Alcala: The perfect historic & relaxing week-end getaway from Madrid
Alcalá de Henares is great place to go for a short relaxing week-end out of Madrid, to enjoy the food and the nice views without even having to look into a guide if you do not want to.
First of all, it is really easy, quick and cheap to reach: only 35 minutes from Madrid in normal short-distance “Cercanías” train, with trains every 10 minutes. So the a great idea if you just do not want to think about time tables, changing trains, or going to the airport. Straight from Atocha, and here you are !
To be frank, Segovia and Toledo have more monuments and history. However, Alcala has the right amount of things to see -it’s the birth place of Cervantes, the author of “Don Quijote” – so you can stroll its city center in no rush and still see everything, but never get bored.
There is one thing that Alcalá has which neither Toledo nor Segovia have: a Parador. A “Parador” is a state funded hotel chain with a 5 stars quality standard, always in unique monumental buildings. For more details and photos of all these beautiful hotels, please do visit their website.
The patio of the Parador, where you can have breakfast and drinks.
This parador has only opened a few years ago, after some extensive works to adapt the convent to what would be now this 5 stars hotel.
The good news is that it is only 57 € per person with their amazing breakfast for under 35 and over 55, depening on the time of the year. A really great price. And they also have really great quality-to-price ratio if you include a Spa circuit for two.
My program would then include arriving Saturday afternoon, have a coffee at “Cafe Hemisferio”, sample some turrón at “Salinas”, walk to discover a bit the historical centre and have some tapas, for instance at “Indalo”. Or you could go for a good menu at Casa Bayton on Plaza Cervantes, to taste local recipes. During the afternoon, going to the Spa could be a great idea.
Then resting on sunday and profiting from the amazing buffet the Parador has. The rest of sunday will be used to finish visiting Alcalá, getting lost in its quaint little streets around its main square Plaza Cervantes.
The good thing is that you can either visit Alcalá without staying overnight, or profit from the Parador. You choose, but do visit Alcalá since many foreigners living in Madrid just forget to visit it !
Hope this will give you some ideas for your next getaway !
Here are the adresses of the places I mentionned in my post:
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