Segovia was the final stop I did while stationed in Madrid for summer break last June. After a lovely day trip to Salamanca, I headed out in good spirits to visit Segovia, which is world-famous for its towering aqueduct in the heart of the city. With its streets and buildings steeped in regal history, Segovia was a place that I was keen on exploring, even if for just one day.
Likewise with Salamanca, I would be taking the high-speed (AVE) train over, a mere 30-minute ride west. I booked my train tickets there and back, with times that would allow me about four to five hours of visiting the city. With that said, I headed out early from my hostel to take the metro over to the Chamartín station, where I caught the 10:00 train to Segovia.
However, I ran into a snag right off the bat– what I didn’t realize was that I caught the wrong train to Segovia. Instead of it being a direct line, it required a transfer at one of the small towns, which would set me back on getting to the city as the time previous expected. I couldn’t believe that I made the mistake, but I had no choice but to alight, wait for about 15-30 minutes for the next train, and take that one to Segovia.
I ended up pulling into Segovia’s main train station about an hour later than estimated. Considering that I had less time to visit the city, I had to speed up my sightseeing by hitting the main sites and cutting a few landmarks out of my itinerary as a result. I had to make-do with only three hours in town, and I did it to the best of my physical capabilities (e.g. speed-walking).
It was around noon-time when I made it to Segovia, so despite the limited time I had in town, I was adamant about getting a proper lunch at a local restaurant I’d researched beforehand. Thankfully, I’d pulled into the main train station (as opposed to the Guiomar station, located five kilometers outside the city center), so it was about a half-hour walk to the Old Town, where the restaurant was located.
The restaurant was small, but fortunately, I’d arrived early enough that it wasn’t crowded yet (as I’d read it was a popular draw for tourists). I was seated immediately, and I ordered my food promptly. I opted for the cochinillo asado (suckling pig) and a slice of ponche segoviano (marzipan cake).
The former came with a side of hefty fries, which made for a hearty, filling meal. The suckling pig was extremely tender, moist, and with a crackling skin exterior– it was absolutely indulgent, and it was well-worth the money spent. Likewise with the ponche segoviano, with its uber-sweet marzipan layer and spongy cake underneath. The perfect lunch in town!
Once satiated, I was ready to explore as much of Segovia as possible. Even with limited time, I managed to hit the highlights of town, starting with the iglesia de la Vera Cruz. Located north of the city, this Romanesque church is rather isolated from the rest of town, but it offers some decent views of the Old Town and castle from its vantage point. The interior is rather small, but distinctive in its rounded structure– bright red-and-white crossed flags are displayed outdoors as tribute to the historic Knights of the Order of Malta.
I took a moment to admire the peace and quiet from the church before I made my way back to the Old Town, with a brief stop at the Alcázar of Segovia. Perched on top of a verdant hill, this 12th-century castle is an architectural sight to behold, with its Moorish influences and Walt Disney castle-like structure. It was a watershed location for the proclamation of Queen Isabella I during the late 15th century, following the war for succession of the Castillian throne. Sadly, I didn’t have the time to visit the interior, so I took a peek at its courtyard before moving on.
Back in the Old Town, I passed by the massive Catedral de Segovia, which I likewise opted not to enter due to time constraints. While I could imagine that it would be lovely inside, I also had visited other Spanish cathedrals during my time in the country, so I figured it would be a similar experience with Segovia’s. I ended up admiring its Gothic architecture before passing through the city’s main square and onto the famed aqueduct.
One of the most well-preserved aqueducts in Europe, the acueducto de Segovia is a lofty architectural remnant of Roman history; it appears almost to soar into the clear blue skies, and visitors can walk underneath its arches as the waterbed has long dried out. It’s also where the city comes together, from the tourism office being located just adjacent to it to the dozens of restaurants and souvenir shops for visitors to spend their time while in the city.
I was near the end of my visit after the acueducto de Segovia, as I had my train to catch to return to Madrid. Instead of leaving from Segovia’s main train station, I had to catch my ride from Guiomar. It required taking a short bus ride over, which thankfully departed near the aqueduct. The bus ride lasted no more than 20 minutes, and I soon arrived at the train station where I caught the afternoon ride back– this time, it was a direct, half-hour journey, which I was extremely grateful for, especially after the inconvenient transfer I had to make getting over in the morning.
Segovia was the last city I visited while in Madrid, and the last of my day trips in the Castile and León region of Spain. Although I wasn’t able to maximize my time as much as I’d liked due to the train issue, I’m still glad that I made the most of it while in town. It’s a gorgeous city that’s walkable, with incredibly-good food that I highly recommend anyone to try out. It was a decent end to my time in that region of Spain, before I moved on to my next destination on my holidays in the country.
More of my trips in Spain coming soon!