Avila Travel Guide

Avila is a Spanish city that is situated in the province of Castille in the western part of the country. This medieval city was founded in the 11th century and possesses plenty of historical buildings and beautiful landmarks such as cathedrals and Romanesque churches. In addition, Avila has wonderful and preserved city walls that surround the city. These walls were built in order to protect the citizens from the Moor troops. The UNESCO declared Avila as a World Heritage. There are two principal shrines in the area; the first one is the Convent of St. Teresa and the second one is the Monasterio de la Encarnación.

When tourists visit the south of Avila, the first thing that they notice is the nice temperature throughout the year. However, during July and August (late summer) the hot temperature is little bit unbearable and local people usually take afternoon naps in order to avoid the heat. The best time to visit Avila is around May and June when the weather is pleasantly warm and sunny. The weather is also good in autumn. On the other hand, the winter is really cold and lengthy.

Foreigners can find many tourist information kiosks around the city, especially in la Puerta de San Vicente, Plaza de la Catedral and outside of the railway station. The tourism is the most important sector that contributes to the economy of the city.

As any other Spanish city, Avila has interesting and attractive tourist attractions. The Avila Cathedral is the most representative one; it was built in the 12th century. There is also The Saint Vincent´s Basilica that has an exceptional Romanesque style; the Deans’ Palace that is located on the Plaza de Nalvillos and now it’s used as a museum where visitors can see Spanish monuments and archeological discoveries; the city walls that consist of spectacular well-preserved constructions that were built during the 11th and 12th centuries and the Real Monasterio de Santo Tomas.

The transportation in Avila is quite basic but secure at the same time. Tourist can find a train station next to the cathedral as well as a bus station. These means of transportation are very safe and affordable. There are plenty of restaurants that are offering the best Mediterranean cuisine. In addition, in many restaurants people can see the most spectacular views while they’re enjoying a Spanish meal at the same time, in many restaurants. It is recommendable to visit the restaurant during the summer because the weather is warmer and the sunsets are a spectacle of natural magic.

Avila is a wonderful city located exactly in the north-west of Madrid. Its people are friendly and polite and the basic currency is the Euro. The average temperature in January is 9°C/ 48°F; however, in July the temperature changes drastically to 31°C / 88°F. The city has 3,706 feet / 1,130 meters above the sea level.

Getting to Avila

There are many interesting ways to get to Avila. Tourists can travel by planebus or train, just depends on how much money tourists want to spend on getting to this fascinating Spanish city. Once visitors arrive in the city, they are able to use the Avila’s public transportation system in order to visit the principal city sites.

Getting to Avila By Air

People who are interested in travelling by plane to Avila city, have to bear in mind that the most effective airport that holds domestic flights is the Madrid Barajas Airport. This Spanish airport is situated 15 km / 9 miles from Madrid’s downtown.

Getting to Avila By Bus

An interesting way to enjoy the spectacular landscapes and Spanish sceneries is by taking a bus and travelling around the country. In fact, it is an amazing alternative to properly know the city. There are plenty of transportation companies in Madrid that tourists can use to arrive to Avila safely. In addition, buses in Avila are the most convenient way of transportation because foreigners can visit nearby locations that are impossible to reach by walking or flying. These transportation companies provide an excellent service from Monday to Friday.

Getting to Avila By Train

There are 20 trains that travel from Madrid to the RENFA station in Avila each hour. The train journey takes approximately two hours and it�s pretty affordable. Visitors can see all the magnificent landscapes along the way. There are other connections between Salamanca, Santander, Bilbao and Malaga.

Getting to Avila By Car

Another interesting way to travel to Avila is by bus. Foreign people usually rent a car in Madrid in order to visit the nearby sites located around the country. Renting a car and visiting Avila from Madrid is really simple. They only have to take the N-V1 main road and then the M-505 via el Escorial.

Avila Attractions

Ávila possesses plenty of landmarks and tourist attractions around its territory. There are plenty of well-preserved monuments, big cathedrals, spectacular buildings, and amazing churches with fine architecture design that represent a live cultural legacy. In fact, the city has many cultural influences.

