Best Day Trips from Madrid: Manzanares el Real

November 4, 2019
madrid manzanares real castle castillo natural park nature hiking trail day trip historical site spain
The region of Madrid may be one of the smallest in Spain but there's still a lot to see. There are plenty of charming villages and historical sites surrounding the capital of Spain. Some of the best day trips in the area of Madrid include Aranjuez, Chinchon, Patones de Arriba or Manzanares el Real among others. Today I'm taking you around the latter.

Manzanares el Real is one of the most popular Madrid day trips. Manzanares is a village in the north of Madrid that has something for everyone. Do you like cultural trips? Visit its impressive castle. Are you a nature-lover? Check out the National Park of La Pedriza with its beautiful walking trails.

Hungry for more? Check out these other Madrid posts

Without further ado, let's take a look at the best things to do in Manzanares el Real.
madrid manzanares real castle castillo natural park nature hiking trail day trip historical site spain
madrid manzanares real castle castillo natural park nature hiking trail day trip historical site spain

Best Day Trips from Madrid: Manzanares el Real

MANZANARES EL REAL: THE CASTLE

Castillo de los Mendoza is one of the top 3 most visited sites in the region of Madrid together with the Palace of Aranjuez and Monastery of El Escorial (we are not counting Madrid city here). It's easy to see why. The imposing castle is one of the best conserved in the area and is surrounded be the even more imposing mountains of Sierra de Guadarrama National Park.

There are 3 ways to visit this 15th century castle: on your own, as part of the guided tour or on a 45-minute dramatized tour with actors representing Don Iñigo Lopez de Mendoza and his daughter Brianda that guide you through the rooms.
madrid manzanares real castle castillo natural park nature hiking trail day trip historical site spain
madrid manzanares real castle castillo natural park nature hiking trail day trip historical site spain
madrid manzanares real castle castillo natural park nature hiking trail day trip historical site spain

MANZANARES EL REAL: HIKING TRAILS

La Pedriza is one of Madrid's most popular hiking trails. The rocks have been sculpted over centuries by water and wind which gives the mountains unique and interesting shapes. La Pedriza is part of the Guadarrama National Park where you can also see amazing fauna like vultures and the Spanish ibex.

On the other side, the town is surrounded by the Santillana Lake, around which you can take a very pleasant walk.
madrid manzanares real castle castillo natural park nature hiking trail day trip historical site spain pedriza sierra guadarrama mountain

MANZANARES EL REAL: FOOD

Being near the mountains, the most typical food is meat. I highly recommend trying their traditional Castilian style roasts. We made reservations at La Parra because of its raking and opinions on TripAdvisor. The food was good but overpriced in my opinion. The prices of the dishes are similar to those you can find in a luxury restaurant in Madrid city. Normally, villages have lower priced menus.

We haven't tried any other restaurants but after being in Manzanares a friend suggested trying La Charca Verde and we just loved what Casa Goyo looked like. All three restaurants mentioned are walking distance from the castle.
madrid manzanares real castle castillo natural park nature hiking trail day trip historical site spain restaurant
madrid manzanares real castle castillo natural park nature hiking trail day trip historical site spain food

MANZANARES EL REAL: GETTING THERE

Manzanares is a short drive from Madrid, just around 30 minutes. You can also take bus 724 from Plaza Castilla which takes about 1 hour to get there.

Read more about best day trips from Madrid without leaving the area:

Chinchon
Patones de Arriba
Aranjuez

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madrid manzanares real castle castillo natural park nature hiking trail day trip historical site spain

11 comments

  1. The castle looks incredible! Such beautiful architecture too. Awesome photos!

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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  2. The castle is specially impressive. Wow.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  3. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comNovember 5, 2019 at 6:54 AM

    That castle is fabulous!

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  4. This place is breathtaking! What a fun trip dear!
    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  5. That village is right uo my alley, I love it. Another visit to Madrid is LONG overdue (ah, I love that city) and next time I am SO visiting this village. Good to know there's also a bus going (for us that hate driving, hehe). I am going to pin this!
    #OurWorldTuesday

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  6. Thanks for sharing this- it's always helpful when I travel to be aware of interesting places to see. That castle is awesome!

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  7. What a great series of the great area! That castle is just wonderful to see.

    Your post on 'My Corner of the World' is great to see this week!

    My Corner of the World

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  8. I like the photo of you in the castle window! And for me, the nature trails would be my choice.

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  9. I miss Spain: we really enjoyed our time this past summer!
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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  10. Hi, Cristina! Hope you've been well :) Glad to have stopped by your blog and caught up a bit!

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  11. You always lead me on a wonderful journey on your trips Maria! I have never been to Spain, but this area is gorgeou. The castle looks amazing and I love the architecture and that it is surrounded by mountains. Too bad the food in the area was more expensive. Beautiful outfit for travel!

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