A popular day trip from Madrid, the ancient Walls of Avila are the remnants of the medieval bastion surrounding the provincial capital of Avila. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed walls are renowned as one of Europe’s finest examples of a medieval wall, impressively preserved and stretching for 2.5 km.
Dating back to 1090, the Walls of Avila took almost 600 years to complete and feature 88 towers and 6 gates along their length. Towering 12 meters high, the walls are an imposing sight and walking along the top is a popular pastime for visitors, providing expansive views over the city. Only around half of the walls circumference is walkable from the top, but exploring the city periphery from the ground is still a fascinating stroll, taking in the elaborately carved stone gateways.
Inside the walls, the hilltop city of Avila is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage site and as the birthplace of mystic Saint Teresa of Jesus has become an important pilgrimage site. The 12th-century Gothic Cathedral, the Romanesque Bascilia de San Vicente and the Convent of Saint Teresa are also key attractions, all easily to find inside the walls.