Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Medieval Charm in Ávila


Spain just makes you feel a certain way. There's something particularly magical about the small towns that transport you back in time to a different era. In the quaint village of Ávila in Castilla y León, this sense of old world enchantment still holds strong.


Just an hour and a half outside of Madrid, this charming UNESCO World Heritage Site is most famous for its ancient medieval walls surrounding the town, also known as La Muralla de Ávila. From atop these walls you can admire spectacular views of the colorful town below, as well as the rolling hills of the Spanish countryside in the distance. 

Though the sights to see are limited, the old-fashioned squares and quiet alleys nestled within the fairytale-esque walls are perfect for wandering aimlessly. With nuns ambling down the street and abuelos  leisurely chatting in picturesque plazas, Ávila brings small town charm to a whole new level.


Since Ávila is well known for their beef, one of their most popular traditional dishes includes chuletón de Ávila - otherwise known as juicy T-bone steak. Strolling through Ávila you will also find many shops selling yemas de Santa Teresa, the town's famed dessert comprised of egg yolk, syrup and lemon juice. Just the right combination of savory and sweet, these treats were perfect to snack on as we explored the deserted streets during siesta  time.

La Muralla de Ávila

My Ávila Picks:
Favorite Restaurant: Soul Kitchen
Best Views: From atop the Muralla
Can't Miss Sights: The Muralla, the cathedral and Plaza de la Victoria
Must-Try Dishes: Chuletón and yemas
Best Thing to Do: Wander aimlessly!

50 comments:

  1. Avila definitely looks like it was worth a day trip! I can just feel the warmth radiating from these photos, especially the first one and all of the Spanish tile roofs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That looks so nice. I can't believe how green the grass is! Little historic towns like this are wonderful, because you can really soak up the atmosphere and get to know them well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Incredible photos!! I love finding great little towns outside of the major cities....gives you a real taste of the culture!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! This looks like such a charming place :) I love how you've captured all the detail in the buildings. Happy Travel Tuesday!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Absolutely stunning! There's something special about small towns here in Spain, it's always a pleasure for me to visit them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What are the chances that we both post about Avila on the same day?!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mmm that steak looks so delicious! What a gorgeous town :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ahh thanks so much for featuring me! That means a lot! Guanajuato was a great time and turned out to be just as beautiful as it looked when I stalked it on the Internet. Courtney, your pics are amazing per usual. That steak looks phenomenal and about as big as my head.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love this post! Your pictures are always so, so pretty. I was just in Ávila a few weeks ago too, but didn't get quite as lucky with the weather.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You're so right! The warm colors definitely made it stand out amongst the other Spanish small towns I've been to.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Exactly! I love it when there's not much to do but wander and explore :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks Jamie! I completely agree - it's pretty easy to miss out on the culture if there's too many sights or monuments to see! Which is why day trips to small towns are so great :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great bloggers/Spain lovers think alike!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks Marcella! Happy Travel Tuesday to you as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Agreed! Each one is so magical in their own way! Do you have a favorite?

    ReplyDelete
  16. The steak was SO good! And I felt like I didn't need to eat meat for WEEKS afterwards, haha

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow, those medieval walls are gorgeous! Lovely photos and definitely makes me want to visit Spain!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank YOU for sharing such a stunning post! I'm serious... your pictures belong in the Pinterest hall of fame :) (if that even exists.) And the steak basically was the size of my head, so thankfully I had a friend so share it with! Otherwise I would have needed to be rolled back to Madrid, lol

    ReplyDelete
  19. Gracias Jessica! I'm sorry the weather wasn't so great for you. I probably wouldn't have enjoyed the town as much if it hadn't been for the sun!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. The walls were definitely my favorite part - they made me feel as if I were a princess inside a castle (or something cool and medieval like that). I had truly never seen anything like that before!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hands down, Laguardia. I get excited every time I go there, it's just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I hope you get to go! The town is virtually within stone fortress. Coming from Canada and seeing that on my first trip to Spain was awesome. I couldn't get over how I had to enter through a gate (always open nowadays, of course) and then navigate the stone streets, surrounded by stone walls. And that the houses are built within those 'walls'. It has an incredible view of wine country as well.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I read both of the posts and assumed you had went together! Fun coincidence.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh my gosh, Courtney, your photos are absolutely breathtaking! I can almost feel the warmth through the computer! I never get sick of it :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. We never made it there. Looks gorgeous! You are so right! There is something magical and charming that makes you feel a certain way! Love that!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've never been to Spain, but it looks a lot like Italy! Gorgeous photos.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you Camila!! Your comments always bring such a big smile to my face :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's an intoxicating feeling! And addicting.... It makes me want to see all of Spain immediately!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks Andrea! I haven't explored much of Italy (just Rome to be honest), but I'm dying to discover more soon and see how it compares to Spain!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hey, you and Cat both posted about Ávila today—and now I can’t wait to go more than ever! Love these beautiful shots of this old, old city. I can’t wait to explore the city walls, peek inside some churches, and eat yemas and chuletón. BTW was your steak really 18,50€ as Soul Kitchen’s menu states? Yikes! Or did you go somewhere else?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Splendid photos! Madrid looks beautiful this time of the year.

    http://itsjpei.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  32. I really should go back to Spain as an adult. My parents are there at the weekend until March and I am missing out on going to see them this year :( stupid visa!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love the architecture and medieval charm of Avila! There's so many hidden treasures in Spain! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  34. It was, and it was gigantic! So I split it with someone and so it wasn't so bad.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I just realized I said "so" three times in one sentence... oops. Note to self: never respond to blog comments before drinking coffee in the morning! I guess what I was trying to say was, it wasn't very expensive considering we split it and still didn't even finish our plate!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thanks Jessica! It really is... but a lot less so now that the cold has set in! No short sleeved dresses for me anymore, haha

    ReplyDelete
  37. Oh no! That's too bad you can't visit them while they're here! I hope you can plan a big Spain trip as an adult somewhere down the road someday :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Agreed, it's a country filled with countless hidden gems!

    ReplyDelete
  39. It sounds absolutely lovely! Especially the part about being in wine country :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. It does look like a really beautiful place. The walls and the historical feel to the buildings are quite charming. I've never had the chance to visit Spain, but there's always more days of life to do that :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. ...Oh, how I loved Ávila--I would love to go back to those Murallas!!...

    ReplyDelete
  42. I've seen medieval charm in Europe but i have to say, Spain does it uniquely! Something about the sun, probably, because there doesn't seem to be tons of that over here in Central/Eastern Europe ;). But the architecture too! So pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I´m a sucker for this kind of architecture! What a lovely place for an afternoon wander this is!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Me too! I'm sad I didn't leave enough time to walk more of the walls. I could have explored them for hours!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm hoping to make it to Spain for a conference in March, now I'm so excited to get there! It looks like a gorgeous place!

    ReplyDelete
  46. It was definitely historic and charming! Hope you get a chance to visit soon, there's so many amazing places to see here! :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'd have to agree - Spain is rather good at putting on the charm! You're right though, the sun certainly helps with that. But Prague takes charming to a whole new level too :) I'm soooo jealous you get to experience the Christmas magic over there!!!

    ReplyDelete
  48. It definitely is! You're gonna love it!

    ReplyDelete