Madrid is not only the Gran Vía, the Fuente de Cíbeles and the Puerta del Sol. The Spanish capital has much more to offer from villages with castles, fortresses, and watchtowers to medieval enclaves perfect for a weekend.
We summarize the best 6 secret (and not so secret) getaways in Madrid that you should not miss. Do not forget to write them down on your list of pending visits.
#1 Patones de Arriba
This small town had its own king for many years, due to the difficulty of reaching it, the citizens of Patones de Arriba had their own democracy and did not depend on imports.
Its inhabitants were dedicated to livestock farming and agriculture. While you walk through the city you can find ancient stone kilns, houses made of black slate, cobblestone streets and several posters that explain the history of this beautiful place.
Everything in it recalls the Middle Ages and it seems that time has stopped there. When you visit, take a breath because the streets are all uphill and enjoy their craft stalls, local products such as honey and wine and quality food at restaurants in the area.
#2 Silla de Felipe II
Are you looking for panoramic views of the Escorial Monastery in the background? The viewpoint of the Felipe II Chair will give you views of Mount Abantos and the Sierra de Guadarrama, perfect point to take photos and feel like a king.
It is a little hidden to access but you can guide seeing where people are going or use Google Maps with the address Calle Monte Escorial, 28200. To get there, you will cross a beautiful forest perfect for an afternoon of picnic and hiking. It is accessed by a granite staircase where at the end you will find two rocky elevations where you can sit and a small kiosk where you can stop to recover.
#3 La Granja de San Ildefonso
La Granja de San Ildefonso, better known as the ‘Spanish Versailles’, is surrounded by presidential gardens, monumental fountains and several statues reminiscent of bronze but, due to a lack of budget, it was finally finished using lead in its construction.
The park is surrounded by a total of 21 fountains inspired by classical mythology and 146 hectares of garden. Especially recommended to visit it in autumn for the variety of its colors. If you have enough time, it is worth the visit to the interior of the Royal Palace, open from Tuesday to Sunday.
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Rascafría is a small village that is located between mountains, very close to Segovia. Take a walk through its historic center and enjoy its crafts, nature, traditions, and cuisine.
The Monastery of Santa María de El Paular is also a must visit if you go through Rascafría where you can book guided tours to explore the interior.
And if you have time, visit the National Park of the Sierra de Guadarrama where you can make hiking trails and climb the Peñalara, the highest mountain in the Sierra with an altitude of 2428 meters.
By the way, do not leave without trying a pork loin sandwich in the bars of the square, as access to this small town is difficult for large trucks of delivery, the meat, as well as fruits and vegetables, are usually locally grown.
© Pasión por Madrid
#5 Manzanares El Real
Possibly one of my favorite places that I never tire of visiting again and again.
Manzanares El Real is a small town next to the Santillana reservoir that welcomes you with a large castle at the entrance. The Castle of Manzanares el Real, is the best preserved in the Community of Madrid.
Manzanares El Real is included within the “Route of castles, fortresses and watchtowers” established by the Tourism of the Community of Madrid. A highly recommended route to visit passing by Torrelaguna, Venturada, and Buitrago del Lozoya.
#6 Buitrago del Lozoya
It is a walled town also medieval style full of history, which is surrounded by a beautiful reservoir and Lozoya River located in the middle of nature.
You can visit Castillo de Buitrago del Lozoya in Gothic style where you can have great views over the village, the Casa del Bosque, the Puente del Arrabal and even its Picasso museum, with the works that it collected and donated to the town to which it was a friend of Picasso, Eugenio Arias Herranz, natural son of the locality.
Here you eat well, you are in contact with nature, you relive the art and the mixtures of cultures of the city, what more can you ask for?
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