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Other Day Trips from Madrid

If you want to get to know Madrid's surroundings, here are the best excursions you can do from the capital of Spain

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

9 min read

Other Day Trips from Madrid

View of the Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral | ©Tom Anderson

It's difficult to get bored in Madrid, because when you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the capital you have in its surroundings many places and experiences to discover. Maybe you are passing through the capital or maybe you live there and you feel like a getaway. Whatever's the case, here are the places that are a short trip away from Madrid!

1. Avila and Salamanca day trip from Madrid

University of Salamanca | ©Jose Luis Cernadas Iglesias
University of Salamanca | ©Jose Luis Cernadas Iglesias

The scenery you will see walking through the streets of Madrid is totally different from that of these medieval cities; visiting them will seem like entering another world and you can do it in just one day with this Avila and Salamanca excursion which includes:

  • Round trip transfer in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle
  • Tour of both cities (available in English and Spanish) with an expert guide
  • Tickets for the Cathedral of Avila and the Cathedral of Salamanca

What this tour consists of

From Madrid to Salamanca is about two and a half hours by road and in the middle of both cities is located Ávila; the total duration of the tour is approximately 11 hours. Will you have time to see both cities in this time? Yes, since you will be accompanied by an expert guide who will take you through them.

You will also have some free time in both cities to wander around at your leisure, but the length of this time will depend on the pace of the tour. The route of this guided tour may change order depending on the day (maybe you will see Avila first or maybe you will go to Salamanca first).

Itinerary

In addition to the historic center of the two cities, some of the main monuments you will see in them are:

  • The Plaza Mayor of Salamanca
  • The New Cathedral of Salamanca
  • The University of Salamanca
  • The Basilica of San Vicente in Avila
  • The Walls of Avila
  • The Cathedral of Avila

Please note

Depending on schedules, you will have free time in one or both cities. Lunch is not included in the tour and neither is the pick up at your hotel in Madrid; once you book online your place for the tour you will be informed of the meeting point in Madrid (it will always be a central location) and how to get there from your hotel.

Why I like this tour

The best thing about this tour is the convenience of visiting both cities and the fact of having a guide at your disposal during the whole tour to tell you all the secrets of Avila and Salamanca (which are many).

2. Segovia, Toledo, and Avila day trip from Madrid

Aqueduct of Segovia
Aqueduct of Segovia

This tour is one of the most complete and engaging tours you can do from Madrid. Seeing three cities in one day can be tiring; maybe you will want to return to some of them to visit them more calmly, but the feeling you will have when you arrive in Madrid at the end of the day will be that of having seen wonderful places and having immersed yourself in a time travel that will have been worth it.

With this tour to Segovia, Avila, and Toledo you will leave early from Madrid (you will meet the tour guide at a meeting point when you make your reservation) and you will be gone for about 12 hours.

What is included in this tour

  • The transfer in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle
  • A picnic lunch
  • A tasting of homemade marzipan
  • Entrance to Toledo Cathedral
  • The services of a professional guide for the whole day
  • Guided tours in each of the cities

What you'll see on this tour

  • Historic center of Segovia
  • Aqueduct of Segovia
  • Alcazar of Segovia
  • Historic center of Avila
  • Wall of Avila
  • Historic center of Toledo
  • Primate Cathedral of Toledo

Why I like this tour

The best thing about this tour is the value for money: visiting the three cities on your own with guided tours, lunch, etc. would cost you much more and would be very difficult to do in one day.

3. Toledo and Aranjuez Palace day trip from Madrid

Palacio de Aranjuez | ©Pablo Cabezos
Palacio de Aranjuez | ©Pablo Cabezos

Surely you have heard of the city of Toledo. It is one of the closest to Madrid and also one of the most visited, especially for its impressive Cathedral and the charm of its historic center. With this excursion to Toledo you will have time to know it in in depth and you will also visit the Palace of Aranjuez (near Madrid) declared heritage of UNESCO and with fabulous gardens full of exotic flowers.

What you will see on this excursion

  • The historic center of Toledo
  • The Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes
  • The Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca
  • The Church of Santo Tome and its famous painting by El Greco
  • The Cathedral of Toledo
  • The Royal Palace of Aranjuez

It includes the transfer from the meeting point fixed in Madrid at the time of booking, a guide in English and Spanish, and the entrance fees to some of the points of interest included in the tour. You will have to pack your lunch or bring money to eat at one of the restaurants you will find during the tour.

Why I like this tour

The best thing about this option is that it includes many of the entries to monuments and that you will have enough time to see Toledo and the Aranjuez Palace in detail and without rushing.

4. Escorial Monastery and Valle de los Caidos day trip from Madrid

Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial | ©Pablo Cabezos
Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial | ©Pablo Cabezos

You don't have to go far from Madrid to go sightseeing in the surrounding area. Many of the towns surrounding the capital have important points of interest for tourists and locals. A good example is El Escorial, from where you can take a seven-hour tour to the Escorial Monastery and the Valle de los Caidos with a professional guide included.

What you will see on this tour

The Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO and, in addition to learning about the Renaissance era in which it was built, during the visit you will be able to walk through its fabulous gardens and have free time to stroll around the area. If you are interested in the history of the Spanish Civil War, you will enjoy the explanations of the guide next to the monument of the Valle de los Caidos, which commemorates the victors of the war.

Why I like this tour

The best thing about this tour to the Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen is that, without being an exhausting excursion, you will learn much more about the history of Madrid and its surroundings thanks to the advice of a specialized guide.

5. Guided shopping tour of Las Rozas Village shopping center

Las Rozas Village | ©jacinta lluch valero
Las Rozas Village | ©jacinta lluch valero

Not everything is about seeing old buildings. In Madrid there are large shopping centers where you can shop in luxurious boutiques and one of them is Las Rozas Villages; a shopping center with outdoor spaces and set as if it were a village. On a shopping experience in Las Rozas Village you can enjoy a day of shopping with expert advice including transfer to and from Madrid.

