After spending a few days getting lost in the overwhelming streets of Madrid, an escape from the city life was just what we needed. Since my brother had been living in Spain for the past year, he was familiar with the small towns throughout the country that didn’t get nearly enough attention. Which, ultimately, is for the best. Once you step off the train into a charming village straight from the movie Frozen, you walk into an entirely different world. Rather than filled with tourists, it’s filled with delicious cuisine from the land and local people who are eager to share their home’s story. While every town in Spain has a rich history to offer, Segovia is on a whole other playing field. Less than an hour and half train ride from the capital, it’s easy to spend a full day here.
Full of ancient history, which origin dates back to Celtiberian tribes, the first thing you’ll notice when entering the city is the enormous aqueduct along with the snow-capped mountains surrounding the area.
Aqueduct of Segovia
The 118 arches make up this towering Roman Aqueduct that welcomes you into the town’s borders. It is the most identifiable characteristic of the city and is the gorgeous backdrop for photos. There’s a steep walk up the right side of it when entering under the structure that allows for panoramic view of Segovia.
As you make your way through the cobblestone alley ways, you’ll pass through numerous intersections. The largest being Plaza Major. Most Spanish cities have open areas between the buildings that function as parks where street performers gather and people sit outside quaint cafes and restaurants. Plaza Major is no different. Find a bakery for a morning snack and take in the mountainous air before your next to do.
Off the Plaza Major you’ll immediately take notice of the ornate Gothic cathedral along with a museum along one side. Lined with 1300s stained glass in addition to an art-filled chapel is worth touring both inside and out. It’s unique shape is a striking contrast to the tiny townhouses bumping up against each other. This Cathedral is massive, and can be seen from a distance poking above the Segovia skyline.
Alcázar of Segovia
While the Alcázar of Segovia is one of the furthest points from the aqueduct, it is worth the trek through the city streets to reach this site. Resembling a fairy-tale castle (Frozen, tell ya), it’s a restored 12th century romantic medieval fortress including ornate decorated rooms and armory museum after a fire in its history. What began as a Roman fort later became the residences of multiple monarchs and then a military college. Remnants of each of it’s uses can be seen throughout the tour.
Gastronomic Museum Segovia
As we wandered back through the city streets we opted to make one final stop at The Gastronomic Museum of Segovia. What could be more appetizing than a whole building dedicated to the practice of cooking or eating good food? This museum in the heart of Segovia that offers visitors and insights into the gastronomic richness of the city and the province with an exhibition of the tools used for the elaboration of their products. Although the tour started with an odd, lengthy video, we opted to cut that part short and instead wanders the exhibits in various rooms. The museum was well done and leaves you wanted to taste the goodies in the town.
The numerous restaurants in the city will make it difficult to choose where to start. Many people opt for the dish Segovia is known for, cochinillo asado or Segovia’s roast suckling Pig…which is served exactly as it sounds. As a vegetarian, I opted for a more veggie based dish. But the men in the group did not shy away from this favorite. (Feel free to google image this dish as I could not stomach posting a photo of it here). Once you’ve had your fill of a meal of your choosing, plenty of bakeries are sprinkled through the walkaways and offer a sweet note to end your day on.
Whether you love the city life or feel the need to escape outside capital borders, Segovia is perfect for the history buff, or simply the person who needs a breath of fresh air. Seemingly untouched by modern hands, there is so much history to absorb within the city walls.
Have you ever been to Segovia? To like to stick to big cities when you travel or do you enjoy escaping to smaller towns?