Not far from Madrid, this small city is included in most trips to the capital, and with absolute justice. The monastery, built in the 16th century is UNESCO heritage, and a landmark in Spanish architecture. Totally dedicated to tourism Escurial is harmonious and nice.
What else shall we do in Comunidad de Madrid?
Of course, enjoy the big city, that, though not being my favorite in Spain (nor number two), has lots of attractions and plenty of Spanish charm.
"Madrid no me mata", but "me gusta màs" each time I come back.
The Palacio Real is the symbol of elegance and royalty. The Royal family no longer occupies this palace, but still uses it for major events and parties. The English tour was a disappointing hour long- but the rooms shown were fabulous displays of the finest artistry. You are allowed to take pictures without flash or video camera (I wish I had taken my video camera for this tour!) You may also want to check out my Travelouge for the Royal Palace ;-). If you have a student ID or a Madrid Vision pass- you may qualify for a discount.
Sometimes it 's nice to get out of the city and head for the gorgeous Sierra just outside of Madrid. About 40 minutes away you can get to an area called Cercedilla, a quaint rickety village set in a glorious landscape. 2 km outside of Cercedilla is Aventura Amazonia, an adventure playgroup set amongst the trees. I've been twice (and I am in my early 40s!) and each time it has been a really enjoyable challenge climbing up the tress, swinging across a vacuum at 100 feet heigh or more, depending on the circuit, and scaling walls. In fact on my second visit, I froze half way through one of the circuits out of fear (even though you wear a safety harness at all times) and I had to be rescued down from the trees which was an experience in itself! I would recommend this outing because it's set in absolutely stunning surroundings, it's not too expensive, around 19 euros, and it's just such thrilling fun!
After the puerto de la Fuenfria on the other side of the Sierra leading to Segovia, after hours of walk in the forest, you will discover one of the nicest view I ever had on a destination city : the land where lies Segovia! It is the nicest memory of the camino de Santiago from Manzanares El real to Segovia
There was a Roman road from Madrid to Segovia and you can find a piece of it in a quite good state near Cercedilla up to the Puerto de la Fuenfria, which is also a part of the Camino de Santiago. It is a wonderful way to cross the Sierra and I recommand it to everybody with a good health condition (one or two hour uphill hike according to your rythm)
More infos on the following website : http://members.tripod.com/~jcamara/calzada/calzada.html
The bars of Madrid are the best place of the world if you are not exactly the restaurant type.
Their custom of "picar" ,something like having a snack ,with a glass of beer or wine is an oportunity to try something new and to know better spanish food and people.
Seat of one of the Summer residences of the Spanish monarchs, Aranjuez grew around the Rococo royal palace and the Royal Manufactures that provided the palaces with porcellain and tapestries.
The setting of the town, on a refreshing strectch of the Tagus and surrended by lush gardens, is idyllic.
This was my favorite place in all of Madrid. I loved the musicians serenading crowds in the outdoor cafes. The centuries old cobblestone under our feet (The Better Half and her three-inch heels might argue this point). The atmosphere of this place. With more than four hundred balconies and over one hundred residences within its walls, dormer windows, and slate roofs, I can only imagine how fortunate one must feel to be able to call this place home.
With more than 3 million inhabitants, Madrid is the largest city in the Iberian Peninsula, as well as its economic and cultural hub. The fact that its development as a metropolis was due to a political choice, namely moving the decision centre to the geographical centre of the country, resulted in Madrid having the reputation of being a grey, dull administrative city with not much more to offer than a bunch of imposing government buildings. This perception was increased during the hard years of the fascist dictatorship. However, Madrid has been able to reinvent itself and nowadays proudly shows a vitality that not many other cities in the world have and that was hidden behind the solemnity of the bureaucrats.
In this picture, you can see a perspective of Alcalá Street, one of Madrid's main avenues, lined with two of the city's landmarks: the Cibeles fountain and the Alcalá Gate. In the backgroung, the controversial Tower of Valencia, a high-rise building that certainly disrupts the skyline of central Madrid but that, mittlerweile, has become a part of the cityscape and offers exceptional views over the Retirement Park to the fortunate owners of the appartments in the upper floors.
Rascafría is a typical serrano town, with cold snowy winters and fresh summers. for this reason, many Madrileños come to this area trying to scape the hellish summers of the city. It is a good base for your trekkings in the Guadarrama Sierra.
The picture depicts the Chuch of Santa María del Paular, in the outskirsts of Rascafría.
Buitrago de Lozoya is a small fortified town in the Northern Sierra of Madrid. The river Lozoya, which is a perfect mirror for the old Arab walls of the town, supplies the city of Madrid and its metropolitan area with the purest water from the Sierra de Guadarrama thanks to the hydraulic works carried out in the XIX century under the Canal Elisabeth II project.
Manzanares is situated at the feet of the sierra de Guadarrama, where the mountains are composed of rocks with strange forms. It is a wonderful place for rock lovers like me!
With most four-star hotels in Madrid (and throughout Western Europe) charging US$400 or more, the...more
San Anton No. 24, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, 28200, Spain
Good for: Business
C/ San Antonio 22, Aranjuez, Madrid, 28300, Spain
Good for: Solo