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Madrid airport to Aranjuez then on to our hotel in ToLAYdo

Was originally concerned about making our way from the airport in Madrid to our hotel in Toledo, but now I have spotted another UNESCO World Heritage Site on our way to Toledo. And that is the monastery at Aranjuez.

Obviously we would have to do our sightseeing THE NEXT DAY if we spent some time in Aranjuez after arriving and traveling from the airport. But now the logistics. After arriving at Madrid airport, has anyone ever gone through Aranjuez on their way to their hotel in Toledo, and if so, how did you do it (ie., cab, train, bus, combination)? TIA.

Posted by
5469 posts

Not been to Aranjuez, but have been to Madrid and Toledo a couple times. I like to just use directions in Google maps, they are very good detailed public transport directions.

For example, it looks like you can catch the Metro from the Airport to Nuevo Ministerios station and switch to the Cercanias regional train that will take you to Aranjuez. Travel time is just under an hour and a half.

To get to Toledo however, I do not see direct public transport, the suggested route is to take the regional train back into Madrid (Atocha Station) and take the train out to Madrid. If you could drive direct, it would take about 40 minutes, the train route back into Madrid about double that. A taxi/driver might be an option, but for the time savings the cost might not be worth it.

Posted by
19519 posts

I have not done this; these suggestions are the product of Internet research only. I hope someone with actual experience will be able to confirm or correct this information.

Rome2Rio.com is a good place to start with questions like this. It will usually tell you what your basic options are. Unfortunately you cannot trust the fares, travel times or frequencies it displays. Instead, you must drill down to find the name of the company operating each transportation leg and go to its website to check schedules. In this case Rome2Rio says you can start with a Metro ride from T4 at the airport to Nuevos Minsterios, where you can pick up a local (Cercanias) train to Aranjuez. The Metro runs frequently; you'll be taking Line 8. You can find the Cercanias schedule here: http://www.renfe.com/viajeros/cercanias/madrid/index.html. Use Nuevos Ministerios as the origin. There seem to be at least two Cercanias trains per hour, sometimes as many as four.

I don't know that you'll find a place to store luggage in Aranjuez.

Going on to Toledo will be trickier. The company AISA seems to run just five buses a week (probably Mon-Fri) at mid-afternoon. The other reasonably-inexpensive option is to take the train back to Madrid's Atocha Station, walk to a different part of the same station (listed on schedules as Puerta de Atocha) and take the ALVIA to Toledo. Ideally you will have bought both tickets (Aranjuez-Madrid and Madrid-Toledo at Aranjuez; that will allow you to avoid the possible lines at Atocha Station. Or you could use a ticket machine there, but first I think you have to find the right kind of machine for tickets to Toledo. Be aware that afternoon trains to Toledo run only every 1 to hours.

I believe it's just under 30 miles from Aranjuez to Toledo. This might be a time to throw money at the problem and take a taxi. But this is adding up to considerable transportation expense, and if you're arriving on an overnight flight that day, I don't know that you'll get much, if anything, from your time in Aranjuez.

If the plan is to take the train back to Madrid before going on to Toledo, the logical way to handle you luggage is to store it at Atocha. That would mean taking the train (rather than the Metro) from the airport to Atocha Station. I've never stored luggage at Atocha, so I don't know how long you'd need to allow for drop-off and pick-up.

Posted by
3475 posts

Is this new UNESCO site in addition to the ones you were going to see in November, or was that trip moved to December, or is this another trip? Personally, I’d rent a car and drive it. From the airport to Toledo takes under an hour. Drive to the hotel in Toledo, get over the jet lag, then go to Aranjuez on your way back to Madrid. Depending on how much time you have, there is a castle ruin at Almonacid de Toledo and a little further down the road is Consuegra with its castle and windmills. From there, cross the E5 and go visit the windmills at Campo de Criptana (of Don Quixote fame) before heading north to Aranjuez to see the monastery.

Posted by
5105 posts

If you will be arriving on a long (overnight, redeye) flight, do not arrive then immediately jump in a car and drive off. That's extremely dangerous. Driving when exhausted and jetlagged (and most people would be after flyin in from North America or anyplace else that far away) is a great way to get in a serious car accident and possibly killing people, often including yourself.

Now, if you will already have been in Europe for a couple of days, and your body will already be adjusted to the local timezone, non-jetlagged, then a car is an option (not necessarily the best option, but an option you may want to consider).

But please do not arrive in Europe on a long flight and get behind the wheel before you body and your brain have recovered from the very real effects of flying half-way around the planet.

Posted by
2578 posts

Unesco or not, I'd say you can safely skip Aranjuez. I visited a long time ago but I don't remember being "wowed". "Nice park" is what comes back to mind; the Palace is beautiful but similar to dozens of others in Europe.
Not sure about any Monastery there however, which gets me confused! What do you have in mind?

Posted by
50 posts

All replies much obliged. Looks like several of you have done some extra special work. I would like to do this, so how do you guys keep an eye out for all the questions, no matter the country???

I did pay particular attention to the reply indicating to SKIP THE UNESCO AT ARANJUEZ, which is after ruminating through all these excellent responses, I think we will do.

Have a new "UNESCO itinerary" which I will be posting to get more input. Great "gang" of responders here, that much I HAVE to say! ken and karen

Posted by
19519 posts

If I understand your question, I think a lot of us use the "All Topics" view of the forum. It would take far too much work to go into each of the country forums individually--even just the forums for the countries we've been to or are planning a trip to.

If you generally start on the main webpage for the Forum, you can find the link to the All Topics view at the end of the second paragraph. It's in blue but is unfortunately not bolded.