Saint Teresa of Avila Route (7nts)
SAINT TERESA OF AVILA ROUTE (RUTA POR LAS HUELLAS DE TERESA DE JESUS)
Named after Teresa de Avila (also known as Teresa de Jesus) a prominent 16th century Carmelite nun. This route takes you around some of the most important historical cities in Spain.
Suggested access airport: Madrid
7 NIGHT ITINERARY
First Night: Parador de TOLEDO
While the national capital of Spain may have moved 45 miles north to Madrid in 1561, Toledo has retained its place as the centre of Catholic Spain and is the most important city in the region of Castilla la Mancha. The cultures of Christianity, Judaism and Islam have all left their architectural footprints and although the heart of the city’s religious heritage is clearly its widely-renowned High Gothic Cathedral, visitors will also encounter an enchanting assortment of churches, mosques, synagogues and convents. In addition to its religious ties, Toledo has a strong artistic background, and is particularly well known for crafting traditional Spanish guitars. A must-see of the city is the Mueso del Greco. The city is heavily associated with El Greco, and the museum houses an extraordinary collection.
Second Night: Parador de SEGOVIA
Every corner and street of Segovia will surprise you. Its buildings speak of times long past, as remote as its aqueduct, which recalls the power of Rome. The cathedral and Alcázar, or fortress/palace, evoke a magnificent past, while churches such as San Esteban, San Justo, San Martín and San Millán transport us to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque period. Nearby must-sees include the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso (18th-century palace and gardens), and Riofrío Palace.
Third night: Parador de TORDESILLAS
We are now in the province of Valladolid, and as the river passes through the town of Peñafiel it becomes broader, its agricultural boundaries expanding. The town’s vernacular architecture shows its connection to wine, as does the enormous castle, today home to the Provincial Wine Museum (Museo Provincial del Vino). Cotarro de San Pedro, a lovely hill populated by wineries, indicates that we are approaching Pesquera de Duero, a town long linked to wine production. Valbuena de Duero, home to the prestigious Vega Sicilia winery, among others, and Santa María de Valbuena Monastery (headquarters of the Ages of Man foundation) are the highlights of the last stage of the route through the province of Valladolid. Further along this route lies the Riaza River Gorge, between the town limits of Montejo de la Vega de la Serrezuela, Maderuelo and Valdevacas de Montejo.
Fourth and Fifth Nights: Parador de SALAMANCA
Walk towards the center of the baroque 18th-century Main Square (Plaza Mayor) and open yours eyes. Allow yourself to be seduced by its beauty and harmony. This is the heart of the city. From here you can start your journey through Salamanca and discover its many monuments, including the 15th-century House of Shells (Casa de las Conchas), Old Cathedral (13th-century), New Cathedral (16th to 18th-century) and the university (16th-century).
Sixth and Seventh Nights: Parador de AVILA
Its walls shelter an incredible wealth of heritage. The Alcázar and San Vicente gates are lovely. Of special note are the fortified San Salvador Cathedral (begun in the 11th century) and its museum, Santa Teresa Convent (17th-century), the palaces of the Nuñez Vela, Almarzara, and Ochoa Aguirre families, and the Archbishop’s Palace, among others. Ávila is a city filled with history, on every street, in every square, in every corner, every moment you explore it.