The first unrestricted Easter, beyond wearing a mask in certain public spaces after two years of the pandemic, triggered the urge to leave the capital. Most of the religious acts of the community have been recovered, which opens the door to witnessing traditional processions and liturgical acts, which some converts are recognized for their cultural and historical value. This is the case of the Passion of Chinchón, considered a Festival of National Tourist Interest, the Living Passion of Colmenar Viejo or Morata de Tajuña, or the traditional procession of the Sunday Meeting of the Resurrection of Móstoles.
However, if what you want is another type of activity, we offer “lay” plans; suggestions near Madrid that will allow you to disconnect without having to spend the day behind the wheel. They are all suitable to do in one day, although if you want to relax you can look for accommodation and consider them as a two, three or even four day getaway. Take note!
The first of our proposals is one of the small treasures of the Community of Madrid. A regular in lists of charming towns, Chinchón proudly sports its Plaza Mayor, declared the community’s fourth material wonder and a notable example of Castilian arcaded squares, sometimes used as a bullfighting pit. The municipality, candidate for Capital of Rural Tourism 2022, is a municipality in the Las Vegas region of just over five thousand inhabitants surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. The castle, the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción or the Clock Tower are some of the must-see places when visiting this magical site located 45 kilometers southeast of the capital.
San Lorenzo del Escorial
In the Sierra de Guadarrama, at the foot of Mount Abantos and Las Machotas and half a hundred kilometers north of Madrid -about 60 minutes by car-, is San Lorenzo del Escorial. The city, which today has 18,000 inhabitants, developed around the monastery, gradually extending towards the mountains. Although its location is ideal for hiking or enjoying a bike path, our proposal on this occasion is for the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. And it is that this complex, built in the sixteenth century in gratitude for the victory in the battle of San Quintín, was once considered the eighth wonder of the world. Elevated to the rank of a masterpiece of the Spanish Renaissance, it is Herrerian in style and stands out for its symmetry and austerity. Besides the monastery, it includes a royal palace, a basilica, a pantheon, a library and a college.
San Ildefonso Farm
Further north of San Lorenzo del Escorial, already in Castile and León, just 11 kilometers from Segovia and 80 from Madrid, La Granja de San Ildefonso welcomes foreigners with a majesty that remains intact over the centuries. The “farm”, which was born as an agricultural complex ceded to the Hieronymite monks by the Catholic Monarchs at the end of the 15th century, ended up becoming the residence of Felipe V. Today it is the perfect excuse for a getaway in the middle of nature. Called the Spanish Versailles, the complex is made up of a royal palace and 146 spectacular hectares of gardens, forests, ponds and fountains. The monarch, fascinated by the court of his grandfather Louis XIV, entrusted the project to Teodoro de Ardemans and the design of the gardens to René Carlier, a disciple of the Sun King’s architect.
Pradena del Rincon
Prádena del Rincón is an excellent destination for nature lovers. It is a small town that does not reach the 120 neighbors nestled in the Sierra Norte de Madrid, between transhumance routes and rivers. Located about 95 kilometers from the capital, in this small town surrounded by beautiful landscapes, we assure you that you will be able to forget the routine. Stroll through its cobbled streets, among buildings with traditional architecture, and head to its charming parish church, a 13th-century temple dedicated to San Domingo de Silos. Its surroundings are ideal for hiking – either in the Samoral Lagoon or on the Peña del Cuervo trail -, photography or cycling. Will you miss them?
Cabaneros National Park
Our latest plan for Holy Week takes us to the land of Castilla-La Mancha, to the Cabañeros National Park. Nestled in the heart of the Montes de Toledo, in the provinces of Ciudad Real and Toledo, its proximity to Madrid – it is 160 kilometers southwest of the capital – makes it an attractive spring getaway. Despite its natural wealth – it is one of the best examples of Mediterranean forest on the Peninsula and home to countless species of protected flora and fauna – it is surprisingly the least visited national park in Spain. In Cabañeros you will feel surrounded by nature. And it is that it has various routes to explore on foot, by bicycle or in 4×4, particularly interesting options to enjoy with the family.
The proposals are suitable for a day, but, if you wish, you can offer them as a getaway of 2, 3 or 4 days