Travel to cities outside Madrid

Old Feb 11th, 2001, 06:23 AM
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Travel to cities outside Madrid

I'm planning a trip back to Spain in Sep with my mom and we plan to stay in Madrid. Two years ago when we were there we took the tours to Toledo, Segovia and Avila, but this time we want to travel to those cities on our own. We also want to travel to Salamanca and Cuenca by either train or bus but not on tours. Has someone done this before and can you give me any suggestions on where the stations are in those cities since we will be planning to walk to and from the stations or bus stops and if the trains or buses are direct? I'd love to hear from people who have been to Salamanca and Cuenca and any other towns that are within a day's trip from Madrid. The bus tours don't give you any time to just spend in the towns and we want to just walk and not be rushed from place to place and to shop a little also. Thanks for any help you Spain travelers can give me.
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 06:34 AM
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about 15 years ago we travelled by car to several Paradores, state run hotels, that are mostly castles and mansions and such. they were fantastic, and affordable. i highly recommentd looking into that.
we traveled through the south, malaga etc. driving is safe and easy.
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 06:58 AM
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We did the same trip (plus Seville and Granada) last September. We took the train to Segovia which was very simple. Once you arrive in Segovia, you can take a quick taxi ride from the station into town (took the bus back to the station, but wasn't sure which one to get on when we arrived). Also, we did a day trip to Segovia with an English speaking driver arranged by our hotel. Although somewhat expensive (around $200), this was a great way to see Segovia. He took us to some out of the way sites and then dropped us off at the top of the town and we just wandered through the streets and met him at the bottom near the acqueduct a few hours later. He also took us to La Granja (the Spanish version of Versaille) which is just outside Segovia and we had ample time to tour the palace and wander the gardens. Still a tour, but he was more than willing to hang out and wait for us while we wandered at our own pace.
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 11:06 AM
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We visited Toledo and Salamanca out from Madrid last year. For both daytrips we used the bus. Details below are copied from an older post.

Direct bus service to Salamanca is operated by Auto Res (info 91 551 7200; reservations 902 192939) every hour(on the hour), departing from the Auto Res sation (to get there, take circular metro #6 to Conde de Casal). The one way fare costs 2,250 ptas (there is a small discount ??? for the round trip). Metro ride from the old center takes 25-30 min and the bus ride to Salamanca 2:30 hrs. A taxi (350 ptas) is very convenient to get to the old center (at the bus station we were informed that there was no bus service to the center ... which is hard to believe!). On the return to Madrid the bus crosses the city from west to east, so one doesn't have to go all the way to the bus station. Just step off at the closest stop to your hotel.

Bus service to Toledo is provided by Autobuses Galiano Continental, from the Estacion Sur de Autobuses (to get there, take circular metro #6 to Mendez Alvaro). Service is held every 30 min, on the hour/half hour, and fare costs 590ptas. The trip takes 1:20 hours with some stops along the way (the driver told me that outside August there's a direct service that takes 1 hour). The bus arrives outside Toledo's walls and a local bus (110ptas) takes you to Plaza Zocodover.

Old Feb 11th, 2001, 11:35 AM
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These are my means of transportation for day trips:

"Galiano Continetal" bus from huge Estación del Sur (metro: Méndez Alvaro, grey circular line #6, metro station underneath bus station). Departures every 30 min. Express bus doesn't stop at every town along the way & *should* run every hr. in high season (about 1 hr. ride) Drops you off outside walls, then city bus to center of town. Take this bus. It’s a really tiring, uphill walk. Or...
Regional Express train from Atocha- takes 1 1/2 hrs. Departures less frequent. Local bus from Renfe station to Toledo center. (check

"Auto Res" express bus (metro: Conde de Casal, grey circular line #6-Auto Res station is beyond the Hotel Claridge on Calle Fernández Shaw ) 2 1/2 hrs. Pleasant ride, and long but easy, interesting walk from bus station to the Plaza Mayor. I always take the express bus to Salamanca-it's a snap.

"Auto Res" bus (up to 9 departures daily, a couple of express busses per day; call 91-551 72 00 for schedule) 2 1/2-3 hr. ride, 2 hrs. via express. Or….
Regional train from Atocha, Currently 4 daily departures, 6 returns 2 1/2
hrs. (but check Take local bus from station in new city to Plaza Mayor to avoid the steep, uphill climb to the Old Quarter.

"La Sepulvedana" bus from Paseo de la Florida #11, next to Hotel Florida Norte (metro: Principe Pio, grey circular line #6, when you come out of metro station, you’ll see bus station across the street in front of you) Hourly departures. Takes about 1 hr. 15 min. (Call 91 530 48 00) Very easy. Pleasant, short walk from bus station to Acueducto. Much better than train.
Train takes 2 hrs.

Train from Atocha or Chamartín (tons of daily departures on Talgo, Intercity, Regional Express, etc.) Shortest trips take 1 hr. 20 min.
I’d take a taxi from train station to Plaza de la Catedral. (a mile away) Or...
"La Sepulvedana" bus from Paseo de la Florida #11 Fewer daily departures (Call 91 530 48 00). Or "Autobuses Larrea" (? may be another name) from Estación del Sur. I think train is much easier.

Chinchón (a delight!):
"La Veloz" bus #337 from Avenida del Mediterráneo 49 (green buses on left side of street when coming out of metro stop Conde de Casal, grey circular line #6)
Takes 40 min. There are two stops for village; get off at second stop. Short walk to pretty balconied, circular Plaza Mayor.

El Escorial:
Train C8A from Chamartín (30 daily), or "Autocares Herranz" bus from Moncloa metro stop, both take under 1 hr.

Aranjuez :
Train C3 departs every 15-20 min from Atocha.
For full day trip, there's also the special 19th c steam engine "Strawberry Train" from Atocha on Sat./Sun., runs April-Oct. Includes strawberries served by costumed attendants on route, tour bus to/from 18th c Bourbon Royal Palace, guided visit (in Spanish only), lunch on your own. Last yr. departed at 10 a.m. and returned to Atocha at 7 p.m. (but check with tourist office or call 902 22 88 22 for times)
Note: Train didn't have A.C., if steam locamotive breaks they substitute electric engine, and few non-Spanish speaking visitors seem to take it.

Hope this helps you out.

Old Feb 11th, 2001, 11:38 AM
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Sorry Paulo! Didn't see your post while writing mine!
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 01:09 PM
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Thanks so much to those that responded. I can't tell you how helpful you guys are.
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 03:18 PM
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Nothing to be sorry about, Maribel. I got the info from you in the first place anyway ... and it served me well
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 04:06 PM
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Those cities ( Salamanca and Cuenca ) are maybe ( with Segovia ) my favourite cities in Central Spain. They are really different. Salamanca is its superb monuments and squares and Cuenca is its dramatic situation and narrow streets. However, both are cities to walk around and loose. If you like spanish food i would suggest you to try "morteruelo" in Cuenca, I remember it was like a different version of "paté" but not cold. Delicious! What it is really worth visiting in Cuenca is the Old Town so walk up directly when you get there. I remember those cities really great at night, quite safe to walk among its medieval streets. You could do Sevilla on your own if you take one of the first AVE trains in the morning and come back to Madrid by taking the last one. Ave trains are really confortable and make the trip relaxing enough to spend all day walking around Sevilla. You could do the same with Cordoba. Both are really worthwile.Have a good trip!

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