The Splendour of Castille – Part One
Duration: 9 Nights / 10 Days
- Day 1 – Arrival to Madrid Airport, Accommodation in Aranjuez
- Day 2 – Accommodation in Cuenca
- Day 3 – Accommodation in Guadalajara
- Day 4 – Accommodation in Mendinaceli
- Day 5 – Accommodation in Soria
- Day 6 – Accommodation in Valladolid
- Day 7 – Accommodation in Valladolid
- Day 8 – Accommodation in Segovia
- Day 9 – Accommodation in San Lorenzo de El Escorial
- Day 10 – Departure from Madrid Airport
Day 1. Madrid Airport – Aranjuez (Aprox. 58 Km)
Leaving the airport of Madrid driving south towards the beautiful and famous town Aranjuez, one of the Royal Estates of the Crown of Spain since the times of Phillip II in 1560 & until 1752 only the royalty and nobility were allowed to dwell in the town. Once arrived in this cosy town one will discover all the reasons this destination has been declared a World Heritage Cultural Landscape by the UNESCO. These include its spectacular gardens and magnificent monuments such as the Royal Palace which will take you on a journey back through 500 years of history and also the place which inspired the well known Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo to write the impressive guitar “Concierto de Aranjuez”.
Day 2. Aranjuez – Cuenca (Aprox. 145 Km)
Leaving Aranjuez behind and driving westward through the wild landscape of the adventures of Don Quixote bypassing some of the well-known wind mills. Make a stop in one of the charming villages such as Santa Cruz or Tarracon aka “The Nobel City” which has a marvellous historic centre articulated around three beautiful plazas surrounded by cosy narrow streets. Moving on and before reaching the fascinating centre of Cuenca it`s recommended to take a look from a distance seeing how the city “hangs” from the rock spectacularly. The historic centre and the mentioned hanging houses, the city’s most emblematic structures, has the UNESCO World Heritage designation. The buildings blend in perfectly with stunning natural landscapes and this fusion of art and nature give this a very special atmosphere. Cuenca is even more stunning by night when the area of monuments is fully illuminated and there are numerous itineraries to follow around the old town.
Day 3. Cuenca – Guadalajara (Aprox. 135 Km)
Following the impressive North-Western trail towards Guadalajara one will pass by several notable sight. On the edge of the Entrepeñas marsh in the Tagus River valley the traveller will find the town of Sacedón which includes in its district the annexed town of Córcoles. In its nearby hamlet one will discover a masterpiece of the middle ages namely the Monastery of Santa María de Monsalud which use to belong to the Order of Cistercians. Once reaching the town of Guadalajara one will sense that its origins go way back to the Roman period over its Arab domination and later its importance as an urban centre increased from the 12th century and on worth. The rich history of the capital of La Alcarria has left an important architectural legacy in its fantastic old town just awaiting to be explored. In modern time Guadalajara among many issues is known for its epic battles during the Spanish Civil war where the republican forces stopped Mussolini’s fascists black shirts, if only for a while though…… In one of the many local inns in Guadalajara one can try roast lamb or kid, two of the culinary specialities that best represent the area. Also typical are trout, crayfish from the river and pork products without forgetting “morteruelo serrano” (a paste for spreading on bread). Simply delightful……..
Day 4. Guadalajara – Mendinaceli (Aprox. 100 Km)
Up until the disappearance of the Caliphate of Cordoba at the beginning of the 11th century Guadalajara and Medinaceli were Moorish places of much importance and highly militarized. Evidence of this conflictive past can be found in the many castles, walls and watchtowers travellers will come across in this area. Driving from Guadalajara the route passes through an area with several declared historical artistic sites that are well worth a stop-off. A very good example is the Rio Dulce nature reserve and the fantastic view point Mirador Felix Rodriquez. Follow the road and reach the fantastic village of Siguenza and see the national Parador de Sigüenza which is an imposing medieval castle situated in an Arab fortress built atop a Roman settlement. Moving on and arriving at charming Mendinaceli majestically situated high above the sea overlooking the whole area from its fascinating castle. Declared a Historical Site the town of Medinaceli today lives with his past as it has retained the charm of medieval city.
