Walls of Avila, Spain, a #MustVisit

It is hard to stick to itinerary always! The initial plan was to drive straight to Segovia from Salamanca, Spain, but we made this spontaneous halt at Avila. All 3 places are listed in UNESCO World Heritage sites. Salamanca to Segovia is 171kms which would take less than 2 hours to travel. While planning I had noticed Avila just half way between the places, yet didn’t include it in the itinerary so that I could spend more time in Salamanca and Segovia.

If you have driven through AP-61 you will agree with me that Walls of Avila are visible from a distance. We could spot the tiny outline from far. The old Town and walls of Avila seemed to beckon us… of course it is a figment of my imagination! We were hungry after the walking tour of Salamanca, or that was just an excuse, we veered to Avila.

Avila walls

Walls of Avila, Spain

Avila deserves a day and here I was touring it only for a couple of hours! The first hunt was for parking. It is limited and these are divided into zones in Avila. There’s parking outside and inside the walls. The maximum stay in the metered spots is 2 hours and that suited us fine. Next, the hunt was for a good eating spot. We sat in one of the restaurants facing the walls of Avila. The unexpected halt at the place and getting the chance to see a world heritage site made me happy beyond words. I don’t remember what I ate, but I remember I ate very fast. We had to explore the old streets too.

Walls of Avila

There are two sets of walls to climb. It’s about 2 kilometers and could have been done in a 40-minute brisk walk or a leisurely 2-hour stroll. I did only a part of it. We started from the Alcazar Gate. The main thoroughfare from outside the city is through this gate. Inside the fortified Spanish town looked warm and charming. We walked around for some time. While exiting we drove through the narrow streets. The walls of Avila are huge and everywhere we drove around this small city, we felt bounded and protected by these walls. The grand structure reminded me of Kumbalgarh Fort of Rajasthan.

Centuries back, in the 11th century to be precise, these walls were made to hold foreign invasions. It still remains intact. This impressive defense construction has a perimeter of 2516 m, 87 turrets and 9 gates. The walls have an average height of 12 meters. Portions here and there have been repaired and restored. These walls are the main reason why Avila got included in UNESCO World heritage list in 1985. Views of the landscape and villages surrounding the historic town from the wall are mesmerizing.

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