Looking for a getaway to a charming Spanish destination? Then Segovia is your town.
This small but delightful town is situated in the Castile and Leon region, and is just 97km northwest of Spain’s capital, Madrid.
Declared a World Heritage Site in 1895 by UNESCO, Segovia has been ruled by different cultural communities throughout its history; Moors, Christians and Jews coexisted in Segovia for a long period of time.
As a result, their cultural impact has been imprinted in the town’s historic monuments, including the magnificent Ancient Roman Aqueduct.
Spring, summer and autumn seasons are the best times to visit this exquisite little town, as winter brings with it freezing temperatures and often snow, resulting in closed roads and highways, which can make it difficult to get in and out of the region.
Segovia is an easy day trip from Madrid and offers a pleasant break from the hustle and bustle of a big city.
Things to do in Segovia
The Roman Aqueduct
Your first stop should be Azoguejo Plaza, right in the heart of Segovia, to see the epic Roman Aqueduct. According to UNESCO, the monument was most likely built in 50 BC, and has been notably well-preserved since.
The Aqueduct stands at a height of 28 meters above ground, and includes two impressive tiers of arches. Historically, these were used to transport water from the Guadarrama Mountain to the town’s people over a distance of 15 kilometres.
The huge granite stones, stacked thousands of years ago, still remain firmly in place, which is quite remarkable.
Discover remarkable architecture
Impressive architecture is not in short supply in Segovia, with numerous Romanesque churches, the Jewish Quarters known as La Juderia, the Gothic Cathedral (pictured, above) and the Fortress Alcazar all worth a visit.
The path from the Aqueduct through Cervantes Street opens into Plaza Mayor (Main Square) and the glorious Gothic Cathedral from the 16th century.
On your way, you will pass through many other squares, such as Plaza Juan Bravo, and incredible structural designs including the Peak House (Casa de los Picos), Saint Martin Atrium and the church and convent of Corpus Christi, among other treasures.
The Alcazar: A medieval fairy tale castle
This towering fortress, which dates back to the 12th century, sits on a rocky cliff above the convergence of two rivers. It is one of the most distinctive castles in Spain because its shape mimics the bow of a ship.
The Alcazar is said to have been Walt Disney’s inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland.
See a puppet show at Titirimundi
In spring, the streets of Segovia are transformed into a stage to welcome Titirimundi, an international puppet theatre festival which has been held annually since 1985.
Companies from all over the world present a range of performances, ranging from traditional puppets full of magic to acrobatic groups and street entertainment.
Explore the countryside
For those who like to be surrounded by nature, you can find it in Segovia.
A tree-lined boulevard called the Alameda de El Parral offers the perfect spot to walk alongside the Eresma River while admiring the monastery of Santa Maria de El Parral.
The walk ends at the Sanctuary of La Fuencisla, representing the Virgin of Segovia, which presents a stunning view of the imposing Alcazar fortress from La Fuencisla Park.
The Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso
Head out to La Granja, a township about 11km southeast from Segovia, which is well worth paying a visit.
Also known as San Ildefonso Royal Site, this village is located in the Guadarrama Mountain’s national park and has also been declared a World Heritage Site.
The exquisite Royal Palace of La Granja includes astonishing gardens full of fountains.
Over the years, this royal location has provided the perfect setting to hold events, and often plays host to congresses, conventions and weddings.
Places to eat and drink in Segovia
Authentic cuisine in Segovia includes giant broad beans from La Granja, Castilian soup (with garlic and bread) and the main specialty, roasted lamb and suckling pig which is usually served with local wines.
To complete this traditional menu, a Segovian dessert must be enjoyed – try the “ponche Segoviano”, a cake mostly made with egg yolks and decorated with icing sugar on top.
Meson Casa Vicente
Located close to the Main Plaza (Plaza Mayor), this restaurant offers traditional dishes along with a changing daily menu.
It’s also a lovely place to enjoy a glass of wine and some homemade tapas.
Meson Casa Vicente: Calle Colón, 1, 40001, Segovia.
Meson de Candido
Its excellent location near the Aqueduct gives you the chance to enjoy a view of the monument if dining upstairs.
Pictures and paintings of famous figures that have visited the restaurant adorn its walls.
In addition to the restaurant, there is also the option to stay at Candido Hotel.
Meson de Candido: Plaza Azoguejo 5, 40001, Segovia.
José María Restaurant
Located near the Main Plaza (Plaza Mayor), José María Restaurant offers not only a renowned Castilian menu but also delicious tapas.
It is famous for its roasted suckling pig, which is considered a local delicacy and is a dish that reflects the cultural-gastronomic heritage of Segovian people.
José María Restaurant: Calle Cronista Lecea, 11, 40001, Segovia.
Restaurante La Postal
In addition to offering tasty traditional meals, La Postal guarantees the best panoramic views of Segovia set against the Guadarrama Mountains. Think of it as dinner with a view.
Restaurante La Postal: Calle Sacramento, 22, 40196, Segovia.
El Huerto de San Lorenzo
El Huerto is an organic haven and offers dishes that are suitable for vegetarians.
Located near the hidden retreats of the Alameda de El Parral, it offers a view of the Alcazar in the background.
The owner of El Huerto also runs a country house which offers accommodation, and an organic farm to grow fresh vegetables used in restaurant meals.
El Huerto de San Lorenzo: Calle San Vicente el Real, 27, 40003, Segovia.
Places to stay in Segovia
Besides Candido Hotel and El Huerto’s country house, other options for accommodation include:
This charming guest house is set in the historic centre, next to Plaza Mayor and the Cathedral. Owners are quite nice and helpful.
Hostal Plaza: Cronista Lecea, 11, 40001, Segovia.
Parador de Segovia Hotel
For a top-notch stay, be sure to make a reservation at Parador de Segovia Hotel.
This luxury accommodation offers a breath-taking panoramic view of the city, as well access to the gym, heated swimming pool and seasonal swimming pool, tennis court and sauna.
The hotel restaurant also invites visitors to savour the city’s most traditional dish: roast suckling pig.
Parador de Segovia Hotel: Carreterra de Valladolid, s/n, 40003, Segovia.
How to get to Segovia from Madrid
Regular bus lines connect Madrid to Segovia with numerous daily services offered by bus company La Sepulvedana, which departs from Moncloa station.
There are several train trips available daily via high-speed train (AVE) from Madrid to Segovia (about 30 minutes) or through regular train services RENFE (about 1 hour and 30 minutes).
From the AVE station in Segovia there is a special bus service that takes you to the city centre (about 15 minutes).
If driving, the Madrid to Segovia trip is easily done by taking the A6 highway and continuing on the AP 61. Approximate travel time is 1 hour and 15 minutes.