We spent several days at this hotel which is about two hours west of Madrid in the Sierra de Gredos National Park. The spa hotel was the nicest facility of the trip, and again we signed up for nine-step daily thermal spa treatments. Here, when your session is finished, you lay on heated, tiled lounge chairs. We did much hiking here, doing a different trail each day. A surprise was finding black “wild toros” with long horns coming down our mountainous rocky path towards us. Joan said they were just cows. When Joan walked towards them, they stopped, pooped, and turned off the path down a rocky descent towards a grazing meadow. I was already climbing upwards on the rocky landscape for safer and higher grounds, wondering if 911 works in Spain.
We also did afternoon trips to visit the nearby towns of El Barco de Avila (Roman bridge, castle/fort on the river, bull ring), and the larger town of Avila. Avila is about one hour north of Madrid. We walked around the city atop the 11th century walls (3e) for some great views. The Catedral de Avila is the centerpiece of the city with 14 chapels, many 13-15th Century tombs of saints and a shrine to Santa Teresa de Jesus of Avila.