Length 6.6 km (4.1 miles), terrain: hilly, gain of 155 meters
Segovia is one of those hidden gems that are maybe off your radar, but are well worth getting there: beautiful, historic, elegant, scenic, and with lots of tourists, but it hasn't lost its soul to tourism. And if you're working/visiting Madrid for an extended period, as I just did, then plan a day-trip to this great town, with spectacular running terrain all around it.
|The Segovia aqueduct and city walls|
|View of the old town from the castle, with snow-covered mountains in background|
So that's just what this route will do: combine a quiet valley run with a loop up into the old town and castle: packing a lot of scenery into a moderately-portioned run.
|Plaza Artillería and the aqueduct|
NOTE: Plaza Artillería is the spot where the buses from the train station dump out the day-tourists.
|Along Paseo Guzmán|
You'll be following a sidewalk along this fairly quiet street, heading downhill. You'll see the river valley stretching out down below, to the right, and the dry hills beyond. To the other side, the town walls rise beside you to the left side.
After about 700 meters, you'll see a monastery and its church sitting just below you on the right. Take the steps or the street down to it and turn left to continue just past its grounds. The monastery now houses IE University.
|AI University in the old monastery|
At the 1-kilometer-mark, you'll cross an old stone bridge over the Río Eresma. The riverside is lined by green parkland. Turn left to head west along the river on the dirt trail, called Calle Cuesta de los Hoyos.
|Running along the Río Eresma|
|Royal Mint and castle|
|Santa María del Parral monastery|
You'll run under an old stone road bridge, then the trail will curve to the right as you pass the Alcázar, the castle, above.
You'll then see a wooden footbridge over the river, so cross it and then take the trail to the left -- now heading the opposite direction -- running past the Alcázar along the other side. The castle sits perched on the cliffs at a point where two river valleys merge.
|View up to the castle: now this is one scenic route!|
|Trail up to town|
|Entering Puerta de San Andrés|
|Entering the old town|
|Doorway along Calle Marques del Arco|
|Entering the castle park square|
|The Alcázar drawbridge|
|In the castle park|
Now head back out of the little park and head up the street that splits off from Calle Marques del Arco towards the left, Calle Velarde.
|Calle Velarde gate|
Now turn right and at the next plaza (Plaza Potro) turn right again and in a few steps you'll be back in Plaza Mayor.
Run past the Teatro Juan Bravo and exit the plaza on Calle Serafin, the main shopping street in the neighborhood, with cafés and old stores.
|Plaza del Dr. Laguna fountain|
|Cats on the aqueduct where it enters the old town|
|Aqueduct view from the steps|