City guides

Avila city guide

Make Ávila the right way!

Capital of the province of the same name, which covers an area of over 8,000 sq. km. It is the highest town in Spain, standing some 3,700 ft. above sea level. Discover in this city guide of Ávila all the information to ensure you make the most out of your visit. 

Ávila city guide - Table of Contents

Avila Walls and towers
Avila Walls and towers
Main square in Avila
Main square in Avila
Cathedral of Avila
Cathedral of Avila

Practical information to plan your visit to Ávila

5 top reasons to visit Ávila

The Walls. One thing is certain: you will not miss them! With over  2.5 kilometers of lentgh and an average height around 40 feet, Avila´s walls are not just an icon for the city, but one of Spain´s top attractions.

 

The cathedral of Avila. You will not be surprised to learn that the cathedral of Avila was built almost like a fortress. A simple look from outside will confirm this and its proximity to the walls provide a good explanation for this architecture.

 

El Chuleton and yemas de Santo Avila is well-known in Spain not just for the fascinating walls, but also due to the quality of its steaks (chuletón de Avila) and the famous yemas de santa Teresa (a pastry served as desert which is made with eggs yolks and sugar (really tasty!) Their name comes from Saint Teresa of Avila and they have been traditionally prepared at convents by nuns. There are more rich dishes typical from Avila and which share a similar identity to gastronomy from other provinces in Castilla Leon

Basilica de San Vicente.  A fantastic example of Romanesque art. San Vicente is Avila’s most important Romanesque building, lying just outside the Northern-east corner of the town wall. It was dedicated to Deacon Vicente of Huesca who, together with his sisters Sabina and
Christeta, is supposed to have suffered martyrdom on this site in 304.

Monastery of Santo Tomas. This fantastic  monastery was founded by Ferdinand and Isabella. Their son Juan is buried here, and also the famous first Gran inquisitor of Spain, Torquemada.

Best time to visit Ávila

Avila is not a very busy city and there is not a reason why weekends should be avoided. 

The weather is rather cold in winter so if you plan to visit then we would recommend sunny days to enjoy the most walking along the walls and in its city centre. 

As in most of Spain, Avila holds some important festivals. The main celebration is on October 15th in honour to Santa Teresa, patron of the city. During the second weekend of september a fantastic medieval market is organsied in Avila every year. Avila also holds an important easter celebration. 

Our favorite months to visit Avila are april, may, september and october.  september 

Weather in Ávila

Avila is located west of Madrid. It enjoys continental weather with cold winters and hot and dry summers. Warmest months are July and August with  daily max average of 70F . The coldest months are January and december with average temperatures of 36-38F

The probability of rain is rather low, with 22% chance in October (the rainiest month) 

Ávila - History highlights

The ancient Roman ‘Avela’ (today´s Avila)  ringed with walls in the Middle Ages, was built like a cliff-top fortress, on a hill overlooking the river Adaja. The history of the town revolves around wars and acts of heroism; religion and a tendency towards mysticism also played an important role. The town was originally an Iberian-Celtic settlement, which, according to Ptolemy, lay at the eastern periphery of Lusitania and bore the name of “Obila’. Numerous sculptures depicting bulls and boars can be seen in some of the streets and palaces and these testify to the presence of an ancient Iberian civilization.

The 1C AD saw the arrival of Bishop San Segundo, one of the seven apostolic emissaries, who converted the town to Christianity. In the heyday of the Romanesque, during the Reconquista’ Count Raymond of Burgundy seized the town from the Moors. Thereafter many noblemen from Burgos, León, Asturias, and Galicia settled here, giving Avila the sobriquet ‘de los Caballeros’ (Ávila of the Noblemen). It became the residence of several Castilian kings and the seat of the ‘Juntas’. St. Theresa, the great mystic and reformer of the Carmelite Order, was born here in 1515.

interactive tourist map of Ávila

Recommended attractions in Ávila

There are many hotels in Segovia and it is a city where prices are moderate and where you will be able to enjoy a very high standard at great value for money.  Our team of experts recommend the following hotels in Segovia (we believe they are the best options at different price levels)

Walls of Avila

Ávila is the very picture of a medieval town, completely surrounded by walls. The walls of Avila are considered the oldest and best- preserved walls

Best things to do Near Ávila

El Escorial in Madrid, Spain

El Escorial is one of Spain´s top tourist attractions. This massive building serves as a church, monastery, palace, mausoleum, library, museum, and school. It is

La Granja de San Ildefonso
Hidden Gems

La Granja de San Ildefonso

Located in the province of Segovia, just 15 minutes drive from the city of Segovia (a Unesco heritage site) La Granja de San Ildefonso is one of the royal palaces in Spain near Madrid. Its gardens and fountains make it look like the Spanish version of Versailles.

Alcazar de Segovia 9.2 rating
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