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Overview

Perched on a hilltop, Ávila's old town is surrounded by beautifully preserved city walls – some of the finest in Europe – built when the city was recaptured from the Moors at the end of the 11th century. The walls, along with their 88 defensive towers and the medieval buildings within, made the city a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ramparts measure 1.5 miles (2.5 km), and you can walk much of their length for fantastic views over the countryside. Ávila is also famous as the home of the mystic writer and nun St. Teresa, who was born here in 1515. Key sights full of artifacts and stories of her life include the Convento de Santa Teresa, ...

Perched on a hilltop, Ávila's old town is surrounded by beautifully preserved city walls – some of the finest in Europe – built when the city was recaptured from the Moors at the end of the 11th century. The walls, along with their 88 defensive towers and the medieval buildings within, made the city a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ramparts measure 1.5 miles (2.5 km), and you can walk much of their length for fantastic views over the countryside. Ávila is also famous as the home of the mystic writer and nun St. Teresa, who was born here in 1515. Key sights full of artifacts and stories of her life include the Convento de Santa Teresa, built on the site of her birthplace; the Monasterio de la Encarnación, where she took her vows; the Convento de San José, the first monastery she founded; and the shrine of Los Cuatro Postes, which is also a splendid spot for photographs of the walled city, especially at sunset. The cathedral, town squares and Renaissance mansions make for atmospheric walks around the city.

Donna Dailey
About the Expert

Donna Dailey is the author of Thomas Cook’s Ireland driving guide, coauthor of DK’s Back Roads Ireland and several other titles, as well as the author of Thomas Cook’s HotSpots Costa Blanca and a contributor to AA Publishing’s Key Guide Spain.

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Donna Dailey for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, early summer, autumn