Spain's capital is surrounded by many small cities full of history, tradition and art. Less than one hour from Madrid are Toledo, the 'oldest capital in Europe', Chinchón, the most famous medieval town, and Aranjuez and Cuenca with a wide variety of art. To the north, Ávila has impressive, fort-like city walls and is renowned as a holy pilgrimage destination, Segovia, 'the Roman city', known for its aqueduct, Gothic cathedral, royal palace and the Escorial, which houses the famous Monastery of San Lorenzo, built by King Philip II.
Design your own exclusive visit to Madrid's famous surroundings - Segovia, Toledo... or the emblematic Spanish wine cellars in La Rioja or in the Ribera del Duero: Vega Sicilia, Pesquera, Protos, Mata Romera, Marques de Riscal...
Alcalá de Henares
Distance from Madrid: 30 kilometres
Declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO, you can admire its 14th-century wall, Renaissance university, 15th-century cathedral, archbishop's palace, Miguel de Cervantes' house and the 17th-century Bernardine convent.
Distance from Madrid: 47 kilometres
Summer palace and residence of the Spanish kings during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Distance from Madrid: 45 kilometres
Chinchón has a quaint, round plaza bordered by houses with porticoes and balconies. The plaza becomes a bullring during summer festivals.
San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Distance from Madrid: 50 kilometres
Open: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily; closed on Monday.
San Lorenzo de El Escorial was built under Philip II. This monastery is known for its chapel, library, royal pantheon, palace museum and royal coliseum of Charles III.
Segovia and La Granja
Distance from Madrid: 90 kilometres
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.
The town of La Granja de San Ildefonso lies 13 kilometres away, the site of a former royal palace famous for its splendid gardens and spectacular fountains.
Valley of the Fallen
Distance from San Lorenzo de El Escorial: 12 kilometres
The site of a great basilica, crowned by a towering cross 150 metres high and 56 metres across. The crypt, where General Franco is buried, is located inside. It was built out of solid rock in the Cuelgamuros area. The breathtaking scenery of the Guadarrama Mountains makes this well worth a visit.
The Manzanares Real Castle
Distance from Madrid: 50 kilometres
This fort is an example of Castilian military and late Gothic architecture mixed with 15th-century Moorish and Renaissance elements. It houses furniture and objects from various periods.
Distance from Madrid: 80 kilometres
Former capital of Spain during the Middle Ages. Known for its Gothic cathedral, synagogue and Moorish architecture. It also features the famous house of El Greco, one of the most famous painters in Spain.
Distance from Madrid: 112 kilometres
Ávila, Spain's highest town, commands a towering view of the valley in which it stands. The cathedral itself forms part ot the impressive, fortress-like city walls of this town, long renowned as a holy pilgrimage destination in honour of Saint Teresa.
Cuenca and the Enchanted City
Distance from Madrid: 165 kilometres
Cuenca, a famous medieval town in Castille, is particularly well known for its 'hanging' houses, which lean almost precariously from a cliff face high above the valley.
Approximately 35 kilometres away lies the Enchanted City, a grouping
of capricious and interesting rock formations.