Like grown-up kids, mature and blooming, they rebelliously turn away.
Parks inside Madrid are not the only places begging for escape and surroundings of Madrid have a plenty to offer.
Each of these places is beautiful in its own season and some are always great.
North-west from Madrid. Before I moved to Spain, Segovia was the first town in vicinity of Madrid that I graced with my visit. The biggest attraction and a symbol of the city is, without a doubt, a huge Roman aqueduct, stretching across the old town. It leaves me pondering how such a construction survived throughout many hundreds of years. Ars longa, vita brevis.
Besides the aqueduct, one can visit the castle and get to the top of its tower. A nice panoramic view opens from there, with Segovia cathedral being among the sites.
Autumn months like September and October are probably a better time to visit the castle for photography enthusiasts due to earlier sunsets. It's also a good time for melancholic Radiohead music and seeking your perfect road curves.
Overall, Segovia gives a cozy feeling and I craved to stay longer in the town. This may be a good reason to come back.
South from Madrid. Toledo is one of those cities that will also make you want to come back. And understandably why. There are 3 great points with a breathtaking view: Mirador del Valle, Mirador de Toledo and Parador terrace. The latter one is a restaurant in the hotel. My choice from the latest visit was to stick around the Mirador del Valle and Mirador de Toledo in order to move freely with my camera equipment.
There are many different angles and perspectives to be chosen for capturing the beauty of the city from these places, starting from tender golden hour and ending with an ambient blue hour.
It can also have its charm in the winter with cold moody tones.
Besides being a beautiful city, Toledo also leaves a very welcoming and cozy impression.
Needless to say how many times I love to come back. :)
Summer! North-east from Madrid. The biggest reasons to visit Brihuega in the months of July and August are blooming fields of lavender and sunflowers and you would not be the only person thinking this way. It's a popular tourist attraction in lavender season, as well as a beloved photo shooting location, so be prepared to see a lot of other visitors.
While in the middle of July all space belongs to lavender, in the beginning of August you can face both, lavender and sunflowers at the same time.
If lavender and sunflowers together is too much for you, you can feel the bliss in the field of yellow.
In other words, lots of colourful explosion!
4. Buitrago Del Lozoya
North from Madrid. It's a small town with a charming castle, surrounded by the Lozoya river and I have to admit, the castle was the most attractive reason for me to visit the city. It's located in the midst of Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range, in a fairly picturesque location.
Besides the castle there are other fun things to do, like kayaking along the river in the valley or just having a picnic. Since my kayaking experience in Dubrovnik I haven't mastered it further a slightest but. Perhaps, this will be my call.
5. Sierra De Guadarrama
North from Madrid, near Puerto de Cotos. Good for hiking in the spring or the first half of the summer and for those who like challenges, in the winter too. We happened to be the adventurous ones and went to hike up the mountain in January, in the knee-deep snow, in the pre-sunset hour and descending completely in the dark. Kudos to headlamps!
We had a pleasant sunny weather as our companion, can't complain.
There are bunch of ski tracks in this mountain range where people go skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and that all is only about 100 km away from Madrid.
Surprisingly to myself, I might want to repeat something like this but perhaps in a better prepared way.
There are many smaller places to visit, to name a few, Alcala de Henares, Chinchon, Morata del Tahuña but these 5 are the real highlights of my exploration around Madrid within the 2 years span in Spain. But the horizons are wide and the world is my oyster, so stick around :)