Ávila is a trip back in time where you will feel like a real medieval knight. The city (walled, yet open-minded) is a designated World Heritage Site and provides the perfect surroundings to immerse yourself the flavour of the Middle Ages. Come and stay for a few days. Don't rush; just let the ancient stones of its streets whisper secrets, stories and legends in your ear.
On your visit you will discover that historic Ávila is several different cities in one. At different times of the day you will be able to savour all the ancient flavour of its historic streets and monuments. You will also be pleasantly surprised by its dynamic markets and squares, its peaceful churches and convents, its buzzing university life and the tranquil countryside to be found on the banks of the Adaja River, that circles the city.
The unarguable symbol of this provincial capital in the south of the Castile and León region is its old city wall, which dates from the 11th century. Its battlements are more than just a reminder of the city's past as a defensive frontier town. They are also guardians of the city's enormous cultural wealth and are constantly visible as you stroll through Ávila's ancient streets. A good way to get to know Ávila is to take a walk around the city wall, passing through its arches and gateways. This is the best way to get to know all the city's most attractive spots. You will be able to feel the echo of its history, the honour and pride of its ancient inhabitants, the strength of those who built it and the courage of those who defended it.
Come and take a leisurely stroll around Ávila's city walls. Amongst other things, you will see ingenious defensive structures, beautiful architectural details, and there are stunning views from up on the battlement walkway. Take in the splendid Renaissance palaces to be found built attached to the wall itself. Walk through the impressive Puerta del Alcázar gate to Mercado Grande (Main Market) square, or to the Cathedral (Spain's oldest Gothic example), whose altar end is set into the city wall itself.
As you stroll around Ávila, a host of extraordinary Romanesque churches, enchanting medieval spots and a multitude of other treasures await you. The Cuatro Postes viewpoint is a must-see, especially by night: the views of the illuminated city are spectacular.
June-September are ideal months to visit Ávila. Every year, at this time, the historic centre of the city becomes a scene from the Middle Ages, with medieval talks and sessions, a street market, the Ronda de Leyendas (actors recreate legendary historic events in the street) and theatre performances on the city wall. Come and relive an extraordinary, magical period in this historic city. Take your time and read whole pages of history in its ancient stones. A unique experience that brings a time of legends to our present-day reality.