Day trips from Madrid

Aug 22nd, 2000, 11:20 AM
  #1  
Tom
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Day trips from Madrid

Spending three nights in Madrid and wondering what day trips would be worthwhile, what sights are interesting and how far they are from Madrid (and best method of travel). Considering Segovia, Avila and Salamenco. Appreciate any thoughts

Also, spending one night in Toledo - what's fun and local there and is it better to take the train or a bus. Thanks
 
Aug 22nd, 2000, 11:41 AM
  #2  
Kathy
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We spent 10 days in Madrid last summer with our daughter after she finished a study abroad program there. We did day trips to Segovia, El Escorial, and Toledo. I highly recommend any of them. If you go go El Escorial, you are basically going to see the monastery-palace and perhaps the Valley of the Fallen. Segovia has a multitude of sights and is a fun town to just wander around in. You could possibly throw in Avila, too, but I think Segovia is worthy of a full day. We took the bus, and I would generally recommend buses as they are faster, more comfortable, and often the stations have a more convenient location. The buses are air conditioned and the seats are assigned. I understand that public tranportation is now entirely non-smoking in Spain. If you find that is not the case, make sure you get there in time to get in the non-smoling area if you don't smoke. Also, be on time - the buses are extremely punctual. Our daughter loved Salamanca, but we did not go there. Our daughter felt it was just too far for a daytrip. She had gone to it on a two week tour of the north at the end of their term.
I definitely recommend the bus to Toledo. It only takes 55 minutes. You then either take local bus #5 or #6, walk, or take a taxi up the hill to the city. Any good travel guide can give you times, stations, and phone numbers for both buses and trains. I don't know where you are staying, but Hostal de Cardenal and Hotel Pintar El Greco both have good reputations. Having seen the location of both I would prefer Pintar El Greco as it is in the middle of everthing, but I'm told you definitely ought to have dinner at Hostal de Cardenal.
We absolutely loved Spain. Have fun.
 
Aug 22nd, 2000, 01:16 PM
  #3  
Tom
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Thanks Kathy! Great advice. Fortunately have a really good travel agent and she had recommended the hotel pintor el greco.
 
Aug 25th, 2000, 08:27 AM
  #4  
christopher jones
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Tom,

I've stayed in Avila and Segovia, and liked them both very much.

The big attraction of Avila is the walls, apart from that (very spectacular) the town is not very exciting. You get onto the walls from the grounds of the Parador (which is very pleasant, as always) or from the main gate. Most of the old city is deserted now, the new city is outside the walls - and I have to admit, not very interesting.

Segovia is worth seeing for the Roman Viaduct, and the Alcazar. The viaduct is genuine, the Alcazar isn't (but is as good as anything by Disney !!!!!). The city is great to wander round, feels a bit like a tourist honeypot - but it really is a genuine part of Old Castille (so eat some suckling pig !).

By the way - Madrid is NOT part of Old Castille, but has plenty of Castillian restaurants (and more suckling pig) - the Botin, near the Plaza Mayor, is on the tourist trail because of the Hemigway connection, but it really IS a good restaurant - very atmospheric in the cellar)

Email me for some good URLS

Chris
Sheffield
 
Aug 25th, 2000, 08:28 AM
  #5  
christopher jones
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for Viaduct, read Aquaduct, of course - silly me.

C
 

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