Mirador del Valle

January 27, 2020

A short hike outside Toledo brings us to one of the most epic views in all of Spain for our last full day in the country.

Toledo is pure fantasy. From its perch on a hillside overlooking a bend in the Rio Tagus, Toledo doesn’t feel like stepping into a time machine as much as a different reality. Where Europe feels special because there are tokens of history all around, your surroundings in Toledo are mostly more than hundreds of years old. It’s not just some things that have survived; you’re walking into pretty much the same city that spent time as one of the capitals of Europe from the Holy Roman Empire to the late Middle Ages.

As special as it is to walk around Toledo, the best view is from across the valley, from an overlook called Mirador del Valle (literally, just “the view from the valley”). It’s a fairly easy 20-30 minute walk from the Puente de Alcántara, a Roman bridge that was last rebuilt about 1,100 years ago that we took into the city from the train station. The walk to Mirador del Valle takes about as long as it does to ride the AVE from Madrid, but you won’t hit 190mph on the road.

This was our last full day in Spain. I can’t think of a better backdrop for reflecting on the trip, and a better view to keep with us until we can return.

From the Puente de Alcántara
The Puente de Alcántara
A path cut into the rocky hillside on the Toledo side of the Rio Tagus
There are ruins of a Medieval Arab fortification on the largest hill opposite Toledo, Cerro del Bu, which has been used since the Bronze Age
The Rio Tagus valley as it wraps around Toledo
Toledo Cathedral, at the top of the city, was started in the 13th century
The Alcázar in Toledo is centuries old, but mostly rebuilt in the 40’s and 50’s after destruction during a siege in the Spanish Civil War
Toledo from the south at Mirador del Valle