Visitors can find a large number of interesting sights and the attractions in Avila such as the city walls, the Deane’s Palace, the Davila´s Palace, the neighboring Los cuatro postes, the principal Cathedral, The Basilica de San Vicente and the Real Monasterio de Santo Tomas. In addition, the guide tours of the city center and surroundings are available only on weekends.

The city walls are one of the most representative constructions in Avila because they were built during the 11th and 12th century in order to surround the city and protect the citizens from the Moors. The walls possess nine gates and two towers. However, there are two principal gateways located in the east side of the town: The St. Vincent’s Gate (La puerta de san Vicente) and the Alcázar Gate (Puerta del Alcázar).

Also known as Las Murallas, this spectacular construction has 40 feet height, 2 km/ 1.5 miles of length and 88 cylindrical towers. Tourists are able to walk atop the city walls. The construction opens at 11: 00 to 14: 30 and 16: 00 to 18:30 from April to September. Another interesting tourist attraction in the city is the stunning gothic and Romanesque cathedral of Saint Salvador. The cathedral is an amazing building with three aisles respectively and was built between the 12th and 14th century.

The cathedral of Saint Salvador possesses interesting and important elements such as the cathedral museum that has sculptures and liturgical items, and it is considered as the principal sculpture even though it is not in a good condition due to air pollution. However, it’s being restored nowadays. Another part of the cathedral is the Monstrance which is inside the Museum cathedral and it’s where visitors can find a beautiful silver monstrance by Juan de Arfe. You can also find the Sacristy – A marvelous and fine room- and the Apostles doorway.

The Deane’s Palace is another interesting landmark in Avila. It was built in the 16th century and it’s considered one of the most important buildings in the city. The Deane’s palace is now the provincial museum where visitors can see plenty of archeological items. There are three sections in the museum where the archeological pieces are exhibited.

The first section contains traditional art that represents the ancient rural culture, the second one show us a large number of pieces and things that are related to the 19th century and in the most important room, the third one, tourists can find mosaics, monumental inscriptions and animal figures from part of middles ages and the Modern Age. In addition, Avila has other museums throughout the city including the following:

Museo Catedralicio de Avila

This museum is one of the most beautiful buildings in Avila because it has a gothic style. The museum is located exactly between Salas del Tesoro, Capilla del Cardenal and Salas de los Cantorales in the cathedral’s main square. Tourists can find many works and master pieces made by important artists such as Pedro de Mena, Juan Carrion, Juan de Arfe and Fernando Gallego.

The Bee Museum

In this interesting museum, people can watch important aspects about the bees’ life cycles, such as their reproduction, feeding and alimentation. In addition, visitors can eat honey and other sweet products. The museum is located in Del Coladillo Street.

Museo de Arte Oriental de Avila

There is a singular museum located in summer palace of Isabel the Catholic. We are talking about the Oriental Art Museum of Avila (Museo de Arte Oriental de Avila). This Museum possesses ethnographic and religious items from China, Japan and Vietnam.

Saint Theresa Museum

Located in the convent of Carmelitas in Santa Ana Square, this museum is highly appreciated by many catholic Christians around the area. Initially this place was a church and then it became a crypt. However, it was opened in 1999 as a museum. The museum has two important areas. The first one is below the church and the second one is located below the convent and the cloister.

Eating in Avila

Spanish food is truly exquisite. There are a large number of delicious dishes, wonderful deserts and amazing beverages in the country. As an example we can mention the Spanish meatballs, Spanish rice with clams and vegetables, Chickpeas with sausage and Paella.

However, as any other city with several traditions and cultural influences, Avila possesses an interesting cuisine with great flavors and good combinations. In fact, the Avila gastronomy has its origin in meats, lots of vegetables, local products and culinary influences of Christian, Hebrew and Muslim people.

The combination of these ingredients, flavors and influences made a rich and huge variety of special dishes that foreigners can eat throughout the year. Here is a list of the most representative dishes in Avila.

  • Tapas.
  • Yemas de Santa Teresa.
  • Chuletón de Avileno.
  • Judias del Barco de Avila.
  • Spanish sausage casserole.
  • Cabbage al ajoarriero.
  • Patatas revolconas.
  • Roast suckling pig.

