Discover the best top things to do in Province of Avila, Spain including The Walls of Avila, Parque Regional de la Sierra de Gredos, Real Monasterio de Santo Tomas, Grutas del Aguila, Basilica de San Vicente, The Four Posts, Plaza de la villa, Cathedral of Avila, Church of San Pedro, Casco Historico de Avila.
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4.5 based on 4 reviews
The stout crenellated walls were built from 1090 onwards and have been restored several times over the centuries. With a total length of 2.5 kilometres, 88 towers and six gates, the Panorama is tremendous. Even the rear end of the Cathedral was incorporated as a major defensive bastion ... no wonder it (along with the extramural churches) has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985. About half the length of the walls is accessible to walk along, giving great views over both the countryside and the intramural medieval town. Unmitigated exposure to cold wind in the winter and blistering sun in the summer means you'd better get your clothing right!
4.5 based on 172 reviews
We started off from La Platforma where there was adequate parking and paying the 2.50€ entry fee at the barrier, some way away from the parking area, not worth trying to avoid it. We set off with 1.5 liters of water each, all of which were consumed prior to arriving back at La Platforma some 3.5 hours later.
If you are just visiting do not think about doing this walk without a camera as you will be so frustrated at not being able to record some amazing sites and views. The walk can be strenuous at times and during our ascent, it was also being undertaken by some serious hikers with all the necessary equipment, walkers out for some fresh air, dog walkers and some seriously fit runners who made it look so easy when they disappeared over the horizon in front of us, only for us to reach that point and see a new horizon in front of us again.
In the main it is a stone path with no shade so at least trainers would be the order of the day along with a small back pack if possible with a snack if you intend to go all the way to the Laguna Grande, we did this walk in August and during a drought so the Laguna Grande was more 'Laguna Pequena' which we could see from the top of the climb so cancelled that idea.
However we managed to see Golden Eagles, Kestrals, Peregrine Falcons, Kites and the Spanish Ibex, which for some reason the locals were totally indifferent to as to them it's simply a Mountain Goat.......
There are also a number of Cattle grazing freely, all of whom have bells attached to them and a constant ringing in their ears, they never gave us any concern but when a large dog off the lead approached them and started to enforce his will on them, they decided the mountain was theirs and after a small display of "go away you are irritating us" they only ever saw the rear end of that dog again.......
4.5 based on 318 reviews
Just pass the big square named Santa Teresa de Jesus, then small Plaza Ejercito and take Paseo Santo Tomas - straight way down to the monastery. Not located in the closest neighbourhood of the old town, this place does not attract so many tourist. But it's very interesting so try to put it on your Avila itenerary.
This Dominican monastery was built in 15th century. Interestingly, Reyes Catolicos (or Catholic Monarchs) together with famous inquisitor Torquemada were the patrons of the construction.
The complex itself has three cloisters: the Novices' Cloister, the Cloister of Silence or the Deceased (burial place of monks) with some nice decorations, and the Cloister of the Monarchs - the largest of three and with more ornamentations.
After stroll through the cloisters do not miss the choir - you'll have a good view to the church and close look to the old choir stalls. While down in the church, the main place to visit is the tomb of Prince Juan - second son of the Reyes Catolicos who died at the age of 19.
Apart from religious sites there's also a small but eye-catching collection of oriental memorabilia collected by monks in Asia and uninviting collection of stuffed animals.
Entrance fee is 4 euros and worth the money and time spent on getting there.
4.5 based on 466 reviews
These caves are truly spectacular and the really remarkable thing is that they were only discovered in the 1960s.
It is mainly one huge cavern with an amazing quantity of stalactite and stalagmite formations with an underlying off-white colour but with oranges and browns scattered everywhere due to the presence of iron in the water.
Visits are in timed groups but the guide/guard only speaks in Spanish. Signs indicate no photography but following one of his speeches suddenly everyone's camera came out so we naturally followed suit! You are left a worthwhile time to take it in at your own pace but the guard keeps an eye on everyone which is understandable when you consider how long this attraction was in the making.
