I still remember my first impression of Segovia—a stark brown landscape opening up to matching brown structures. The gentle slopes, some of which had stunned plants, seemed to be the only source that brought life to this otherwise arid land. This view changed drastically as I entered the heart of the town. Lined with ancient architectural sights, it was a different Spain.

Approximately 92 kilometres from Spain’s capital, Madrid, Segovia is a small but significant place. The Old Town and the Aqueduct are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and attract travellers to the town with their historic charm. Apart from the Aqueduct, Segovia has quite a few sights rich in history and heritage.

Giant heads at Segovia Festival.
Giant heads at Segovia Festival.

When you’re visiting this quaint city, experience it with your senses of smell, taste, and sight.

Admire the Aqueduct

The Roman Aqueduct is a concrete waterway that dates back to 2,000 years. It stretches over 15 kilometres from its source in the mountains and was used to supply water to the dry valley. This is often sited as the best work of Roman engineering. The duct surfaces in this part of Segovia after running many layers deep into Spain’s earth. It is held by two tiers of independent arches (ie completely held by stones, without any use of concrete).

Roman Aqueduct in Segovia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Roman Aqueduct in Segovia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Walk on Carretera Granja towards the Aqueduct to witness it rise gradually. Be prepared for its impressive stance as it grows to its full height of 90-feet.

 Visit the Segovia Cathedral

Segovia is made of gentle hills and atop one such hill is the beautiful Cathedral. Adorned by Gothic work, its construction began in 1525. The main altarpiece is made of marble and bronze.

Segovia Cathedral is the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain.
Segovia Cathedral is the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain.

Walk into the Cathedral and gasp at the sheer height of the Gothic arches and the windows. The Cathedral stands at the highest point of Segovia, just like a Banyan tree with its branches all stretched.The exit door from here will lead to Plaza Mayor, where there are many cafes and souvenir shops.

Peek into Royalty at the Alcazar

A short walk from the Cathedral, the Segovia Alcazar is one of the most impressive castles in Spain. Perched on the edge of a rock, it is shaped like a ship and it is this aspect that contributes to its distinct features.

The altar of Segovia Cathedral.
The altar of Segovia Cathedral.

The Alcazar has been used for many purposes since its construction. Built as a fortress, it now serves as a museum and is open to visitors. The interiors are as characteristically attractive as the exteriors. Amongst all the royal halls and rooms, the Throne Room is the most distinct.

Eat At San Antonio el Real

Originally a monastery, San Antonio el Real is now a hotel on Calle San Antonio el Real. Replicating the architecture in Segovia, the hotel is built by the trademark brown stones and has orange tiled roofs. It features a restaurant, Restaurante Claustro, and a bar.

Dine at San Antonio el Real in Segovia.
Dine at San Antonio el Real in Segovia.

With a brilliant dining experience and an extensive wine list, try anything authentic from the menu here. From roast suckling pig Segovia traditional style to squid with the Carracillo, this restaurant specialises in Spanish preparations. Ponche Segoviano is a local dessert which is done exceptionally well by the kitchen here.

—AMRITA DAS