One Day in…Segovia

Segovia acqueduct by Expat Edna

If you like aqueducts and suckling pigs, boy do I have the day trip for you.

Segovia is a small town outside Madrid, about an hour’s drive or thirty minutes away on the fast train. It’s one of those towns so old and full of preserved historical goodness it’s been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with its famous Roman aqueduct (built around AD 50, according to the fine people at UNESCO.)

Symbol of Segovia by Expat Edna

The aqueduct is also the city symbol, as proven by this aqueduct-marked lamp in front of said aqueduct.

So what do you do with a day in Segovia? Here’s what worked for our merry band of six:

Walk

Segovia yellow by Expat EdnaStreets of Segovia by Expat EdnaAqueduct, Segovia by Expat EdnaStreets and windows of Segovia by Expat Edna

Segovia is colorful and pretty in that classic Spanish way, and small enough that you can let yourself get enjoyably lost without having to worry about suddenly ending up in the next country over. So go ahead and wander the old town a bit.

The steps around the famous aqueduct are also an easy climb, and provide a nice vantage point over the town:

View over Segovia by Expat Edna-2View over Segovia by Expat Edna-4View over Segovia by Expat Edna-3Aqueduct views, Segovia by Expat EdnaView over Segovia by Expat Edna

And when you need to nip off for a siesta, look how handy! The aqueduct suddenly becomes your nap-shade savior.

Naps under the aqueduct, Segovia by Expat EdnaAqueduct silhouette, Segovia by Expat Edna

Eat

Weighing sweets, Segovia by Expat EdnaMeson de Candido, Segovia by Expat EdnaSuckling pig presentation, Meson de Candido, Segovia by Expat Edna

Sorry vegetarians, but…we mostly came to Segovia for one reason: the suckling pig.

The Segovian piglet (or cochinillo asado) is famously delicious, and carefully regulated: they are only fed with their mother’s milk, must weigh between 4.5 and 6.5 kilos, be no older than three weeks, and sold whole with a blue label in one ear.

We made reservations at Méson de Cándido, where the food and service were great, sure — but the most memorable part of the experience was when they actually presented the pig.

It went like this:

Step 1: Elderly man with regal purple medal sash regally announces the history and cultural significance of the Segovian roast suckling pig (throwing in one English sentence with a smile our way for about every thirty Spanish ones).

Step 2: Regal man takes porcelain plate — not to serve the pig — but to our surprise, to VIOLENTLY ATTACK the roasted baby pig in half with it. (We assume this proves how impossibly tender and worthy of our lunch it is.)

Step 3: Still not finished being the master of surprise, the regal man raises the plate high above his head…

Step 4: and — flick of the wristmic-drops the plate with such panache it would put Kanye to shame.

(Step 5: Young unregal busboy immediate comes out like a Roomba on autopilot, probably sighing as he sweeps the shards of yet another broken lunch-hour porcelain plate off the floor.)

Explore

Plaza Mayor, Segovia by Expat EdnaGazebo, Plaza Mayor, Segovia by Expat Edna

Should you want to actually see things rather than just aimlessly wander, head for the Plaza Mayor — which is also a nice spot to have a post-lunch espresso and beer and people-watch.

There is also a cathedral in this plaza, which is a nice spot to send your more cultured friends to feel cultured while you enjoy your second beer.

Alcazar de Segovia castle by Expat EdnaTown of Segovia by Expat Edna View from the castle, Segovia by Expat Edna

And finally, there is the Alcázar de Segovia, a beautiful medieval castle on a cliff overlooking Segovia and the Spanish countryside (and supposedly, partly inspired the castle at Disneyland). You can climb up the towers for a fee, but I was fatigued from sun and walking and pig, so I happily gazed out into the Spanish countryside for a good long while instead before rejoining my friends for the train back to Madrid.

TIPS

  • If the fast trains sell out you can take two-hour slow trains, but the cost difference isn’t that great and the slow trains are really appropriately named (it takes twice as long as driving would!) — so try to pick up fast train tickets from the station before they sell out.
  • Make reservations at the conchinillo asado restaurants at least a day ahead because they fill up fast — but also because roasting those things takes time and giving advance notice is just being polite.

Anyone else been and have Segovia advice?

Other bloggers on Segovia:

Segovia: You Eat the Baby Pig WHOLE??

Cochinillo Asado in Segovia

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Comments

  1. We totally meant to do a day trip to Segovia while we were in Madrid but… just didn’t. I think we were burnt out on traveling and were exhausted, but the hosts we stayed with via AirBnB raved about the place, saying it was better than the better known Toledo. Really, they had me at the suckling pig, as did you. Just another reason to go back, I suppose! :D

  2. Yum, I would love to try suckling pig. Also this post kind of makes me want to cry as one time my brother and I were supposed to go to Segovia and I LOST the train tickets on the way to the station.

  3. I absolutely love your pictures of the aqueduct – stunning! And I am absolutely dying over the sequence of the regal elderly man presenting the Segovian pig. Makes me want to go there right away! What an experience :-) I know we’ve talked about how we both had similar feelings regarding Spain at first, with just not having an interest to travel there. If I had seen this post earlier, I certainly would have made Spain a priority visit!

  4. ooh, segovia looks gorge, and we’re not even particularly crazy about aqueducts and suckling pigs! i mean, nothing against them, but you know. not high on the list of priorities when traveling. we’ve only each been to barcelona, but we def need to see more of spain.

  5. Unfortunately I never made it out to Segovia while I was in Madrid and event hough I have a week there next week, I’m not 100% sure I’ll get a chance to get out there but I’ve heard it’s absolutely lovely! Your pictures are all lovely and that suckling pig looks delicious while oh, that poor busboy!

  6. “If you like aqueducts and suckling pigs, boy do I have the day trip for you.”

    You had me hooked with that line.

    And you know that I’d totally take a day trip there just for the suckling pig.

  7. I miss Segovia! I thought it was so beautiful when I visited and walking was a great way to explore!

  8. So verdict on the suckling pig???
    It looks like we’re leaning towards Segovia over Toledo for our day trip. It’s a tough decision. But really, we hear this place is more known for their food.