Route of Royal Grounds

Versailles-style gardens and palaces in this evocative route that begins in Chinchón and takes you to Aranjuez, La Granja and the historic Tordesillas.

Day 1
Departure. Sunday.
We begin in Chinchón, 50 km away from Madrid, in its iconic and cinematographic Plaza Mayor. It has one of the most beautiful bullrings in Spain with over 230 wooden balconies, which today still hosts bullfighting events. Manor houses, beautiful courtyards and galleries supported by stunning columns confer a singular beauty to the village of garlic and anise, which was awarded the title of Most Noble and Loyal by Philip V. In the city centre, you will see landmarks such as the Clock Tower, the Asunción church, the Monastery of the Clare Sisters, the Casa de la Cadena, the Castle of the Counts or the Lope de Vega theatre. If only because of ethnographic curiosity, you should visit the Mesón Cuevas del Vino, an iconic farmhouse of tourist interest with an oil mill, wine presses and a winery with impressive vats signed by a huge number of famous clients that have visited this restaurant-museum such as Orson Welles, Yul Brynner, Rafael Alberti, Mark Knopfler, Manolo Escobar…The Parador is a former Augustinian convent with wide windows, beautiful common areas and rooms exquisitely decorated. Its stunning inner courtyard full of medlar trees and the carefully kept gardens will make you enjoy a beautiful and quiet place, where you should try dishes like cocido, garlic soup or roasted lamb. Aranjuez is just a few kilometres away. These Royal Grounds, declared a “Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site” is a palace and a fertile plain. It was the idyllic place the Catholic Monarchs chose as their vacation residence for the Spanish royals. The Jardines de la Isla, the Palace and the Jardines del Príncipe are just some of the places you can't miss. Madrid, very close to Chinchón, offers all the attractions of the tal city of Spain.
Day 2
The Royal Grounds of La Granja de San Ildefonso are located in the northern slope of the Sierra de Guadarrama, some 90 km from Madrid. Philip V retired to this place in 1724 and for the next 20 years, he enlarged the gardens and the palace in a Versailles style. It was used as a summer residence by all of his successors up to Alfonso XIII. The beauty of the palace, the gardens, its fountains, the interesting Museum of the National Centre of Glass, with exhibitions of glass blowing and carving techniques, are perfect excuses to stay at this Parador, where you can’t miss the spa or leave without trying some judiones (beans stew). If you want to admire the incredible water display of the fountains, check the schedules because they usually work on certain days between April and August 25th. There are plenty of trekking routes as well in the Sierra de Guadarrama, which you can begin to follow in La Granja or Valsaín. If you have time, visit the monumental city of Segovia, just 10 km away, to discover at least the aqueduct, the cathedral and the alcázar, follow a tapas route or eat some roasted suckling pig in the Parador.
Day 3
Our destination is Tordesillas, a town always linked to the Kings of Spain. It is an hour and a half away, in Valladolid, and in your way you may stop in sites of historic and artistic interest such as Arévalo and Medina del Campo or the wine-producing Rueda. Its name has passed into history because of the historic treaty of the same name that was signed there on June 7th, 1494, by which the Castilian and Portuguese crowns divided the world in two. Some highlights are the Plaza Mayor dating from the 6th and 7th centuries, the bridge, the walls, the Royal Monastery of Santa Clara -where Joanna the Mad lived confined for 46 years-, the church-museum of San Antolín, the House of Treaty, several temples and many houses and palaces. The Parador, surrounded by a lush pine forest and a carefully kept garden, invites you to rest, chill and relax. It is the perfect place for tasting wines from the four nearby designations of origin (Rueda, Toro, Ribera del Duero and Cigales) and organise enotourism excursions. You will also need to try a speciality dish you will only fine in this town: the gallo turresilano (chicken in a sauce made of wine), based on an old recipe. 30 km away lies Valladolid, where the Museum for Contemporary Art, the Science Museum, the Plaza Mayor, etc await you. You should also try its unrivalled tapas, the real culinary example of the capital city of Valladolid.