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A Visitor's Guide To The Charming Villages Of El Arenal And El Hornillo

Author : Brian Petit

The quaint villages of El Arenal and El Hornillo are two of the main tourist attractions in Arenas de San Pedro. The villages are both municipalities of the city of Avila which is about 100 kilometres away from Madrid, the capital of Spain. The city of Avila has a population of about 52,000 inhabitants. Avila is a great example of what a city looked like during the medieval ages with the ancient walls still surrounding the entire city. During the medieval ages, these walls were erected to protect the inhabitants from the danger brought about by invaders as well as their enemies. At present, the walls of Avila still have 88 watch towers that were originally built centuries ago. The walls of Avila are very well-preserved and are considered to be the one of the most well-preserved walls from the medieval times.

Aside from its medieval walls, the city of Avila also has magnificent churches such as the El Monasterio de Santo Tomas and the Basilica de San Vicente. Both of these churches were built during the 12th century.

The village of El Arenal is 9 kilometres to the North of Arenas de San Pedro while the village of El Hornillo is 6 kilometres to the North also. There is only a short distance between the two villages and it is a perfect opportunity to take a leisurely walk along the trail. Walking is your only option because there are no available buses that travel between the two villages. Travelling by foot between the villages of El Arenal and El Hornillo will be an immense pleasure since they offer really excellent trailheads.

El Arenal is where tourists should head to if they are looking for places to stay. The village has a lot more to offer in terms of accommodations. Most owners of the inns and hostels can also offer tips and advice on which trails to take. The peak of Gredos is also only a short distance from El Arenal.

El Hornillo is the site of the more popular trailhead. This is also the start of the Circo de Gredos which is the one of the most popular routes for trekking in the Gredos watershed. Another route to the Gredos would be through the south of El Arenal which will take approximately one day to trek with a mostly downhill route.

There are plenty of local restaurants in the two villages but if you want to sample their local specialty then you should order the T-bone steak or what is locally known as Chuliton Avileno, which is what the region is known for. For dessert you can try their Yema de Avila which is a dessert made from sugar and egg yolks.

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Submitted : 2011-10-20    Word Count : 449    Times Viewed: 442