(Last Updated On: January 9, 2023)

Avila Spain Image Photo Photography
Photo of Avila, Spain

On our recent trip to self-charter a canal barge on the Canal du Midi in France, we stopped for a night in the lovely old Spanish town of Avila. Avila, Spain, is located roughly halfway between Salamanca and Madrid and would make a great day trip from either of these cities.

On your approach to the walled city of Ávila, there’s a viewpoint, the Cuatro Postes which offers a fantastic view of the city, its walls and towers. Easy to find, just look for the tourist buses, but even with the crowds, it really is worth stopping here. If you aren’t driving or on a tour, it’s just a 20-minute walk from the centre of Avila.

Drone Image of Avila Spain Castle
Drone Image of Avila, Spain Castle

Avila, Spain Facts

The city of Ávila, Spain at 3,700 feet above sea level is the highest provincial capital in Spain. Avila is also one of Spain’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Avila is small enough to walk around and all of its major attractions can be found within the walls of the old city or just outside the city walls.

We enjoyed wandering the streets, admiring the architecture and hunting down the good tapas bars. When we were there, there was a cute artisan market just outside the main gate to the city with views over the Sierra Gredos Mountains.

Basilica de San Vicente in Avila Spain
Basilica de San Vicente

The main gate to the city, the Puerta del Alcázar is rather impressive and leads to Avila’s cathedral. Avila Cathedral is an interesting mix of Gothic and Romanesque style and work on the Cathedral began as early as 1099 but wasn’t finished until the 14th century.

It was initially built to serve as both a cathedral and a fortress. It also has a museum which is supposed to be quite interesting but it was getting towards dinner time, and our minds were more focused on food rather than history.

See also:

Photo Image of Avila, Spain While Walking on the City Walls
View of Avila, Spain While Walking on the City Walls

Walking on Avila’s Medieval City Walls

Before we left Avila the next morning, we took a walk along the medieval city walls. Ávila’s city walls are considered to be one of the best-preserved medieval walls in Europe, and they were pretty cool. At night, to add to the charm of the city, the walls are illuminated. The city walls were built in the 11th century by Moorish prisoners under the order of Alfonso VI after the conquest of the city in 1090.

Avila’s Medieval City Walls are open every day for visitors except Mondays and costs €5 per person. Free for children under the age of 8.

Plaza de Santa Teresa de Jesus  in Avila Spain
Plaza de Santa Teresa de Jesus

Where to eat in Avila, Spain

There are many restaurants within the city walls. Many of these restaurants seem to be catering to tourists and were a little bit pricey. The tapa bars where the locals eat were just outside the main city gate, and we wished we had eaten there.

We actually ate at the Soul Kitchen inside the city walls (if only I listened to my own advice!). The restaurant looked great, was packed, had great reviews on TripAdvisor, clean toilets but really was just a fancy burger joint. The burgers were nice, but you don’t go to Spain for burgers!

Photo of The Courtyard at Palacio de Los Velada
The Courtyard at Palacio de Los Velada

Where to stay in Avila, Spain

We stayed at the four-star Palacio de Los Velada. Lovely little hotel overlooking the Cathedral in the heart of the old city. We booked early with Agoda and it only cost €60 a night, and that was in high season, but there are hotels and guest houses in Avila, Spain to suit all budgets.

How to get to Ávila

We visited Avila as part of a road trip from Portugal to France. However, for those in Spain without their own transport, there are regular trains and buses from both Madrid and Salamanca to Ávila. The journey time is roughly one to one and a half hours.

Day tours are available to Avila from Madrid.

Photo of Avila Cathedral
Avila Cathedral

Did You Know Avila Is Known For Its Religious Festivals And Events?

Here are some of the more popular annual events:


La Semana Santa – Holy Week

An important Easter celebration with many colourful carnival parades and festivities.


The Outdoor Festival

Featuring many open-air sporting events, theatre groups, and exhibitions.


Santa Teresa Week

One of Avila’s most important and popular annual festivals in Avila. Saint Teresa is the Patron Saint of Avila. It takes place during the second week of October.

If you are planning to visit Avila during festival time, be sure to book your accommodation well in advance.

Have you witnessed any of Spain’s festivals? What was your favourite? Tell us in the comments below.

Check here for up to date information on event’s taking place in Avila.

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this website are “affiliate links”, meaning that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost. This helps me to keep my website running and continue to share my travelling knowledge with you. I thank you for using the links on my website.

Pinterest Avila Image
Pin It For Later!

Sharing is caring!