Day 5. Mendinaceli – Soria (Aprox. 80 Km)
Driving north through intriguing landscape, what was once the borderland between the Cristian north and Moorish south, with its many overlapping cultures which all have left their legacy in the form of arc, walls, temples and above all culture. Take a decoy and visit one of Castile`s hidden gems the undeniable medieval jewel the Cistercian monastery of Santa Maria de Huerta. Moving on north one will reach the largest town in this region the fascinating village of Almazan which is surrounded by the wall that was recovered and which gave the name to the town. Further on the constants in this vast region is notable as the last leg towards the regional capital Soria goes through a large patch of beautiful pine forests. The river Duero city Soria is very sympathetic place which welcomes whoever comes here as it has preserves it historical and medieval character with cosy corners where poetry is spoken. At the same time natural spots that invite you to admire and enjoy relaxation, peace and the best landscapes in the horizon. This is also a city truly alive and an actual hotbed because of its intense cultural agenda with all kind of activities, sport, gastronomy, music, etc. Talking about gastronomic here one can enjoy only the beat roast lamb and baby goat, garlic soup, migas de Pastor (Shepherd’s breadcrumbs), other seasonal dishes such as game and wild mushrooms along with the area’s local fruit and vegetables and all combined with excellent local wines from Calatayud.
Day 6. Soria – Valladolid (Aprox. 208 Km)
Driving westward leaving beautiful Soria behind one can make a stop in enchanting town El Burgo de Osma. This wonderful place is an ancient and monumental episcopal city is located superbly at the end of the river Ucero and offers one of the best preserved medieval precincts in the entire province of Soria. Not in vain has the city been declared a Historic-Artistic Site. Further west one enters in the well-known Wine Route of Ribera Del Duero and one make several stops visiting one of the many wine bodegas which pops up along the route. Visit also the wine capital Aranda Del Duero which is also a great municipality in the province of Burgos. This town lived a flourishing period under the rule of Enrique IV in the late 15th century and therefor rich architectural heritage. Don’t forget the Casa de las Bolas Museum. Finally arriving in Valladolid, the city on the Pisuerga River, which historic centre conserves an important monumental and architectural heritage, particularly comprising noble houses and religious buildings. A highlight among these is the unfinished cathedral. The city has an intense cultural schedule thanks to its status as a university town and hosts events such as the Seminci, the International Film Festival and one of the highlights of the Spanish film calendar, and the International Street Theatre and Arts Festival.
Day 7. Valladolid (Aprox. 0 Km)
Take advantage of the stay over to really explore this fantastic city. Valladolid began to gain importance in the 11th century and it reached its apotheosis during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella (15th century) at a time when Valladolid University was one of the most important in the country. But in addition to playing a role in some of the key episodes in Spanish history Valladolid has on two occasions been its capital, the first under Charles I (16th century) and subsequently when Philip III came to the throne in the 17th century and evidence of Valladolid’s cultural importance can be seen everywhere in the city. One can also make a visit to the nearby charming and hostirical town of Tordesillas which just 20 minutes from away. A city of great historical importance so there are many reasons why it is worth getting to know. It is set on the banks of the Duero River in surroundings of outstanding natural beauty. Stately homes and palaces bear witness to the importance once held by the court in the life of the town. Tordesillas is a fascinating town whose place in history is secure for several reasons, one of them because after a series of difficult negotiations Spain and Portugal met here to sign the Treaty of Tordesillas dividing the new lands which were being discovered in Africa and America between the two powers. Significant to this very day
Day 8. Valladolid – Segovia (Aprox. 116 Km)