There are several touristic restaurants such as Doña Guiomar, El Almacen, El Fogon de Santa Teresa and Alcaravea where tourists can eat the most delicious dishes of Avila. All the most exclusive restaurants are located in the city center next to the hotels. However, visitors can enjoy some exquisite Avila seafood in the seaside.

There are also a large number of Tapas Bars around the province where people can drink beer, talk and eat delicious snacks called tapas. The meal was created in the 18th century and the principal ingredients include mushrooms, cold potato omelette, cheeses, olives and meatballs.

Also knows as a tascas, the Tapas Bars are the favorite place for the majority of Spanish people because they can enjoy a large variety of tastes and socialize with friends at the same time. The bars are busy all the time; so, as an advice, visitors should go early if they want to find free tables.

There are many restaurants and “Tapas” in Avila where you’ll eat lots of delicious dishes and deserts. Some restaurants are listed below:

Restaurant Las Leales
Address: Plaza de Italia 4 , 05080 Avila
Phone: 920211329
Posada del la Fruta
Address: 84 Plaza de Pedro Davila 8, 05080 Avila
Phone: 920220984
Restaurante Doña Guiomar
Cuisine: Regional (castellana-leonesa)
Address: Calle de Tomas Luis de VIctoria 3 , 05080 Avila
Prices: Main courses 20€ – 40€
Phone: 920253709
Cuisine: Regional (castellana-leonesa)
Address: Plaza de la Catedral no. 15
Prices: Cheaper than El Almacen and for the younger crowd.
Phone: 920 22 66 00
Las Cancelas
Cuisine: Castilian
Hours: Daily 1:30-4pm and 8:30-10:30pm
Address: Cruz Viejo 6, 05080 Avila
Phone: 920212249
Prices: Main courses 11€-18€ ($13-$21)
El Molino de la Lasa
Cuisine: Segovian
Hours: Tues-Sun 1:30-4:30pm and 9-11:30pm
Address: Bajada de la Losa 12, 05080 Avila
Prices: Main courses 19€-20€ ($22-$23)
Phone: 920211101
Hostería de Bracamonte
Cuisine: Spanish, Castilian
Hours: Wed-Mon 11:30-4pm and 9-11:30pm
Address: Bracamonte 6, 05080 Avila
Phone: 920251280
Prices: Main courses 7€-16€ ($8.05-$18)
El Almacen
Cuisine Creative cuisine
Address: Salamanca Road no. 6
Phone: 920 25 44 55

Explore Avila

Avila World Heritage Site

In Spain, there are three interesting destinations near Madrid; we are talking about Toledo, San Lorenzo del Escorial and Avila de los Caballeros. Avila is one of the most important provinces in Spain. There is an amazing landscape in the south of the province called the Sierra de Gredos that form a beautiful scene. In addition, tourists can find rivers, foothills and small mountains.

Avila is the perfect place to make a short break; there are plenty of buildings with an ancient architecture; Renaissance palaces and Romanesque churches. Avila is very famous around Spain for its spectacular city walls surrounding the entire town and for being home to Saint Teresa of Jesus (Santa Teresa de Jesus). Saint Theresa was a devoted catholic woman who wrote many books dedicated to Jesus. Avila was also considered as world heritage by the UNESCO.

The Cathedral

The cathedral of Avila also known as the Cathedral of Saint Salvador is a master piece combination of two different styles. It is one of the most representative buildings in Avila after the city walls.

As we know, the cathedral of Avila is a good example of the Roman influence in Spain because the design has a predominant Romanesque style. This building possesses many interesting elements such as a cloister, towers, vaults and flying buttresses.

It was constructed in 1095 and was dedicated to San Salvador. During the 12th and 14th centuries the cathedral was remodeled and changed drastically into a gothic style. The changes are really visible in the interior of the cathedral. Tourists can see the contrast clearly, there is a combination between a Romanesque and a Gothic architectonic style. The red stone represent Roman architecture, while the white stone refers to the Gothic style.

There is also an important museum situated next to the cathedral; it has interesting artifacts and beautiful religious items. Pedro de Mena, El Greco and Fernando Gallego are the responsible for all the artwork that visitors can find in this museum.

