Favorite Madrid Day Trips

Old Feb 15th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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mksmither
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Favorite Madrid Day Trips

A friend and I are going to Spain for about nine days this fall and I think we've decided to go ahead and stay in Madrid the whole time. Can anyone recommend some good day or one-night trips from Madrid and tell me why? Thanks.
 
Old Feb 15th, 2006, 02:38 PM
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There are several obvious ones,including Toledo, Segovia, El Escorial, Aranjuez, and others. I suggest you take a look at the destination guides on this site and see what sounds interesting to you. Also do a search for these places I have just mentioned. It is difficult to recommend without knowing your tastes.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 03:12 PM
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Toledo is easy to get to for a day or you can spend the night. Walled city with lots of history and art, and interesting crafts to buy. Great atmosphere in the evening especially.

Segovia has the picture-perfect Alcazar (castle) and the amazingly-preserved Roman aquaduct. Good food, too.

Avila is a lovely walled small city, the city of the Spanish mystic St Teresa. Storks nest on the walls of the city and chimney tops.

Alcala de Henares is close, maybe less than an hour from Madrid, and has a beautiful and historical university, one of Cervantes' homes which is now a nice little museum, an interesting arcaded street and storks everywhere on the chimney tops.

I was last in Madrid in June, for 11 days -- visiting a friend, so I mostly hung out in Madrid in the week and we did trips on the weekends. I like Madrid very much and find plenty to do there, but with 9 days you definitely have time for side trips.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 04:45 PM
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Segovia and Toledo were my favorites, though Avila and Salamanca were certainly wonderful as well.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 05:09 PM
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I'm jealous of your idea because I'm doing a trip that begins and ends in Madrid with a lot of travel time in between to go to Andalucia -- now I kind of wish I'd focused on the immediate Madrid region. But from what I've read, it would be really nice for you to spend a night or two in Toledo and/or some of the other area towns. Even if you spend just one night, you have the luxury of enjoying the entire evening there and walking back to your hotel rather than worrying about catching a train. . .
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Old Feb 18th, 2006, 08:09 AM
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Destinations with "reasons why"
TOLEDO - *El Greco's works in his home, *his masterpiece in Santo Tomé,
and in the Cathedral
*two beautiful old synagogue with Moorish and Christian influence
also Alcazar with Civil War political story.
*mazapan, swords and metalwork in jewelry, etc.
Agree about the idea of staying one overnight there...after the crowds have left.
SEGOVIA- *castle
*acuaduct
EL ESCORIAL - where Spanish kings and their mother are buried. Nearby is
VALLE DE LOS CAIDOS- memorial to those killed in 1936 Civil War built by Franco's political prisoners. Impressive whatever your point of view.
ARANJUEZ - summer palace of the kings. Strawberry train there in June?
MADRID- the Fabrica Real de Tapices. Royal Tapestry Factory. Will give tours in English. Really fascinating for tapistries or rugs.
AVILA and SALAMANCA are also points of interested, but I would give the above higher marks.


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Old Feb 18th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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chinchon is a small round "plaza"ed town, which actually holds its bullfights in the main round plaza during fiestas.

there are many tiered restaurants with tables for two on narrow balconies curving around the plaza.

this is a unique, picturesque village that has been the film set for some movies.

it also boasts a converted historic building PARADOR worthy of a visit, at least for a drink to rest your feet.

you can train it to alcala de henares. it is a world heritage site and has numerous outstanding museums. an archaeology one that we found very well displayed, and the abundance of storks'nests atop every single edge of the buildings' rooftops is amazing!

el escorial should not be missed.

and in madrid, i enjoy going to the biblioteca nacional as they host fabulous temporary exhibits that travel around the world.

In madrid, La fundaciòn March has a lovely art gallery and also hosts recitals and other cultural events free or for very reasonable prices.

the largest indoor ski area is west of madrid,XANADU, as are some good ooutlet shops. your hotel can inform you of how to get there.

you should be able to take public transport everywhere.

lucky you!
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Old Feb 19th, 2006, 01:06 AM
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I don't know how deep into the Fall you will be going, but: 2006 is a year for Sevilla' Bienal de Flamenco. It should run from mid-September thru early October: there are many venues (incl. la Maestranza Plaza de Toros). And there are afternoon performances / competitions.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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mksmither
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Hi, does anyone have any more information or a Web site about the Sevilla' Bienal de Flamenco that NEDSIRELAND mentioned? I'd love to know more...
 
Old Feb 20th, 2006, 12:51 PM
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1- best to me Toledo
then Salamanca, Segovia, Avila in that order.
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