Madrid is SLAP BANG right in the middle of the Spanish peninsula, meaning it’s pretty easy to travel to most other parts of the country for the weekend or a holiday. There are also some lovely day trips from Madrid if you don’t have as much time off work for a holiday! The public transport here is fairly good and if you want to breakout from the stress of big city life, you’ll find plenty of beautiful escapes.
Segovia is a small town in the region of Castille Leon, North West of Madrid. Famous for it’s Roman aqueduct which is a World Heritage Site and one of the best-known monuments in Spain. The second reason to go to Segovia is for it’s Cathedral, built in the 16th century and flaunting a gothic style, this is really worth a visit. Just wandering along the old walls of the town is a really beautiful sight. You HAVE to try the Cochinillo which is a typical dish from here, made from a small hog…
Getting there: The train to El Escorial is a commuter train meaning it’s cheap with many stops, but it has more starting points: Sol, Charmartin, Atocha or Nuevos Ministerios. This takes around 1 hour and you’ll have to walk a little to arrive in the centre from the station (30 min walk but pretty).
Or, catch a bus from Moncloa, also taking around 1 hour but arriving right in the centre.
Did you know that El Escorial was the historical residence for the King of Spain? The main feature of this town is San Lorezo which was originally created by King Phillip II as a palace and monastery. Also located north west of Madrid, El Escorial is surrounded by pine forests and mountains, giving it some great views!
Toledo is located south of Madrid in the region Castille-La-Mancha. The town is famous for being the historical home to a mixture of Jews, Arabs and Christians all together. You can notice this in the different architecture and artistic styles around the city. There’s a variety of mosques, churches palaces and fortresses in Toledo and it’s the perfect chill out day trip where you can eat some lovely food and stroll around the city.
Getting there: Get a bus from Moncloa leaving in the morning at around 9am and arriving at around 6pm. It takes 2 hours to get there. There’s also another commuter train leaving from Moncloa and going to Cotos, from here there’s a shuttle bus which takes you directly to the skiing park.
Yes you can have a SKIING DAY TIP from Madrid, which blew my mind when I first found out. It costs 60€ per day to rent out equipment, get a lift pass and spend the day skiing or snowboarding! This was the first and so far only time I have been skiing and for me it was not so difficult. If you’re a pro you might prefer something more challenging, but come on it’s just a couple of hours from the capital of Spain! The resort is called Valdesqui and they have more info on their site.
Manzanares el Real
Getting there: Get the 724 bus from Plaza de Castilla to Manzanares el Real in about 40 mins.
I love Manzanares el Real it’s just a little village in front of some beautiful mountains, a castle and a huge lake. You can go hiking here too as there are a lot of routes into the hills of La Pedriza. The first time I visited we had a picnic next to the lake, then explored the walls of the castle. My second time was a bit more intense and we decided to hike up La Pedriza for a while. For me this place is all about the nature and I love to come here and breathe in the fresh air while listening to absolute nothingness.
These are just my top 5 but there are many more beautiful day trips out of Madrid. Which have you tried?