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Quiet village for solo traveler outside of Madrid

I'm a 64 year old, solo woman traveler, spending the month of April, 2015 in Spain, flying in and out of Madrid. While I am looking forward to spending the majority of my time at the Prado and other art museums (I'm a painter), at some point I will be worn out by bustle and grit of city life. I'd like to spend up to a week in a small, non-touristy village.

When I spent a month in London in 2012, one of my happiest memories was staying at a B&B on a farm outside of York. I'd like to do something similar in Spain. Looking for small towns that are accessible by train or bus from Madrid, that would have accommodation for a low key tourist like myself, seeking a little serenity.

Posted by
12154 posts

Do you prefer medieval or renaissance? If the former, Toledo is my favorite. Non-touristy? Maybe Avila. It doesn't have a ton of traffic in town.

If the latter, Aranjuez may be worth a try. It has some tourist traffic but not nearly as much as El Escorial (and most say it's nicer). It's a smaller version of Escorial plus really great gardens.

Cuenca is another village that's pretty dramatic - but does get it's share of tourists.

A little further. I really like Olite for the castle. Other than that it's a fairly tiny town and not overrun by a long-shot, mostly Spanish school groups coming to the castle.

During April. I'll add that Holy Thursday in Zaragosa was an amazing experience and may be worth catching a high speed train to spend one night there. April Fair in Sevilla is similar, but I'd spend at least a couple of nights.

Posted by
1178 posts

Zamora --- a couple of hours west of Madrid, past Salamanca....great small and relaxing town; El Cid spent part of his childhood there. Public transportation from Madrid, bus I know, train I think.;..Off the tourist track for the main part.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks! A friend recommended Miraflores de la Sierra as well. Since the main purpose of my trip is to spend quality time with the paintings in the Prado, I'm still considering how much time I'll have to visit the countryside.

Truly, anticipation and planning are one of the great pleasures of traveling.