Avila Tourist Information and Tourism
(Avila, Castilla y León, Spain)
Avila is Spain's highest provincial city, being approximately 1,130 metres / 3,706 feet above sea level. The city sits against the backdrop of the Sierra de Avila, on a ridge that overlooks the Río Adaja (River Adaja) and a craggy plain.
Iberian tribes established the city before it was integrated into the Celtic culture and eventually Romanised and Christianised. Avila is the celebrated birthplace of Santa Teresa de Jesús (St. Theresa of Jesus) 1515 to 1582. Santa Teresa was born Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, a noblewoman who became a nun at the Convento de la Concepción (Convent of the Conception) at the age of eighteen. Santa Teresa was revered for her writings, first published in 1588, and mystical visions.
Day-trippers to Avila should arrive early at the city and consider staying overnight, in order to do this popular Spanish destination justice. Tourism is increasingly becoming a part of Avila and there are useful tourist information kiosks located next to the Puerta de San Vicente, and outside of the railway station. However, the main tourist office resides on the Plaza de la Catedral, next to the Calle de los Reyes Catolicos and the Palacio de los Valderrabano. Those looking for fine dining and accommodation in Avila will find the best selection on the eastern side of the historic Old Town area.
Some of the top attractions here include the Avila Cathedral - which dates back to the 12th century; St. Vincent's Basilica - a Romanesque basilica, purported to be raised on the site where Vicente and his two sisters were slain in 303 AD by the Romans; the Palacio de los Deanes (the Deanes' Palace) - located on Plaza de Nalvillos, now housing the Museo Provincial (Provincial Museum) with regional archaeological finds and information about the city; and many other Spanish monuments of interest. More information about Avila tourist attractions.
Renowned for its harsh winters, Avila is also famous for its medieval Las Murallas (town walls), the best-maintained example to be found in Europe. The City Walls were built between the 11th and 12th centuries and today still surround the city. Until the fall of Toledo in 1085, to Alfonso VI, Avila frequently changed hands for 300 years between Muslims and Christians. In later centuries the city was to become a significant centre for commerce.
Transport in Avila is good. There is the RENFE train station, which is just a short walk from the cathedral, and the city's bus station (estaciòn de autobuses) is just off the Avenida de Madrid. Both provide good connections to the nearby city of Madrid
Avila is a wonderful city, full of charm and character. There are some great places to eat out, including authentic Spanish restaurants with alfresco dining accompanied by wonderful views. Avila is worth visiting at any time of the year, but is particularly pleasant in the summer, when the weather is warmer.
More Avila Information / Fast Facts and Orientation
- Country: Spain / España
- Status: city
- Population: approximately 32,000
- Location: approximately 112 km / 70 miles north-west of Madrid
- Nearest railway station: Chamartín
- By car: Take N-VI or A-6 tollway to Villacastin, then head south-west on the N-110. Alternatively, take M-505 / C-505 via El Escorial, branch off N-VI just before Las Rozas
- Language: Castilian Spanish
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Time zone: 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
- Country dialling code: +34
- Telephone area code: 91
- Religion: Roman Catholic
- Electricity: 220 volts, 50 Hz - round two-pin plugs are used
- Average daily January temperature: 9°C / 48°F
- Average daily July temperature: 31°C / 88°F
- City height above sea level: 1,130 metres / 3,706 feet