Madrid tours and excursions
Take an open top city bus tour, with recorded commentaries available in 14 languages. There are two routes available, both taking in sights, and places of interest, including shopping districts. Tours run throughout the year.Tel: +34 913 69 27 32
Antociano organise wine and tapas tasting tours of Madrid. Each lasts two hours and there are five different routes around the city to choose from. Participants stop at various bars and restaurants where they are taught about food and wine pairings.Tel: +34 91 551 8985.
Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial
This monastery lies just 50km (31 miles) northwest of Madrid, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The extraordinary rectangular edifice with four spired towers was built by Philip II, as a memorial to his father, Charles V, and is a combination of monastery, church and palace. It contains numerous artistic treasures, an austere 17th-century church and a beautifully decorated library with vaulted, painted ceiling. Trains depart from Atocha and other stations.Tel: +34 91 890 5903.
North of the Sierra de Guadarrama, 90km (55 miles) north of Madrid, easily reached by train (there are regular departures from Chamartín Station and Atocha Station), by bus (from Estación Sur de Autobuses), or by road (along the A6 and the AP61), lies Segovia. Once an important Roman city, evidence of its splendour is the magnificent 2,000-year Augustan aqueduct which remains intact to this day. The Alcazar (dating back to the Middle Ages) was originally a Moorish castle, later the residence of the Catholic Kings. Along with the aqueduct, it is the most distinctive landmark.Tel: +34 92 146 6070.