Chinchón is one of the most picturesque and best known towns within the Autonomous Community of Madrid and the fact that it lies very close to the capital city has not impinged on its conserving its own personality, with its dark grey and ochre colored landscapes, bunches of houses grouped upon hills surrounding its unique main Square and its winding streets that are a witness to the life and the history of the village Chinchon has a curious town square which consists of a bullring.
It's a charming village, slightly run down but with a character all of its own. Well worth a visit, it offers some great restaurants many of which circle the main square. The town's restaurants are nearly all Asadores specialising in roast pig and roast baby lamb. The restaurant "la balconada" is particularly good.
Located 11 kilometres from Segovia, at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains and set in unique natural surroundings is the Royal Residence of La Granja de San Ildefonso, a grand and impressive palace begun in 1721 on the site of an old lodging house. King Felipe V retired here in 1724 and tried to create a residence in the style of court at Versailles. In order to do so, for the next 20 years he extended the gardens and the palace, which was used as a summer residence by all his successors until Alfonso XII. The collection of historic buildings is rounded off with the Royal Glass Factory of La Granja, an 18th-century structure with an ongoing collection and other temporary exhibitions devoted to the art of glass-making.
The former capital of Spain, Toledo has retained its medieval charm, with its city walls and winding streets. It is the capital of the province of the same name, and is also the capital of the Autonomous Community called Castilla-La Mancha. The city is located at 529 metres above sea level, in the Castillian meseta (plateau), practically in the centre of the Iberian peninsula. and just 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of Madrid on the N-401 highway. The historic city centre sits on a craggy rock, which is almost completely encircled by a wide meander of the Tagus river, called the Tajo in Spanish. The Roman historian Tito Livio mentioned the city of Toletum, a term whose origin would be Tollitum, meaning "raised aloft". The city's historic centre is one of the largest in Spain, and has more than 100 monuments.
The twin charms of Segovia's fairytale castle and Roman aqueduct make Segovia an essential day trip from Madrid.
The monumental complex of San Lorenzo del Escorial, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984, is located little over 40 minutes (50 km/30 miles) to the northeast of Madrid. It is one of the most emblematic municipalities of Madrid due to its history, cultural richness and amazing landmarks. El Escorial, considered the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, is undoubtedly one of the most recommended visits from the capital. The area’s gastronomy is also known not only for its cooked meats, but scenario in which they are served.
El Valle de los Caidos
Tel: 91 890 5611
Controversial burial ground for former dictator, General Franco, complete with magnificent stone cross and basilica, built by Franco's prisoners of war from the Spanish Civil War. Close to El Escorial to make a perfect combined day trip.