Avila is known for being the most elevated provincial capital in Spain. Surrounded by its still-intact medieval fortifications, Avila is also known as the Town of Stones and Saints and has the highest concentration of Gothic and Romanesque churches in Spain. Avila is located just 88 kilometers from Madrid, making it one of the easiest getaways from the capital. Visiting Avila is like transcending into another realm, with its wealth of extraordinary manmade and natural monuments.
Besides its awe-inspiring architecture, Avila also boasts some breathtaking natural landscapes, owing to the undulating peaks of the Sierra Gredos Mountains. Avila was declared as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain in 1985.
There are a plethora of things to do and see in Avila.
Explore the Murallas
The Murallas is the iconic town walls surrounding the old town of Avila. Having been well-preserved since medieval times, the walls are one of the attractions of the city. They were built somewhere between 1090 and 1099 by the city ruler called Raimundo de Borgona.
Standing at 12 meters high, the walls stretch 2,556 meters with crenelated turrets and towers every 20 meters.
Nine gates offer access to the city. Avila’s walls are UNESCO-listed and are considered to be among the most formidable city defenses on earth.
Admire the architecture of Real Monasterio de Santo Tomas
Lying just outside the town ramparts, the Dominican church of Santo Tomas was built in the 13th century by Tomas de Torquemada and Maria Davila to serve as a summer vacation spot for the catholic monarchs.
Its façade has a grim appearance and a gloomy interior, but still worth a visit. There several attractions inside that you can explore, including Pedro de Berruguete masterpiece called Retablo.
Browse the artifacts at Museo de Avila
While the walls and the monasteries tell you a little bit about the history of the town, visiting the Museo de Avila provides an opportunity to dig deeper into the past of not only the town but its people and major events that shaped what it is today.
Found in Plaza Nalvillos, the museum is home to a wide range of permanent exhibits that lean towards the city’s culture, historic of the province, and other antiques.
Visit Capilla de Mosen Rubi de Bracamonte
This gorgeous catholic church is one of the main attractions of Avila. Head over to Plaza Fuente el Sol and you will find this cathedral from the 16th century, with stunning Spanish Gothic style and shades of Mannerist design.
Its interiors of the church are beautiful, with its gold-plated alter as the centerpiece.
Explore the sculptures at Palacio de Los Verdugo
If you didn’t quench your thirst for antiques at the Museo de Avila, head down to Calle de Lopez Nunez Street, where you will find the Palacio de Los Verdugo, a 15th-century museum that features hundreds of unique sculptures and symbols illustrating the how the defense of the city functioned during ancient times.
It here that you will also find the Municipal Archive and the Department of Heritage.
Admire the beautiful wonders of Sierra de Gredos
The stunning mountainous range of Sierra de Gredos is within the secure natural park of Avila city and offers a calming effect especially after a long day of sightseeing.
Get in touch with nature by exploring this park as well as taking scenic walks around it.
Marvel at the architecture of the Catedral de Avila
Cathedral of the Savior is a medieval church in Avilla. It is one of the most visited landmarks in the city and boasts incredible Romanesque style with some traces of Spanish Gothic. The church was built within the Murallas, a location that scores it extra points with visitors.
Visit Convento de Santa Teresa
Located opposite to Puerta de la Santa, the Covenant of Saint Theresa is the place where Santa Teresa was born. It was built in the 15th century to serve as a covenant for Carmelite nuns.
Though it is not as razzmatazz as other churches in the city, it is still worth visiting and exploring the room that Santa Teresa was born in.
Convento de Santa Teresa was designed by Fray Alonso de San Jose while the statue of Santa Teresa was created by Gregorio Fernandez.
Head over to Convento de las Clarisas
Convento de las Clarisas is located in Calle Cristo de la Luz and features a beautiful garden and Herrera-style design. It is one of the well-known covenants in the city and offers visitors a glimpse into the Franciscan lifestyle.
The covenant was founded by V Count of Chinchon, whose remains are in the complex.
Visit Convento de Nuestra Senora de Gracia
Another important covenant in the city of Avila, Convento de Nuestra Senora de Gracia, or the Monastery of the Lady of Grace, is a 16th-century building that is also the where Queen Isabel I la Catolica was born. Located in Calle Cuesta de Gracia, this covenant also features the Palace of John II within its complex as well as a chapel and Queen Isabel I la Catolica’s bedroom.
There is also a gallery house containing a collection of arts as well as documentaries about the history of Avila.
Take a walk on Paseo del Rastro
The Paseo del Rastro is a path that runs along the Avila city walls. With its peaceful atmosphere, it is the most ideal place to take a walk late in the evening while admiring the walls and other structures along the way.
Visit Casa de las Carnicerias (Butchers House)
Casa de las Carnicerias is a building from the 16th century that served as the biggest butcher of the Avila. Here you will find one of the gates to the wall and also a map of the city.
Tour Los Cuatro Postes
Los Cuatro Postes (Four Posts) is a popular landmark located outside the city. It is a sacred shrine that attracts lots of visitors daily. Many stories suggest that it was at this spot that Mother Teresa was discouraged by her uncle from running away to practice martyrdom.
Check out the Basilica de San Vicente
Located in Calle San Vincente, the Basilica of San Vincent is another must-visit church in Avila. Built-in the 11th century, the church is one of the oldest buildings in the city and features some stunning Romanesque design with traces of Spanish Gothic style.
Explore the city of Avila
Discover the culture, tradition, people, and cuisine of Avila by touring the city and visiting the local markets.
To help you plan out your visit to Avila, we listed places to visit and other amazing activities to do in Avila, Spain. We also listed some of the best travel and tour packages, as well as excellent flight deals and accommodation.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Avila hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.
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