Adventure Tourism in the Surroundings of Madrid

As one of the favorite outdoor activities and the one that makes such a profound difference in our lives, traveling is a valuable experience that helps people to learn and to grow. There are so many different ways people experience traveling. Everyone focuses on what interest them the most. This is how various niches of travel have been developed, where everyone gets to design and customize their travel to experience the things they appreciate, find interesting or fascinating. This is how one of the very popular types of tourism has developed – adventure tourism.

Adventure Tourism

What is adventure travel?

Adventure travel is a special form of tourism, focused on exploration or traveling with some dose of risk. Unlike ordinary travel, adventure travel includes using and developing special skills and, most often, physical exertion. Instead of using the well-known paths and routes, adventure travelers prefer unexplored routes.

Besides the actual enjoyment traveling includes, adventure travelers seek for excitement and thrill that, going into the unknown, brings. Involving significant effort or experience something with a degree of risk represents a challenge for them. And precisely this challenge is what motivates them to keep wanting more.

Adventure travelers are not passive observes that join a tour of visiting a particular landmark. They are the action-takers, they experience travel in their own way, creating an out-of-the-ordinary holiday. They do not want to see must-see places in the city. Instead, they want to explore a particular aspect that interests them and create their own adventure. They want to experience new things, to try something they have never before and to test their limits by enforcing strenuous activity which often includes visiting “unreachable” places, climbing great heights, etc. They set of to a challenging adventure that can include ecotourism, ethnic tourism, cultural tourism, culinary tourism, extreme tourism, etc.

 

Adventure travel in Madrid

There are many ways to experience adventure travel in Madrid. We are going to show you the opportunities offered in the city, as well as venues where you can organize such an adventure. Have in mind that adventure travel tours also exist, if you want to let the organization to someone else and simply enjoy the actual adventure.

 

Rock climbing in Madrid

Rock climbing is a very exciting activity for people into sports with enough agility to reach the top of the peak. The challenge represents that natural rock formation or artificial rock wall. Most often, climbers climb up the route. The actual activity requires a significant physical and mental power to overcome the obstacle and balance your way to the top.

 

·      ROCKGAME

This indoor climbing construction is a perfect way to experience rock climbing in Madrid. The center organizes many excerpting sports activities, classes, etc. They are even the host of the national climbing championship. ROCKGAME strives to make climbing available to everyone. Besides climbing activities for professional athletes, they also welcome beginners for which they have special training courses. Climbing for kids is also part of their offer.

 

Location: Capellanía Street, number 47. Capellanía Industrial Estate 28411 Moralzarzal

Website: http://www.rockgamemoralzarzal.es/

 

·      Sputnik Climbing Center

Here is another venue offering rock climbing in Madrid. The large indoor space is specifically designed for climbers of all levels, including professionals, beginners, as well as children. The colorful rock formations repent an exciting challenge for an adventure travel. Furthermore, the center also offers outdoor activities. These include guided climbing activities, mountain skiing, trekking, canyoning, etc.  These are organized in the nearby area of Madrid, for which they provide transportation and other things related to organizing such an activity. Climbing and mountaineering courses are also available.

 

Location: Calle la Granja 100. 28108. Alcobendas. Madrid

Website: http://www.sputnikclimbing.com/

 

Mountain biking in Madrid

To experience the real thrill of mountain biking, you will need to go beyond the center of Madrid. In the surroundings of Madrid, you will find so many exciting tracks and paths that wait to be discovered and conquered. For such an activity, you will probably need guides to help you find these hidden paths, as you will find it difficult to find them on your own, especially if you are traveling to Madrid for the first time.

 

·      Track MTB

Track MTB offers the unforgettable biking ride across Sierra de Guadarrama mountains in Central Spain which were recently designated a National Park.  If you want to explore this side of Spain and landscape that goes beyond the central urban area, this adventure is the perfect choice. During your tour, you will be near the city of Segovia, another destination worth visiting.

 

Website: http://www.trackmtb.com/en/mtb-tours-spain/

 

·      Mountain Cranks

A team of professionals who love outdoor adventure is ready to take you on a biking adventure that is completely customized for you. Mediterranean forest, countryside, and hills surrounding Madrid are some of the locations you can explore. They divide their tours into easy, moderate, and advance. This is perfect as you can find the one that best suits you, depending on how fit and active you are. They also provide guidance regarding technique you use, the value of being active and how to create challenges for yourself even if you already are mountain bike enthusiast.

 

This tour comes with free transport to the specific biking destination, as long as you are located in the center. So if you find an apartment in the center of Madrid, you will easily join the route and enjoy your next adventure.

 

Website: http://www.mountaincranks.com/

 

Zip-line in Madrid

If the height is what excites you the most, zip-line is the adventure you were seeking for. The entire concept consists of a cable places on a slope. It is designed so that the gravity pulls you down the slope as you slowly slide. This slide can be more or less steep. Zip-line has been very popular as an entertainment activity among young travelers, as well as among sports enthusiasts. And now, you can experience this excitement in Madrid as well:

 

·      Spain Zip Line Adventure Parks

The guided adventure with different circuits available for all levels. You can take the easy way with a basic zip line, or you accept a real challenge and join an exciting adventure that will take you more than 10 meters high. Besides zip lining, this adventure center also offers horse riding and hiking. Basically, it is an amazing escape from the city center, enabling you to enjoy the fresh air and plenty of exciting outdoor activities.