Basilica de San Vicente

The Basilica de San Vicente is another building that has a Romanesque architectonic style. It was constructed during the 12th century approximately and it is considered one of the main important churches after the cathedral. According to the legend, the church stands on the exactly place where Saint Vincent was martyred by the Romans.

The Basilica de San Vicente possesses three apses and three naves. In addition, visitors can see beautiful paintings with artistic motifs such as plants, animals, fantastic creatures and human figures around the church.

Convento de San José

This convent was built in 1562 thanks to the support of Saint Teresa of Avila. Although the convent is not inside the fortified city, visitors can easily find the building because is not far from the center of the city. The church has a lot of personal items of San José. In 1968 it was declared as an important monument of the country. Nowadays, the convent is a popular museum called Therese Museum of Discalced Carmelites. In the interior of the convent visitors can only see one nave.

Convento de la Encarnación

The Convent of the Incarnation is also outside of the city walls; however, it is really easy to find. This building is pretty important for local people because Saint Teresa of Jesus spend the majority of her life in this place. The saint had many divine mystical experiences while living in the convent.

This construction was built during the 16th century approximately. The Convent of the Incarnation was one of the most famous buildings in Avila in that time. Saint Teresa de Jesus received some important advices from Juan de la Cruz, Francisco de Borja and Pedro de Alcántara.

Los Cuatro Postes (The Four Posts)

The Four Posts is an important landmark in Avila. It consists of a cross surrounded by fours post basically. This monument is situated outside the city center, 15 minutes approximately. Visitors can enjoy one of the most spectacular views once they arrive to the place.

Convento de Santa Teresa

A large number of catholic pilgrims gather together in this convent every year. The convent was built during the 17th century. Visitors can find a small museum called the Sala de Reliquias containing personal items of Saint Theresa of Jesus such as her rosary, her sandals and a cord. In addition, there is a well-preserved small garden where the saint played when she was a child.

Church of San Pedro

This church is one of the oldest constructions found around the city. It was built during the 12th and 13th century. The Romanesque style was also applied. There are three naves and a singular Cistercian rose window. In addition, there is a triple apse and the interior of the church is full of beautiful paintings.

Maps of Avila

Avila is a city located in the autonomous community of “Castilla y León.” Its total area is 231.9 km2 (89.5 sq mi).

The city borders are: Cardeñosa, Mingorría, San Esteban de los Patos, Tolbaños, Berrocalejo of Aragona, Mediana de Voltoya and Ojos-Albos on the north, Santa María del Cubillo on the east, Navalperal of Pinares and El Herradón of Pinares on southeast, Tornadizos de Ávila on the south, Gemuño on the southwest, The Fresno,La Colilla, Martiherrero and Marlín on the west and Bularros and Monsalupe on the northwest.

The city is 1131 meters (3665 feet) above sea level, the highest provincial capital in Spain. It is built on the flat summit of a rocky hill, which rises abruptly in the midst of a veritable wilderness: a brown, arid, treeless table-land, strewn with immense grey boulders, and shut in by lofty mountains. This results in an extreme climate, with very hard and long winters, and short summers.

Avila Weather

As any other Spanish city located above the sea level, Avila possesses a nice continental Mediterranean weather, characterized for its intense winter and a fresh summer with 22°C minimum and 32°C maximum. The average annual rainfall is about 620 mm annually. People usually visit Avila in June or September because the weather is enjoyable around these months.

Weather in Avila

Avila Photos

Avila is an amazing place to visit because the city possesses interesting characteristics such as its exquisite food, its exceptional Mediterranean weather, its friendly local people, its wonderful landmarks and its spectacular buildings. In addition, the region has the most beautiful landscapes and great sceneries in the entire Mediterranean area. This city is a cultural place with a large number of festivals where local people gather together in public spaces to celebrate until the next day.

Avila is a medieval city with a fruitful historical background. In other words, the city of Avila where the art, gastronomy, celebration, culture, customs, nature and mysticism join together in order to show the majesty of the region. There are a lot of restaurants and bars that offer the traditional Spanish snacks called Tapas. In fact, it is a traditional custom go to these restaurants to eat Tapas and drink beer.

This site has a large number of Avila photos about the principal features of the city such as monuments, churches, typical houses, landscapes, cathedrals and much more.