If there is one city that you should visit in Spain it should be Toledo.
I know, I know, there are many beautiful cities in Spain and we are not experts on the country, but our tip of the day is to go to Toledo.
We have been to many cities throughout the world and none have had quite the historical beauty as Toledo. It is our pick as the must see town in all of Spain. (so far) Around every corner a photograph is waiting to be taken.
Set in the post card perfect land of Castillo La Mancha, Toledo is a small city located just south of Madrid.
We followed our GPS’s directions to the tourist information centre in the heart of the old city and held our breath while driving through tiny alleyways and narrow streets. The centuries old city stands proudly on the top of a hill overlooking the Tajo River.
Deep in the heart of the fabled land of Don Quixote it is a town that conjures up images of fairy tales and legends.
We are traveling just before the high season in Europe and it couldn’t be more pleasant. We can imagine how busy this town will be in two weeks time but for now only a few early travelers are strolling the streets.
Few Tourists early in the season
We all enjoy a mutual laugh and understanding as we meet each other in back alleyways or open squares. All tourists (ourselves includes) have our heads buried in our maps wandering the many pathways that lead to the many monuments. Getting lost in Toledo is part of the enchantment. You never know what you will see.
The highlight building according to the guidebooks is The Catedral in the centre of town. We agree it is beautiful. But by far the most impressive building is the Monestarie de S. Juan de los Reyes. It is a magnificent church that you can see from across the river. We highly recommend checking it out at night. It can be seen from several vantage points within the city too. You will catch glimpses of its spires as you walk through the historical alleyways.
The sites are numerous in Toledo.
There is Casa Musea de El Greco which was unfortunately closed for renovation while we were there. But to think that we are in the land of El Greco is exciting. The Iglesia de Santo Tome houses the masterpiece El Entierro del Conde deo Orgaz by the artist.
You definitely need two days to enjoy this town and luckily for us there is a terrific campsite just outside of town. The El Grecco Campsite is only a few short km away with regular bus service to the city. Located on the river, it is 23 Euro a night, it is quiet, clean and it has a swimming pool and restaurant.
We drove to the parking lot at the North End of town instead of taking the bus. Located at Puerta de Alfonsa VI you can park for a reasonable price and take the Escalareas Mencanicas up to the city. Toledo is located on a high steep hill and the walk up can be intimidating, but never fear you can take these escalators right to the top and not raise your heart rate one single beat!
Besides the many historical sites and attractions, Toledo is filled with tapas bars, restaurants and the odd nightclub. It has some great shopping and souvenir shops. We kicked ourselves for waiting too long to buy a Kights of the Templar figurine. The shop closed and we missed our opportunity.
C’est la Vie
If you happen to make it to Spain Toledo is the city to see. You can catch a bus or train from Madrid and spend the day or you can spend a few days soaking up the atmosphere. There is a university located just across the river from the old city. The young hip students bring an energy to the old buildings melding the old and the new beautifully together in the 21st century.
To read more about Spain's cities check out our other blog posts