Great architecture makes Segovia a must-see city on the Spanish tourist's itinerary. Visit a 2000 year old Roman aqueduct, a fairytale castle, a 14th century cathedral and more in this Spanish city 90 km north of Madrid.
A compact town of fewer than 60,000 people, Segovia's charm lies in its setting, its variety of architecture, and its people. It's two hours by scenic train, an hour and a half by bus from Madrid.
Segovia Sights: The Aqueduct
Start your tour of Segovia at the Plaza of the Aqueduct. You'll end up near here if you take either the bus or train. You won't miss this tourist favorite, probably built around the latter half of the first century by Trajan, it's near 30 feet high at its highest point and passes smack through the center of town. It's still in use as a secondary water supply for Segovia and is one of the best-preserved Roman building projects anywhere. Find more about the Aqueduct and its history here.
Also, check out our Photo Show including the Aqueduct
The Alcazar of Segovia
Thought to have been built in the late eleventh at the confluence of Segovia's two rivers Eresma and Clamores, this fairytale castle was severely damaged by fire in 1862 but was restored later, and perhaps embellished a bit. (Disney was thought to have copied it, but then he's been thought to have copied many castles in Europe.) This site was probably a fortress from at least Roman times; excavations have revealed granite blocks like the Romans used for the aqueduct in the Alcazar region.
The Alcazar is still one of the most popular castles in Spain.
It's still a great place to see and see the countryside from. The museum inside will tell you something about life in the era.
The first Cathedral in Segovia was out near the Alcazar. Bad choice if you want your cathedral to be safe from the ravages of war. The new one is in the Plaza Major, and dates from 1525, when Architect Juan Gil de Ontañon, responsible also for the Cathedral at Salamanca, started work on it. Ontañon couldn't finish in his lifetime, and the work was carried on by several men until its completion in 1615.
Getting To Segovia by Train
There are frequent trains from both stations in Madrid at a cost of around 9 Euros for a second class, one way ticket [check RENFE Site]. The trip takes about 40 minutes. This trip is shown here: Madrid to Segovia, but you can type in whatever starting point you'd like.
Getting to Segovia By Bus
The La Sepulvedana Bus company runs frequent buses to Segovia. Estación de la Sepulvedona (Bus Station). For Segovia and Avila: Paseo de la Florida, 11. Information: (91) 430 48 00. The trip takes an hour and a half.
Where to Stay
The Hotel Los Linajes has an 11th century facade and is situated within the town walls.
The Hotel Infanta Isabel is a romantic choice in Segovia. Around the same price as the above, it faces the Plaza Mayor, a great location.
The Parador de Segovia is highly recommended. It's pretty new, as paradors go, and has a great view of the city.
If you'd prefer a vacation rental, HomeAway has a few right in Segovia: Segovia vacation rentals.
What to Eat
Local specialties are lamb and suckling pig (cochinillo), trout and the huge white beans called Judiones de la Granja.
Restaurants? Just about anything offering the specialties above. The Restaurant José María near the Plaza Mayor comes recommended. The Parador is said to have good food. For the view I'd go with La Postal.
Enjoy your trip to Segovia, whether it's a day trip from Madrid or a longer stay.