What this excursion consists of

The final price of this excursion will depend on the extras you add. A host will pick you up in the center of Madrid (the meeting point will be fixed after the online booking) and will accompany you to Las Rozas Village in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. You will spend approximately five hours in this shopping mall and then return to Madrid.

What is included in the superior option

  • A 60 dollar gift card to spend at Las Rozas Village stores.
  • A VIP discount card to shop at elite and designer brands.
  • A two-course lunch and coffee at one of the luxurious restaurants in the area.

Why I like this tour

The best thing about this tour is that if you've never had an experience like this you'll love it because every detail is taken care of. In Las Rozas Village you can not only buy clothes from more than 100 boutiques and top brands, but also gifts and decorative items from big designers.

6. Wine tour of three wineries around Madrid

Tour through the vineyards
Tour through the vineyards

Wine is a tradition in Spain and the Community of Madrid in particular has a wine classified as Denominación de Origen. On the outskirts of Madrid there are prestigious wineries and with this organized tour with wine tasting departs from Madrid's city center to visit them, taste their wine and learn more about this tradition.

What is this excursion about?

This excursion is not only for wine lovers, although they will enjoy it more than anyone else; in the tour that passes through three different wineries in the surroundings of the capital, you will also see fabulous vineyard landscapes that will make you disconnect from the rush and stress of the center of Madrid.

The group size for this tour is between 8 and 19 people; this way the expert guide can clearly expose all the ins and outs of the wine tradition in Spain.

Why I like this tour

The best thing about this tour is how complete is the approach to the wine culture; from the production to the maturation and distribution through the tasting. All told by professional experts in a context of total disconnection.

7. Wine tour through the Ribera del Duero with a stop in Segovia

Viñedos de la Ribera del Duero | ©César
Viñedos de la Ribera del Duero | ©César

This wine tour moves a little further away from Madrid to get to know the Ribera del Duero area, where some of the best wines in the country are made. An expert guide will take you to different wineries to taste the wine and learn more about this tradition. Lunch is on you.

Itinerary

  • Ribera del Duero
  • Aranda del Duero
  • Sotillo de la Ribera
  • Roa
  • Curiel de Duero
  • Segovia

Why I like this tour

The best thing about this tour is that you can enjoy wonderful landscapes along the way and that it is designed to avoid crowds and rest from the hustle and bustle of Madrid. In addition, in areas such as Segovia you will also have free time to enjoy the city.

8. Sightseeing tour of Madrid with entrance to the Royal Palace

Royal Palace at sunset
Royal Palace at sunset

You read that right, one of the plans I propose is to go on a day trip from Madrid. What's the point of this? Simple: Madrid is a city that envelops you in its routines and many of those who live in it do not know it as a tourist destination. Doing this tour means rediscovering the corners of the capital and its stories highlighting the visit to the Royal Palace.

Itinerary

  • Plaza de Oriente
  • Paseo del Prado
  • Toledo Gate
  • Almudena Cathedral
  • Puerta del Sol
  • Plaza Mayor
  • Gran Vía
  • Prado Museum
  • Cibeles
  • Puerta de Alcalá
  • Las Ventas Bullring
  • Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
  • Paseo de la Castellana
  • Main Street

Why I like this tour

The best thing is that you will rediscover the city and for a while you will look at it with different eyes. When I did the tour the feeling I got was that I had left Madrid and precisely what I had been doing was just getting to know it better; if you live or work in the city you have to do an excursion like this sometime.

9. Other day trips you can do on your own from Madrid

La Granja de San Ildefonso | ©Massimo Frasson
La Granja de San Ildefonso | ©Massimo Frasson

If these options are not enough for you, you also have the possibility of visiting other towns near Madrid on your own. Many of them are small, relatively unknown, and very authentic villages. Of course, it is best to rent a car to make this type of excursion as it will be the most practical and will even allow you to visit several nearby villages in one day:

Excursions you can do on your own.

  • Alcalá de Henares: birthplace of Cervantes and World Heritage Site. You can get there by suburban train.
  • Buitrago de Lozoya: a medieval village on the outskirts of Madrid with a spectacular wall.
  • La Granja de San Ildefonso: a palace with large French gardens dotted with fountains and natural labyrinths.
  • Chinchón: a small town with cobbled streets and a charming square. Ideal for cheap and quality food.
  • Manzanares el Real: one of the most beautiful areas of the Sierra de Guadarrama where the Mendoza Castle is located.
  • Rascafría: ideal option to spend a day in the mountains surrounded by nature. In passing you can visit the monastery in the area, one of the most beautiful in the Spanish geography.

Find out more about the organized excursions

If you want to know more about the excursions to Toledo and Segovia, I have written a practical guide with all the details of each of them: Segovia Day Trips from Madrid and Toledo Day Trips from Madrid.

Frequently asked questions

  • What other places close to Madrid should I visit?

    Ribera del Duero is a perfect day trip from Madrid as you will get to take a tour through its wineries and enjoy some of the best food Spain has to offer. Salamanca is also an interesting option and a lively city with a similar architecture to Madrid.

  • What is there to see in Aranjuez?

    The Royal Palace of Aranjuez is a fine example of monumental architecture, along the town's various gardens and ponds near the Tagus river. Also, its casino is well renowned in the area should you feel like an evening of gambling.

  • Where is Costa del Sol?

    Costa del Sol is located in the south of Spain, and it runs along the coastline of the Province of Málaga. It is known for its hot temperatures and warm water, including beaches like Playa de Maro, Nerja, and Playa de Artola.