The route involves quite a few steps to get round (making it unsuitable for disabled visitors) but there is a good path so it is pretty straightforward.
4.5 based on 692 reviews
This church is very beautiful with gothic arts and at the door columns with sculptures of Jesus and saints. It's former fortress and now tranformed into museum. The highlight is main altar which is glowing gold and painting of Mary and Jesus. It's Romanesque church with exterior view facing the main fortresses providing great picture . Be prepared with cap/ sunglasses/ sunblock / or umbrella during heat of summer time.
4.5 based on 1 reviews
Magnificently austere site to view the spectacular walls of Avila. It was our first glimpse of this majestic UNESCO world heritage site and definitely the best.
I don't know why the Four Posts are there, our guide didn't explain it. But they make for a wonderful vantage point to see the city.
We were there in February and we had the pkace to ourselves. But in summer aid say it's a whole different story! Unmissable really in my opinion if you are visiting Avila
4.5 based on 133 reviews
If you are interested in history this is a historical place to visit as it is where Isabel the Catholic lived as a child, although the original palace is long gone now.
This is a beautiful, bustling, busy town square. The shops are well worth a look: there are places that sell gorgeous local cakes and biscuits, plus all kinds of other local produce. One shop specialises in Nativity scenes (some really beautiful ones at cheap prices) and all the hustle and bustle of a town centre, with its historical buildings, beautiful architecture and constant crowds.
One delightful detail was the presence of orange-jacketed volunteers around the tourist office to the side of the square, who help visitors with directions, advice and tips. Definitely a great idea to help people who are yet to get their bearings in the town.
4 based on 1 reviews
City of Avila was for a long time positioned on no man`s land, between Arab and Castillan kingdoms and after Castillan kingdoms finally prevailed in the end of 11th century, city`s area became one huge construction site. Biggest building projects were walls and sacral buildings. Construction of the Cathedral of Avila, dedicated to San Salvador, began in the 1170 by master builder Fruchel, in romanesque style and was finished in 1355 in gothic one. It was built in Latin-cross layout, made up of three naves. Together with Cathedral of Cuenca, it is considered first piece of gothic sacral arhitecture in Spain. Change between the styles in action could be seen inside; the earlier romanesque parts are made of a redish and white stone, while the gothic parts were built with pure white stone and that half of the Cathedral seems more spacious, yet the proportions are exactly the same. Other highlights of the interior include the 13th century sacristy with a star shaped cupola, treasury with a huge silver monstrance and ancient religious icons and recently discovered hidden passage door (0.70m in height) which were leading somewhere to alcazar area of Old city.
Perhaps most famous part of Cathedral is „Cimorro“ – apse designed like a fortress, with battlements and sentry walks and integrated in the city walls. And that`s not just for tough apperance, in mid 12th century, Bishop Sancho of Avila protected the young Alfonso IX from other pretendents on Castillan throne until he became king. Other interesting outside feature is main facade, which remains unfinished because the south tower was never built and monumental cloister with 28 large window portals with three oculi, in gothic style. Entrance fee for exploring this old building is 5 €
4 based on 173 reviews
The Church of San Pedro is small but interesting. I think it's worth a quick visit. It's also cool inside which if much appreciated on a hot summer day!
4.5 based on 73 reviews
Avila is absolutely wonderful and we really loved the half day we spent there. Make sure to stop at the Four Posts lookput point either on your way or as you leave for the very best views of this magnificent UNESCO world heritage site with it's stunning walls and cathedrals.
San Vicente Basilica just outside the walls was my favourite. The walls themselves are astonishingly well preserved and the Cathedral is stunning. The Cathedral dedicated to SaintvTeresa D'Avila is beautiful too as is the square outside it. Her relics can be visited there too including her right ring finger, clothing and personal effects.
Wander the winding streets and just let yourself get lost. The walls will keeo you from going far wrong! Plaza Mayor is lovely too and makes for a good orientation point in the town centre.
A really wonderful place, well deserving of its reputation!
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