Looking for a day to fill on your Madrid Itinerary or living in Madrid and looking for a weekend getaway? Here are 5 amazing day trips that you won’t want to miss:
Toledo is well named the “City of Three Cultures” and is an amazing representation of Spanish history. Visit the Cathedral, the Alcázar, and the Synagogue for a look into the city’s (and Spain’s) rich cultural history. Each has a story to tell, and each represents a different part of Spanish history. A UNESCO heritage site, and just an hour and a half away from Madrid (by train), Toledo definitely deserves a visit.
Let me just start by saying I LOVE the Monastery of El Escorial. The interior walls are painted with frescos that rival the Sistine Chapel (okay- exaggeration, but they’re beautiful). I specifically remember one room of the Monastery genuinely taking my breath away. Speaking of air- it’s a great place to get away from the city smog and into the fresh air. Bonus- The town of El Escorial is also a great place to grab a cheap Menu del Día before heading back to Madrid.
Las Bodegas Peral
Let’s just pause for a minute and talk about Spanish wine. It’s cheap, it’s amazing, and leaves you without the hangover that American wines give you (or you give yourself depending on the way you look at it). I first discovered Bodgeas Peral on a winery tour with my mom when she came to visit, and immediately fell in love with the owner and the bodega itself. For $5 you can tour the Bodegas Peral Winery (complete with wine AND cheese) and get a quick tour of the town it calls home. The town’s name (Colemnar de Oreja) translates to something like the Ear’s Beehive, and even some lifetime Madrileños will look at you like you are crazy when you mention it because many have never heard of it. That being said there is a city bus that will get you there in about an hour. Email the bodega to book a tour (make sure to specify English) and they will come get you from the bus station and show you to the bodega. They also arranged for us to have lunch at an awesome place that was across the street from the bus station in which we simply told them what we liked and about how much we wanted to spend and they filled the table with some much needed food and lack of decision making after a day of wine tasting. Cuenca
Another Medieval city, Cuenca is a bit further than the other cities I’ve mentioned, but it can still be done in a day. While famous for the “Casas Colgadas” or the “Hanging Houses” that are built into the surrounding rock, Cuenca has a lot more to offer. A beautiful town square, cathedral, and winding streets filled with colorfully painted houses, Cuenca reminds me of all of the things I love about Spanish towns
A 2 hour bus drive from Madrid, Segovia a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts its own unique monuments, including an ancient Roman Aqueduct. Although the aqueduct seems like the main attraction, the rest of the city unfolds before you to reveal beautiful stone streets, cathedral, and castle just waiting for you to explore.
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