 

Website: https://www.zipline.es/

 

Adventure activities

Here are two more venues to experience different types of adventurous activities in Madrid, which include climbing, hiking and other adventurous sports:

 

·      Dreampeaks

Most of these centers we have mentioned so far offer multiple activities to enjoy adventure travel in Madrid. One of those is certainly Dreampeaks. It includes adventure sports, mountain activities, climbing, canyoning, trekking, etc. The activities are organized by qualified instructors and guides, so you can feel safe during your adventure. This kind of travel is a beautiful way to enjoy the Madrid surrounding, to experience nature and explore your own limits. It is a challenge that keeps you alive and striving for more wonderful adventures.

 

Website: http://www.dreampeaks.com/es/

 

·      Sierra de Guadarrama National Park

Located only an hour from the city of Madrid this national park is an ideal location to escape all the hustle of the busy city streets. It is an incredible landscape, with its natural wealth and paths to explore this site. Many forest tracks are available, as well as recreational areas, viewpoints, etc. The activities you can enjoy include outdoor rock climbing, winter activities (climbing channels, ridges, sled area, snowboarding area, cross-country skiing), nodding skiing and snowshoeing, etc. Even though you can enjoy the park all year long, the winter activities are organized based on the accumulation of snow and are only available during a limited time of the year. So if you are visiting during winter months, this location is the go-to place for everyone eager for snow time and exciting outdoor activities.

 

Website: https://parquenacionalsierraguadarrama.es/en/

 

Reaching heights

If being high up in the air is your thrill, if it makes you feel free and alive than the following three activities are definitely for you. As they take you high in the air, you also get to explore Madrid from a completely different view, and not many people can brag about seeing Madrid this way:

 

·      Flying in a balloon

A type of an adventure activity that will provide a magnificent experience or riding through the air and explore the historic places in Segovia, Aranjuez, Ávila, Toledo, and Madrid. It is a completely new and unique way to explore the area, with enough excitement to be the desired choice for many adventure travelers. The two passengers traveling together is a minimal requirement per ride, although the balloon can accommodate more than 10 passengers, depending on the size of the balloon. This makes it a perfect choice of an activity for groups of friends. The flight approximately takes an hour.

 

Website: https://www.aerotours.com/

 

·      Bungee jumping in Madrid

HighJump is the place where you can find many different jumping related activities which include standard bungee jumping (called puenting in Spanish), double bungee jumping (if you want to share the journey with another person), high jumping, rope jumping, etc. The height can vary depending on the activity and how daring you feel in the moment.

Location: Plaza del General Vara del Rey

Website: http://www.highjump.es/

 

·      Paragliding

If your dream of flying is yet to be achieved, your travel to Madrid might just be the perfect occasion to fulfill it. The paragliding flight takes you over Madrid and its surrounding. It is an extraordinary experience and the feeling you will never forget. You do not need any special skills to try out paragliding, but you can be accompanied by an expert pilot to over an extra layer of security.

Location: Alberto Martín González Camino Ancho, 55-57

Website: http://madparapente.es/

 

Regardless of the activity you choose, we know that your travel experience will be wonderful. The city offers quite a selection of adventurous activities that will be a perfect challenge and adrenaline boost, even for the most extreme adventurers.

We also want to recommend our Madrid apartments in the center as the city, as the place to stay if you want to be close to the center and easily reach any destination you might choose to participate in these exciting activities.

In the end, we want to conclude this adventure tourism guide, with an inspirational quote that will encourage you to start doing things, to dare to try something new, and simply to enjoy traveling.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Mark Twain

Visit Segovia While Staying in Madrid

When you travel to Madrid, you will be faced with quite a selection of interesting places to visit. One landmark after the other, and you will soon discover what makes Madrid such an important tourist destination. You will soon realize the reasons why it is included in most lists of the best cities to visit in Europe. While discovering the wonders of the center of Madrid, you will admire impressive architecture and buildings housing apartments in the center of Madrid. You will get to enjoy the local cuisine, visit museums, have a walk in the park and take photos on famous squares. All those and plenty of other activities are available to you when visiting Madrid.

People often spend most of their time in the center, especially if they find an apartment to rent in the center of Madrid, but if you decide to explore the area a bit more, you will find some hidden gems that will take your breath away. One of those places is Segovia, a town you should visit while staying in Madrid.

Segovia

Segovia is a town located 50 miles northwest from Madrid. This means that you can visit the city if you rent a car, or you can take a bus (a journey will take up to an hour) or a train (30 minutes if you take a high-speed train or two hours by the regular train). The most convenient way is to take a bus, because there are one or two buses between Segovia and Madrid every hour, with the return ticket being around 15 Euros. If you travel with small kids, renting a car might be great option to organize a trip or taking the high-speed train, as this greatly reduces the time spent traveling. On the other hand, a bus journey is the best one is terms of costs, plus the buses leave quite often, so you will always have an option to leave or return whenever you plan to.

