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Madrid to Segovia,El Escorial and Avila train or car

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Feb 24th, 2009, 12:17 PM
  #1
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Madrid to Segovia,El Escorial and Avila train or car

I have hotel reservations in Segovia for two nights coming from Madrid. I would like to visit El Escorial and Avila while there. I will return back to Madrid. We travel light with one 22" suit case each. My question is it easier to train to Segovia and rent a car there for Avila and El Escorial or rent a car when leaving Madrid and drive to Avila and ElEscrial.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 04:41 AM
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Don't even think of renting a car in Madrid. The roads in and around Madrid are an absolute nightmare to drive. I can't say this too strongly - do no not try to drive around Madrid.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 05:03 AM
  #3
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I was thinking about renting a car at the Madrid airport and driving it to Segovia and El Escorial and Avila. Returning it to Madrid airport and not driving downtown Madrid at all.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 05:54 AM
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Hornet is right about the car in Madrid.

Harry before the high speed train went to Segovia,(last year) we did rent a car near Calle Princesa & it was easy to get on the highway (though we were a bit nervous)and we drove to Segovia it was fun.

We had seen El Escorial so we first drove to the castle at La Granja which we highly recommend. Then we drove on to Segovia
and overnighted there. The Hotel Infanta Isabel parked our cat (for a fee of course) We also drove to Pedraza de La Sierra and stayed at the Hopederia recomended by Maribel.
Then we dropped off the car at the airport before returning home. But we are kind of car addicts being from California.

We wish we had time to get to Sepulveda & try the place Maribel's recommended Meson Gonzales and Tin Tin.

I would say if you want to explore on your own rent the car, otherwise take the train.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 06:02 AM
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I did not find it hard to drive from the airport to Segovia--it is all interstate--just read the signs. I think you need a car. I have seeen that region twice now--try to include Salamanca.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 09:42 AM
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I am also staying at Hotel Infanta Isabel (Maribel Segovia guide) I will now have to add castle La Granja to my wish list of stops. I am starting to lean toward a car rental. I would like the opportunity to enjoy the views. Thanks!
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Feb 25th, 2009, 09:58 AM
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Ask the hotel about the traffic barriers that must be lifted for access into Plaza Mayor.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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I have done this several years ago. I picked up the car at the Madrid airport and don't recall any major issues.

This year I am once again picking up at the airport and heading to El Escorial prior to driving on over to Portugal.

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Feb 25th, 2009, 03:28 PM
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Is El Escorial worth going to more than once?

Salamanca seems further away than the other towns.

Plus there is Toledo too, no?
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Feb 25th, 2009, 03:46 PM
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I am going to Toledo by train on a day trip. I was going to stay the night but decided on Segovia.
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Feb 26th, 2009, 09:02 AM
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Harry,
To do well all of the above you will want a car. If you're already staying in Madrid you could take the high speed AVANT train to Segovia and rent your car there, or you could pick it up from the Madrid airport upon your arrival and do this loop first before settling in at your Madrid hotel. Don't remember your exact plans.

We've even spent the night in Segovia before leaving Spain the next day on our transatlantic flight, driving straight to the airport, but we've had the luxury of a 1 pm or later departure from Barajas and with our gold status we have a quick check in at the first class line. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone who has a morning flight departure.

But I would not plan to include Salamanca since you only have 2 nights for your sightseeing around Segovia. Save the journey further west to Salamanca for another trip, and concentrate instead on El Escorial, Avila, Segovia and if you can fit it in, the Bourbon Royal Palace of La Granja (not a castle but a summer palace for the Bourbon Kings, with gardens, often called the Spanish Versailles).
For La Granja it's best to be there a bit before 10 am to take the first obligatory guided (bilingual) tour, since it gets very busy after that, particularly on weekends.

These 4 spots, Segovia, Avila (to walk the walls), El Escorial and San Ildefonso de la Granja will be plenty, plus enjoying the delights on Segovia itself.
But if you're a really quick sightseer and have some time to spare, Pedraza, a 40 min. drive northeast of Segovia can also be done, and it does have a castle which can be visited Wed.-Sun.-guided visit only.

We've driven from the airport to Segovia (and back) many times. Just go to www.viamichelin.com for your driving directions. In the Departures box, write in aeropuerto de Barajas. You'll see that they send you on the M11 to M40 to A6 to toll AP61, all autoroutes. Plan on a drive of about 1 hr. 30 min., door to door.

You can make a loop-airport to Segovia to Avila to El Escorial back to Madrid, but don't plan on visiting either La Granja Palace or El Escorial on a MON. when both monuments are closed.
See www.patrimonionacional.es for all the current info on both.

Don't remember the dates of your trip, but if you visit Avila from Oct. 16-March 31, the defensive walls are closed to walking on MON. They're open 7 days a week outside of those dates. www.avilaturismo.com
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Feb 26th, 2009, 09:17 AM
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What is the Spanish name for the Valley of the Fallen?

That's worth checking out just for the cool name alone.

That was near El Escorial IIRC.
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Feb 26th, 2009, 09:24 AM
  #13
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Maribel,
Thanks for the reply, I will arrive on Friday 4/17 and depart 4/25 at 1:00 PM. I will be in Segovia 4/21 to 4/23. I an thinking of renting a car in Madrid fro the trip to Segovia since I will check out of the hotel in Madrid on 4/21. I am staying my last two nights at The Hilton airport Hotel.
I think we should be able to do the four spots and hope to see Pedraza. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.
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Feb 26th, 2009, 10:29 AM
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scrb,
The Spanish name for Valley of the Fallen is Valle de los Caídos.
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