Toledo is a multicultural city with clear influences from Catholicism, Judaism and Moorish in its architecture. As a result the city has numerous different religious buildings. If you wish to explore these, you should get a pass for €8 which will give you access to 6 of these sites. We’d definitely recommend a visit to the cathedral. It can almost be seen as an art museum as it houses some stunning paintings from the baroque era.
Rumour has it Toledo is the birthplace of Marzipan. It started being made by nuns in 1150. Though many shops around Toledo sell marzipan, authentic marzipan still made by nuns can be purchased from the local convents. One convent that makes particularly good marzipan can be found at Monasterio de San Clemente.
Better yet, the city is only a half hour train ride away from central Madrid. A return ticket costs around €22.
Avila is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was originally a military outpost. As a result, the city is most well for its impressive 12th Century walls that encompass the city. Avila has been in existence since the Roman period but the walls that you see today are medieval. These walls have been extremely well preserved and span for 68 miles. The wall is dotted with 88 magnificent look out towers. If you want to admire the city from a birds eye view, for a few euros you can explore the tops of the wall.
Once inside the walls, stroll through the old town streets and admire the charming nature of its architecture. The city’s cathedral is even built into the surrounding walls. The cathedral itself has shape shifted over the years. It holds influences from the Roman through to the Gothic periods in its architecture.
Avila, much like Toledo, is also well known for its sweet treats. Yemas are small round sweets made out of egg yolk, lemon and cinnamon. These sweets can be found all over Spain but Avila is the place for buying the authentic goods.
To get to Avila you can catch the train for €23 for a return. You could also get the but which is €16 but the system is a little harder to navigate.
Segovia is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main attraction of this Roman city is its imposing aqueduct. It is thought to have been built in the 1st Century during by the Romans and it stands over 30 meters high. The structure itself is made entirely out of stone, there is no concrete holding it together.
The city’s Alcazar castle is another spectacular sight to see. Many say that it was a great influence on the castle depicted in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Not in the Guidebooks can certainly see why it would it is such an impressionable masterpiece.
If you are feeling adventurous then take the short walk outside of the city to Vera Cruz. This is the location of the fairy tale 12 sided church. The church was built in the 13th Century by the Knights Templar.
In terms of Segovia’s special cuisine, they are very well-known for roasted sucking pig. The cathedral even has a statue of a pig outside of it.
Transport to Segovia is straight forward. A high speed train from €20 return will take you from Madrid to Segovia’s centre.