Friends, would love input on which of these cities deserves a full day trip from Madrid? We will be flying into Madrid early February 2020, then proceeding to Toledo for two nights, then back to Madrid for eight nights. Am not opposed to going further afield (i.e. Seville, Cordoba, Valencia) but want to hit least one of these towns as a day trip while we are in Madrid if possible. Looking for cultural and religious(Catholic) significant places as we both love Spanish history and of course, good food. Thank you all for any and all suggestions including which, if any, are your personal favorites
We did El Escorial and Segovia on a day trip, leaving at 9 coming back after 5 pm.
This is easier if you have a car. If not Segovia alone has enough for a day trip
Very difficult decision between Salamanca vs. Segovia (Avila not so much), both cities are steeped in Spanish history and very pleasant to explore.
Salamanca has the most important and historical University in Spain + absolutely stunning Cathedral(s) + one the the great Plazas of Spain.
While Segovia has remarkable Roman Aqueduct + a very historically important castle (Alcazar) for the rise of Queen Isabella I + is a culinary capitol of the Castilla region.
You can't go wrong with either, as both are easily accessible via train from Madrid
Thank you both, and I should have specified that we will not have a car and plan on using train as mode of transportation.
I agree: Not Avila. To me it is one of the least interesting frequently-mentioned side-trips in Spain. There's a wall, and you can spend one or two hours walking around, but the other places have so much more.
Salamanca is much farther from Madrid than Segovia. You can get to Segovia's Guiomar Station by train in under 30 minutes, but Salamanca takes over 1-1/2 hours, and there's only one viable outbound option, the 8:55 AM departure (I checked a weekday). The fast return trains are at 3:30 PM (too early, I would say) and 6:20 PM.
For both cities you would depart from Madrid- Chamartin.
Segovia to me is a perfect day-trip from Madrid (I’ve also gone and stayed overnight and enjoyed that too). Easy to get to, and a lot to see in a relatively compact area.
Signed, a fellow Okie
If you’ve never been to either, then Segovia, but both it and Salamanca are equally interesting and worth a full day. Agreeing with the others, Avila is worth a couple hours at most.