Enchanting Avila a wonderful 1000-year-old city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The surrounding region known as the Tierra de Cantos y de Santos (Land of Songs and Saints) is associated with Spain’s great Christian mystics San Juan de la Cruz and Santa Teresa de Jesus. Avila’s main attraction is its medieval wall which measures 1 mi/2 km in circumference and completely encircles the town. The ramparts have nine gates and 88 towers many topped with stork nests. Walk along the top of the wall or stroll around the outside. Just inside one gate is the Convent of Saint Teresa with a small church built over the saint’s birthplace. Avila also has interesting narrow streets an intriguing cathedral and the Real Monasterio de Santo Tomas (the summer home of Ferdinand and Isabella). Plan an overnight stay-even if youre not staying there drop by and soak up the atmosphere of the National Parador Raimondo de Borgonia a palace-turned-hotel. 55 mi/85 km west from Madrid. As an introduction to the gastronomic delights of Avila, nothing better than allowing oneself to indulge in the custom which is so rooted in our land of going for tapas (Avila en Tapas), and thus tasting a multitude of different flavours and textures, which will bring you closer to the culinary habits of Avila.

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