Segovia, a charming city located in the province of Castilla y León, at the base of the Guadarrama mountains. As it happens with the previously mentioned cities, Segovia is also a city of great artistic and historical heritage.
If you are lucky enough to rent a car from Madrid, we recommend visiting the "Castillo de Manzares el Real" (Castle of Manzanares el Real), also known as "Castillo de los Mendoza" (Castle of the Mendoza). The palace-fortress erected in the XV Century on a Romanesque-Mudejar hermitage and is one of the better preserved castles of the region. It was originally built as a residential palace for the House of Mendoza, right next an ancient fortress which was later abandoned.
After this, you may want to continue your route through the "Puerto de Navacerrada" (Port of Navacerrada) and take a refreshing stop by the pools of "Boca del Asno" (Donkey's Mouth). A mesmerizing location surrounded by all the nature brought to life by the Eresma river, a perfect place for a picnic.
As a final stop before Segovia, the "Palacio de la Granja" is a must for any visitor. Its beautiful architecture, ringed by its Versailles-inspired gardens, shape nothing but a incredible view. "La Granja de San Ildefonso" was the residence of the Spanish Monarchy until the nineteenth century.
We cannot forget the impressive engineering wonder that characterizes the historic quarter of the city, which is the Roman aqueduct, established in the era of Emperor Trajano (which is involved in several legends). This monument, together with the center of the city was recognized "World Heritage Site" in 1985.
Other highlights of the city are the cathedral of "Santa María de Segovia" in a late Gothic style, outdated elsewhere in Europe, la "Casa de los Picos", the "Alcázar of Segovia"(one of the most distinctive castle-palaces in Spain by virtue of its shape – like the bow of a ship), noble palaces, churches, monasteries… and an infinite number of places to know and visit.
Something you must not forget during your visit to Segovia is giving the exquisite Segovian "cochinillo" (roast suckling pig) a try. Famous for its spectacular preparation, the meat is cut and served using a ceramic plate, constituting a tradition of this Spanish area. The most famous and traditional restaurant is "Mesón de Cándido", right in front of the Aqueduct.
Around the city you will be able to find wonderful villages that are definitely worth seeing if you go to spend the whole day. Prior to returning to Madrid, we recommend to make one last stop and enjoy the sunset having a gin&tonic at the "Parador de Segovia". The spectacular views of the Segovian skyline and lightning will delight your senses.
Segovia is definitely a wonderful place not to be missed in your checklist around Spain.
By Elisa MP
Photos by Set a foot