Segovia, like many of the medieval towns you’ll find scattered throughout the interior of Spain, is a crumbling work of art and a city that requires no plans and no guide. It is steeped in history and importance – the Celts, Romans, and Arabs have all had their time here in Segovia and the Castile and León region. What’s more, the town is shockingly beautiful and photogenic, any photo taken from any angle suddenly seems professional and magazine-cover-worthy. The castles and architecture are stunning to the point they say it’s where Walt Disney got the idea for that iconic Disney Castle image.
Set only an hour+ from Madrid, this is one of the cities you’ve just got to see if you make it to Spain and the guide books usually do the scenic town justice – heralding this city for her golden-brown colored walls, stunning snow-capped mountain vistas, and hearty plates of roast suckling pig. Getting there is a piece of cake. Grab a bus from the Principe Pio station and you’ll arrive at the city-center.
When you pull up to the town square it’s on. The day trip has begun. You first will see the impressive aqueduct, an arching bridge of sorts that has, with a little help, withstood the test of time. Back in the day this technological creation could transport water to the city from the nearby river…oh only 11 miles away! Yes this massive stone creation reeks of importance and antiquity of the Roman persuasion.
At the main square you will find the Information office. Duck in and grab a map. Take a piss. And be on your way to see the sights. This is an uncomplicated city and one which does not require extensive planning and preparation. Show up wearing shoes, ask for a map, and the rest, as they say, is history. In case the huddled masses pointing and taking pictures don’t offer enough clarification, here are the top sights (and the lunch) you should not miss.
The Cathedral (in Plaza Mayor)
Alcázar (aka the Disney Castle)
Cochinillo (Roast Suckling Pig) and Ponche Segoviano (cake)
After enjoying the sights, traipsing through the castle, and gorging yourself on the typical fare – normally a bowl of soup or white beans, then the roast suckling pig (a crispy, salty cut of pork, still juicy and tender on the inside), and for dessert, the cake which is fluffy and rich with a creamy and doughy consistency, you may be ready to head back to Madrid. And sleep on the way home. Typically you can see all the sights, enjoy a great lunch, and feel as if you’ve soaked in the Segovian life, all within 4-5 hours.
But you can also stay for the night if you so desire, as once the sun goes down, the locals and remaining tourists surely eat well and drink even better down tucked away cobblestone alleys, enjoying the “clamorous nightly soundtrack of noisy bars and great restaurants”. (Lonely Planet)
In many ways a day trip is a daydream – only realized. You close your eyes and imagine a new place, the great escape, and if you’re lucky, take off and enjoy the destination – stumbling around and snapping photos in the hopes that you’ll be able to remember how great the moment was.
Segovia is one day trip you’ll be happy to have experienced. So go and enjoy!
Getting There: Buses run regularly every 30 minutes from the Prinicipe Pio metro/bus station. Check here for schedule and fare rates.
Snapshots of Segovia, Spain
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