It was Valentine’s Day weekend and my husband and I decided to have a much needed break in nearby Segovia. Its only 30mins by AVE high speed train from Madrid’s Charmatin station. (www.renfe.es) According to most of the guide books, this little village in the summer probably has more tourists than locals, so we chose to go in the down season or winter. From the AVE station you can take the city bus or a 10min taxicab ride into the heart of Segoiva or Plaza Mayor. This Plaza reminds me of a lot of town squares in the states, very quaint and the place where everyone gathers on the weekends. This weekend in particular there was a carnival with all the townspeople dressed up in costumes, including their dogs. They had various music groups performing in the Gazebo, and a costume contest for the kids.
Our hotel, Las Sirenas was in a great location between Plaza Mayor and the Acueducto Romano The rooms were small yet very clean, with antique furniture. It was a good location relative to the price per night of the rooms. The rates go up considerably after June 30th. Also, make sure that if you ask for double occupancy, that you ask for a double or queen size, otherwise you will end up with two twin beds, like us.
The Acueducto Romano in Segovia is one of the most interesting attractions in Spain. These large stone arches are held together without mortar and was thought to be built around first century A.D. (see Fodor’s guide of Spain) Next to this massive Roman feat is a very famous restaurant we had dinner at called Meson de Candido. We had to try the famous cochillo or suckling pig that they cut up tableside by using the side of a plate. I also tried the cordero or lamb and it was el mejor or the best I’ve ever had. We finished the meal with a Baked Alaska that had coffee icecream in the center. I would be willing to take a daytrip a again to Segovia, just to eat here again, it was that good. They are open for lunch and dinner, but our server said that they are busier at lunch than dinner, probably because most people do a daytrip to Segovia.
The two other major attractions we saw were the Cathedral in Plaza Mayor and the Alcazar. The Cathederal was very ornate inside with gold and marble statues, and beautiful stained glass windows. They also have a museum, but it was closed when we were there on a Sunday. (Pl. Mayor opened Mon-Sat 9-6 :30, and Sun 9-2:30pm) The Alcazar is a castle from the 12th century on the northwest part of town. They offer a discounted student admission for 5 euros which includes a self guided tour and includes the steep climb up the Tower of John II. I was a little disappointed that you are only limited to the first floor with very few furniture and art pieces, but the ornate ceilings make up for this. The view from the Tower of John II is worth climbing all 150 stairs, where you are awarded views of the mountains and the entire town of Segovia.
From Madrid, you can easily make Segovia a day trip, especially if you take the AVE train. It is worthwhile, though, to stay overnight to explore the quiet streets and see the Cathedral and Aqueducto illuminated at night.
- Hotel Las Sirenas Calle Juan Bravo, 30 Segovia, Spain 921 462 663
- Meson de Candido Calle Azoguejo, 5 Segovia, Spain 921 425 911
- Alcazar Plaza de la Reina Victoria Eugenia, s/n Segovia 921 460 729