Leaving the Valladolid area behind and once again going south slightly east towards the famous city of Segovia. On route one passes a string of charming Castilian villages. Especially recommendable is Pedraza which was declared to be a Historic-Artistic Site in 1951 and the village has one of the most beautiful main squares in the Castile. With its cobbled streets and emblazoned houses from a medieval urban setting where every corner must be seen from the Puerta de la Villa (the town gate) to the far end of the village. The whole story crowned by a castle in whose tower currently a museum where the painter Zuloaga had a studio. Later arrived in fascinating Segovia one will understand why this is chapter of its own as it has gained the title as a World Heritage City. Its unique monuments that alone make a visit well worthwhile, however once in Segovia one will find the city offers much, much more. An old Jewish quarter, stately homes, outstanding views and a green belt which is ideal for a pleasant stroll in the sunshine. This place has its own special attraction and charm and the area around the impressive Alcazar Castle is simply breath-taking. The gastronomy here also has her own chapter as it is well known and appreciated since it combines a long tradition, innovation and exquisite raw materials for a careful preparation. Enjoy e.g. suckling pig, roasted lamb, exquisite cheeses and endulzate with the “Ponche de Segovia” – Just for starters………
Day 9. Segovia – San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Aprox. 55 Km)
After Segovia one will be on the route going south towards the authentic and charming village of San Lorenzo de El Escorial situated majestically right in the heart of the Sierra de Guadarrama less than 40 km from Madrid. Majestic is just the expression since King Felipe II gave this location its royal importance at the end of 1562 to commemorate the battle of San Quintín. The monastery and Royal site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial was declared as heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 1984 & the World Heritage-designated monastery is certainly home to the secrets of Spanish history and set right next to the charming village surrounded in fantastic beautiful natural surroundings. The Monte Abantos (mountain) and its pine forest makes it a privileged location on the Madrid Mountains offering many leisure opportunities and cultural routes that one cannot miss. After the many culural visits it’s time to stop in one of the bars or restaurants in the historic centre of town to sample such traditional fare as the meat dishes (sirloin or T-bone steak), roasts or the typical chickpea stew. The best idea is to go down Calle Patriarca and come out again in Floridablanca then have lunch somewhere with views of the Monastery. Just a few km from the town center of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is the historical Valle de los Caídos (valley of the fallen) which is also a must during a stay in this area.
Day 10. San Lorenzo de El Escorial – Madrid Airport (Aprox. 57 Km)
Last day and departure……Before reaching the Madrid Airport, if the time permits it, one could make a stop at the charming upper class village Pozuelo de Alarcón. The town is situated ten km west of the Moncloa District of Madrid and is surrounded by large Mediterranean pine-tree forests and “La Casa de Campo” the largest public park in Madrid and once a royal hunting estate. Pozuelo has one of the highest average per capita incomes in Madrid and the old town and centre of the village offers a string of cosy classy establishments. The airport is not more than about 25 min drive away.
- Group A: Fiat 500 (0r similar)
- Partial Damage Cover with excess (CDW) and occupants insurance.
- Free cancellations & amendments.
- Unlimited mileage.
- VAT included.
- The vehicle will be delivered with half a tank of fuel (between 30 € and 65 €, depending on the hired car group) and you can return it empty.We don´t charge refuelling service.
In Centric 3*** or 4**** Hotels with Breakfast.
Available: All Year Round.
Price From: 545,0,00 Euros Total Price 2 Persons.
Including: 1 Double Room with breakfast in the above mentioned hotels (or similar) and 1 rental car including the above mentioned conditions.
Early Booking Discount.
Avoid to waist time standing in a queue or simply to find your favorite sight or event sold out !
Entrances For Multiple Sights, Events, Tickets and Much More Available For Forehand Reservation Against Supplement.
Fly & Drive Route Including Car Rental with Markets Best Prices & Conditions.
Possible to Extend Trip with a Stay in Madrid Capital.