This Spanish city has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986, its historic quarter incorporating medieval architecture and museums. Known as “the city of three cultures”, it has a strong and harmonious presence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, aspects that can be explored through its buildings and food offer. You’ll find many tours available locally, or you can opt to wander its narrow, cobbled streets at your own pace. Toledo is just a half-hour train ride from the capital, so doable for a day trip, but better enjoyed with a few nights’ stay in one of these hotels…
Eugenia De Montijo, Autograph Collection
The former residence of the Empress Eugenia de Montijo, this five-star hotel has echoed its regal Renaissance past through a contemporary take on palatial decor, retaining original features such as stained glass domes and marble mosaic floors. Just 200 meters from the city’s stunning cathedral, it’s well-placed for sightseeing on foot. Local dishes can be sampled at Eugenia de Montijo’s restaurant Library Ferderico (named after the Empress’ designer) and there’s Mazapán Corner for Spanish pastries. SPA Club Eugenie’s Bath is a nod to the building’s previous owner and incorporates the old Roman hydraulic system and Mozarabic walls.
Cigarral De Las Mercedes
With far-reaching views across Toledo (which are particularly spectacular after dark when the city is lit up), this suburban estate has some of the most beautiful landscaped gardens in the region including a pond with a water feature. Stay in one of 33 bedrooms or four exclusive jacuzzi villas; all of which are soundproofed, with fine linens and private terraces commanding views of the lake, the grounds, or the swimming pool. The architecture is in keeping with a traditional countryside finca, featuring original stone walls, timber beamed ceilings and authentic tiled roofs. Cigarral de las Mercedes is especially popular as a wedding destination.