Madrid is one of the few cities in the country that has 6 Unesco heritage sites at less than 1 hour drive. Some of these sites include the famous Spain royal palaces in Aranjuez, La Granja or El Escorial. All of these incredible sites can be enjoyed with day tours that departure from Madrid, by train, and also by car through high-quality highways. Let´s review 4 of them plus other super interesting villages and sights. We have specific guides to each of these unique places, so in case you want to enjoy an excursion to one of them you will be able to find full details in them.
Avila and its walls
Avila is located at one hour drive north west of Madrid. The most famous thing about Avila are its medieval walls. The walls of Avila are the best preserved walls in Spain and amongst the best walls in Europe. Fantastic churches, monasteries and traditional gastronomy (Spain´s most famous steak is from Avila) complete Avila´s offering for a great day from Madrid.
Toledo and the 3 cultures
Toledo is probably the favorite excursion or tour for most visitors to Madrid. If asked, we would recommend to stay overnight in Toledo, though it can be enjoyed with a day tour. Toledo can be accessed easily with high speed train from Atocha station in Madrid.
The Alcazar fortress, the Catedral Primada, the Alcantara bridge, its jewish quarter or its churches and synanogues are amongst the top attractions of Toledo.
Segovia and its amazing aqueduct
Locals from Madrid have a bad time to decide if they prefer Toledo over Segovia. Less famous than Toledo, Segovia is equally impressive. If you enjoy roman architecture Segovia is a must for you. In our view, local gastronomy is also an area where Segovia is above Toledo since its local gastronomy is one of the top attracions of Segovia. Segovia can also be accessed with hgh speed train (from Chamartin station) and it is at one hour drive from Madrid.
El Escorial and its imposing Monastery
San Lorenzo del Escorial is a mid-sized town located at a bit more than 30 minutes drive from Madrid. The town grew thanks to the construction of the massive Monastery of el Escorial. Besides being a monastery, El Escorial also boasts a fantastic art museum, one of Spain´s best libraries. an impressive church and it isplace where Spanish kings are buried.
The mid-sized town of Cuenca in Castilla la Mancha and the palaces and gardens at Aranjuez (30 minutes south of Madrid) also hold Unesco status. But there are many more interesting places to visit like small villages where it seems time stopped centuries ago: Pedraza, Sepulveda or Chinchon are amongst these amazing places.