Day trip to Salamanca and Avila from Madrid
Discover, on this day trip to Salamanca and Avila from Madrid, two historic cities declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
We will begin our tour by travelling the 175 km that separate Salamanca from Madrid, a distance that we will cover in approximately 2.5 hours, and that we will take advantage of in order to inform you of the history of the city.
Guided tour to Salamanca
Once arriving in Salamanca, we will see the few Roman traces that are still in the city: the Roman bridge and the “verraco”, stone boar near the bridge.
Almost all of the buildings that we will see during our tour through the old city of Salamanca are from the 15th and 16th centuries, corresponding to the city’s period of maximum splendour.
We will see the palaces of the old nobles, like Casa de las Conchas, the old residence of the Maldonado family, and the Palace of the Salina, the old residence of the Fonseca family.
We will get to know some places highlighted by the famous University of Salamanca, founded in 1218 by King Alfonso IX of Leon. We will contemplate the plateresque façade of the University from the Patio de las Escuelas, and we will visit the Claustro de las Escuelas Menores (Cloister of the Lesser Schools), a building where lower courses were given to the high school students.
We will also admire the two spectacular buildings linked to the two most important religious orders in the city: the Clerecía, old seat of the Jesuits and now the Pontifical University of Salamanca, and the Convent of San Esteban, seat of the Dominicans.
We will pass through its spectacular Plaza Mayor (Main Square), from the 18th century and in the Baroque style, where the Town Hall is located and much of the city’s social life is concentrated. Without doubt, it is one of Spain’s most beautiful squares.
We will visit its impressive Cathedral complex, formed by two cathedrals. The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, known as the New Cathedral, was built between the 16th and 18th centuries, mixing the late Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. The Old Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Mary of the Sede, was built in the Romantic style during the 12th and 13th centuries.
Inside the cathedrals, you will discover true jewels of art in its numerous chapels, the choir stalls, the organs or the high altars.
Upon finishing the visit to the cathedral, you will have free time in order to eat or to get to know the places that seemed most interesting to you. Take the opportunity, if you wish, to climb the bell tower and enjoy some magnificent views of the city.
Once we finish our excursion to Salamanca, we will head toward Avila. In barely an hour we will have travelled the 100 km that separates these cities.
Guided visit to Avila
In this city almost all of the buildings that we will see are from the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries, since its most glorious period took place in the time before the end of the reconquest (conquest of the areas invaded by the caliphate Muslims by the Christian monarchs in the Iberian Peninsula).
Our first point of contact with Avila is from the Mirador de los Cuatro Postes (Four Posts Lookout), from which we will have a magnificent perspective of the city and its walls.
Once in Avila, we will head toward this 2.5 km walled chain, with 9 access gates and a height of 12 metres and a thickness of up to 3 metres that surrounds the city.
Before entering the city, we will see two of the Roman churches near the wall: the Basilica of San Vincente and the Church of San Pedro.
Once inside the city, we will visit the Cathedral of Cristo Salvador. This temple, built in the Romantic and Gothic styles, also served as a fort since its apse forms part of the wall.
During our visit inside, which is included in the price, we will find numerous examples of art, including the outstanding choir stall and the altarpiece of its high altar.
Upon finishing the visit to the cathedral, you will have free time in order to get to know the places that most interest you within the city.
Take the opportunity to get to know the palaces of the old nobles of the city, like the Palace of the Dávila, the Palace of the Bracomonte , the Palace of Nuñez Vela or the House of the Velada.
You can also discover the Plaza Mayor (Main Square) or visit some places related to the life of the most illustrious person from the city, Saint Teresa de Avila. Among those places, the Church of Santa Teresa de Jesus stands out. It was built over the family home where the Saint lived during her childhood.
Around five in the afternoon, we will finish our guided visit to Avila and Salamanca and will head back to Madrid with the hope that you have enjoyed a magnificent day full of history, architecture and art in these two Castilian cities.