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Touring Near Madrid Spain

Using Madrid as your base, you can discover some of the great smaller cities of Spain, such as Segovia, Avila, and Toledo.  Each offering a wonderful opportunity and different experiences to make your holiday that much more enjoyable.

You can visit these cities on day trips, but to really explore them, consider renting a car and driving.  A round trip can take four to five days depending on how long you linger. If you combine it with seeing the sites in Madrid, you will have a holiday to remember.

We don't recommend driving in the city (Madrid), public transport is hassle free, however, getting a rental car in town and driving out is pretty straightforward.

El Escorial Palace Library -

San Lorenzo de El Escorialis 30 miles from Madrid where the spectacular El Escorial Palace is located which is well worth a visit.  This combination monastery and palace is about an hour drive from the capital. You are able to explore rooms used by royalty and the great library, but the highlight of this attraction is seeing the final resting place of four centuries of Spanish Kings and Queens… the Royal Pantheon. You can make this a mid-day stop, see the palace, have lunch in town or at the Palace cafe, then continue on to Segovia.

Segovia is fifty miles from Madrid. This town perches on a hill and represents a couple of eras of Spanish history with both a fairy tale castle and a Roman aqueduct. The town was built by the Romans. Only the aqueduct remains from that period which is 2,500 feet long and 100 feet high. 

Stroll the narrow, mostly pedestrian streets to the other end of town to see the Alcazar castle. It looks like a fairy tale castle because the original castle burned down in 1862, and it was rebuilt in this exuberant style. There are historic furnishings inside and a great view of town from the tower. Segovia is well worth spending a night, however just be aware, it can be crowded on weekends. Also, parking is scarce, so make sure to secure parking along with your hotel.

Avila City Wall - WhichHoliday.TV

Avila is a city which could be overlooked… and if you're into city walls, you shouldn't miss it. The walls are intact, complete with 90 towers and dates back to the 11th century. The city was the birthplace of Saint Teresa and is an important pilgrimage site. Once you've seen the museum and the Convento de Santa Teresa, head for the city walls. The lively section of town is just outside the main gates where you can sit and have tapas and enjoy the view.

Iglesia de Santo Tome - WhichHoliday.TV

Now for Toledo which is about an hour south of Madrid. This former capital of Spain sits on a hill, surrounded by it's city walls and the Tagus River. It has retained its medieval charm with city walls and winding streets… and lots of hills…. It's a fun city to wander and get lost in. 

Visit the Cathedral and the Iglesia de Santo Tome where El Greco's painting El Entierro del Conde de Orgaz is on view. You will discover more of El Greco all over the little city. With a bit of exploring you will uncover samples of Toledo's Roman, as well as Moorish and Jewish history.

To complete your tour, find a Parador to stay in for one more night before you return your car. Paradores are historic buildings that the government has converted to hotels. 

Siguenza Paradore of El Cid fame is a castle turned into a hotel and is about an hour outside of Madrid. From here it's easy to get back to the airport and catch your flight home.

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