The Telegraph recently published their 2018 travel destination list of Europe’s best-kept secrets to visit. Segovia, Spain was one of the places featured on this list, and so, we decided to find out for ourselves what makes this city so special.
This sleepy Castilian town dates back to the 2nd Century when the Romans made it a major outpost and built a towering aqueduct that still stands today. Segovia is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and has the highest concentration of Romanesque churches in Europe. Even more enticing, are the strange connections this city has to Christopher Columbus and Cinderella.
Stay in an old Convento
We suggest staying right in the heart of this beautiful little city and our pick is the Convento Capuchinos. A large 400-year-old estate right in the centre of the historical quarter, this hotel started life as a convent. Now considered one of Castilla’s most unique 5 –star hotels it is more about luxury than the austerity of its religious past. The rooms are elegant and spacious, and the service is impeccable.
Visit the Cinderella Castle with links to Christopher Columbus.
The Alcázar de Segovia stands in the centre of the city and is a royal palace built sometime around the 11th century. It was from this castle that Queen Isabel agreed to fully fund Christopher Columbus’ exploration of the New World. The castle is also renowned for being Walt Disney’s inspiration for his Cinderella’s Castle. This unique fairy tale-like palace is now one of the most photographed castles in the world.
Little Known Lunch Spot
When you are ready to stop for lunch, a short distance from the castle is a small hidden gem called La Almuzare. This little lunch spot is a dedicated vegetarian restaurant that offers more than 17 innovative salads along with pizza and pasta. It is a cosy and artistic spot that is perfect for lunch before heading on for more exploring. This little-known lunch place has no website, but it is open daily and you can find it at Calle Marqués del Arco 3
Get Up Close To Roman History
The Roman aqueduct slicing through the city is the main reason most people come to visit this town. An incredible feat of Roman engineering and the aqueduct travels for 894m with an impressive 160 arches. Built around 50 AD, it is a testament to the talent of Roman architects. As you walk along this extraordinary structure you will see for yourself the skill that went into building something that still stands almost 2000 years later. For the best views and photo opportunities, we suggest standing at the top of the Postigo steps next to the visitor centre.
Drinks, Tapas and Winding Down in Style
After a full day exploring the city, we suggest heading towards the Plaza Mayor where you can unwind on a terrace with the spectacular backdrop of the illuminated aqueduct. In the Plaza and streets surrounding you will have no shortage of options for trying some of the typical Segovian tapas. Be sure to also try the specialty wild mushrooms.
As the night progresses live music can be heard spilling out from the many lively bars and restaurants in the area. Calle de la Infanta Isabel is one of those Spanish streets that you’ll definitely hear before you see; locals call it ‘Calle de los Bares’ (Street of the Bars). Walking back to your hotel you can find plenty of places for a last drink of the evening as you enjoy the scenic city at night with all of its monuments lit up in lights. Magical.
Spend the morning soaring over the city
Get up early the next morning to watch the sun rise over this historic city from a unique vantage point in a hot air balloon. Flying above the aqueduct in a colourful balloon and seeing the panoramic views makes the early morning start well worth the effort. Hear about the city’s history from your pilot and have your camera ready to capture photos of the Alcázar and aqueduct as you drift slowly across the city for an hour. Return to the ground to a prepared Spanish brunch and glass of cava.
One Last Shop Before You Leave
Before driving back to Madrid, make some time to call in to the Singular Olivia store. A beautiful little shop filled with natural soaps, candles and good oils created by a self-titled ‘slightly crazy chemist’ who was sick of industrial products. All items in the store are eco –friendly and made from organic raw materials. Even the wrapping paper is recycled and coloured with natural inks. Pop in and check out their wonderful cosmetic selection or pick up a unique gift to bring back home.
After 36 hours in this beautiful city, we think you will become a fan of finding more of the world’s best-kept secrets. We certainly are!