In the surroundings of Spain´s capital we find many smaller cities that are rich in history, tradition and art. Book your car hire in Madrid and you can get in less than one hour to several historic places such as Segovia, a former roman city well-known for its aqueduct, the Gothic cathedral, the royal palace and the Escorial, which houses the famous Monastery of San Lorenzo, built by King Philip II. The town Ávila counts with an imposing fortress city wall and is acknowledged as a Christian pilgrimage location. Aranjuez and Cuenca offer an extensive selection of art; Chincón is the most medieval town and Toledo is the most ancient capital in Europe.
The city is declared World heritage by the UNESCO with its fortification from the 14th century, the cathedral from the 15th century, the Renaissance University, the archbishop´s palace, a convent from the 17th century and the house of Miguel de Cervantes.
The city of Aranjuez had been chosen by the Spanish monarchs as their summer residence during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Chinchón has a quaint, round plaza bordered by houses with porticoes and balconies. The plaza becomes a bullring during summer festivals.
Open: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily; closed on Monday.
The monastery San Lorenzo in El Escorial was constructed under Philip III. The famous edifice contains a chapel, a royal pantheon and coliseum, a museum and a library.
Segovia, which stands on a ridge between the Eresma and Clamores rivers, is dominated by its spectacular aqueduct built by the Romans at the end of the 1st century AD, its late Gothic cathedral built in 1525 and the Alcazar, former fortress and royal residence.
13 kilometres from Segovia we find the town of La Granja de San Ildefonso, the former location of a famous royal palace with marvelous gardens and magnificent fountains.
Inside the huge basilica is situated the crypt of General Franco and over the whole area towers a gigantic cross made out of solid rock of 150 meters high and 56 from corner to corner. The Guadarrama Mountains are with their wonderful scenery definitely well worth a visit.
In this fortress we find an interesting mixture of different styles, mixing Moorish and Renaissance elements with Castilian military architecture and late gothic component. As the exterior, we can find as well in the interior furniture and objects from several epochs.
In the Middle Ages Toledo was Spain’s capital during a short period and is known for its historic Moorish, Jewish and Christian remains, as the Cathedral and the synagogue. Here we find as well the house of El Greco, one of Spain´s most famous painters.
Being Ávila the highest town in Spain, it offers an amazing view of the valley below. The city with its impressive fortress walls and the Cathedral is known as a Christian pilgrimage place of Holy Teresa.
Cuenca is a well known medieval township in Castille, that is principally famous for the hanging houses which bend precariously over a precipice high above the valley.
About 35 kilometers away we find the Enchanted city, a cluster of peculiar and remarkable rock formations.