This vicinity and convenient transport make Segovia a perfect destination for a day trip during your stay in Madrid. It is best to leave in the morning or some time before noon, in which case you will have the entire day to enjoy exploring Segovia. It is a nice opportunity to take a break from the busy streets of the central district, but it still is a landmark worth visiting.

Segovia is well-known for its Old Town and Aqueduct, so it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Aqueduct was built by the Romans in the 1st century AD. It was used for military supplies. The Old Town contains a lot of historic buildings and monuments, as well as religious sites. The number of buildings of Jewish origin is also notable, and one of the most important sites is the Jewish cemetery, El Pinarillo.

Other things you need to visit in Segovia include:

Aqueduct of Segovia

Located in the Plaza del Azoguejo, the Aqueduct is one of the most important things you should visit in Segovia. It is a leftover from the Roman times, and as such, it is a remnant of the centuries-old history of Spain. It is also considered an engineering accomplishment, an extraordinary endeavor made centuries ago which is still used to deliver drinking water. It is impressive the way the stone blocks are placed on top of each other, with no advanced technology used. No adhesive materials to keep the blocks together, no heavy machinery to drag and raise the stones to the position. And yet, the Aqueduct still serves its purpose, hundreds and hundreds years later. Not only is it a monument that has endured through all this time, it is also considered to have special architecture beauty which is typical for the Roman times.

Visit Segovia While Staying in Madrid AquaductThe construction of the Roman Aqueduct in Segovia

 

Alcazar of Segovia

Alcazar is a royal palace between the rivers Eresma and Clamores. The first existence of the palace is documented in the 12th century, but the exact date when the palace was built is not confirmed because it is suspected that it had been there for much longer. Besides two towers and a keep, the construction also has two courtyards. Once popular residence among Spanish kings, this palace now houses the General Military de Segovia and the museum of the Royal School of Artillery.

Visit Segovia While Staying in Madrid CastleAlcazar Palace, an architectural landmark that once had great importance in the Spanish court life

 

Walls of Segovia

The area where the town of Segovia exists today was known battlefield in ancient times so it is believed that the Walls of Segovia originate before the time Alfonso VI of León and Castile retook the city from the Arabs in the late 11th century and the beginning of the 12th century. Its main purpose was to keep the boundaries and prevent people from taking over other territories. During the Alfonso’s reign, the Wall’s perimeter was enlarged to 3 kilometers. Today, the Wall encompasses an important historic quarter of the city with three gates: San Cebrián, Santiago, and San Andrés.

Segovia Cathedral

As you explore cities in Spain, you will soon discover that there are numerous cathedrals around the city, with strong a influence of Gothic style. What makes Segovia Cathedral unique is that it is believed that this is the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain. It has become a significant piece of Spanish architecture with 18 chapels and three doors. Recognizable Gothic style and adorned exterior, typical of the constructions style used for cathedrals in Spain, can also be seen on Segovia Cathedral.

Other things to visit in Segovia

Parks and gardens

Alcazar Gardens is the most famous garden in Segovia, built on the ruins of the Old Cathedral. It was created in the 18th century to host the marriage of Philip II. It was expanded in the beginning of the 19th century, only to be destroyed by fire a couple of decades later. Today, the garden is completely renovated and it is a place you definitely want to visit while in Segovia. Another garden you should consider is the Garden of la Merced which is considered to be the most beautiful garden in Segovia. The Paseo del Salon is one of the oldest gardens in the town of Segovia. If you happen to visit Jardinillos of San Roque Garden, you will see an amazing fountain inside the garden, as well as a pavilion dedicated to the Feria de Muestras. As you explore Segovia, you will discover even more small parks and gardens within the boundaries of the town.

Museums

Although the most remarkable Spanish museums are located in Madrid, with their extraordinary collection of masterpieces, Spain is known as a country with rich cultural and artistic heritage. This means that a lot of museums in other cities have collections of their own, with impressive pieces of cultural and historical value. There are a couple of museums you can visit while you are in Segovia:

  • The Museum of Segovia
  • The Gastronomic Museum of Segovia
  • The Museum del Pasado
  • The Museum of Witchcraft
  • The Museum of Arms
  • The Museum of the Contemporary Art Esteban Vicente
  • The Museum of the Walls of Segovia

Festivals and other events

·         MUCES

The word MUCES is an acronym that is used for the annual film festival organized in Segovia since 2006. It is usually organized in November and its purpose is to promote European film, especially those films that are not commercially screened.

·         San Frutos

Hosted each October 25, the purpose of the festival is to celebrate the patron saint of Segovia. The day starts with the Carol of San Frutos being sung in the Cathedral, followed by numerous activities in the town including a proclamation, a concert by the band of the Segovia Musical Union, etc. Numerous activities are also organized in the days before the actual celebration, so the festival is actually taking place for a couple of weeks each October.

·         Virgin of the Fuencisla

Segovia also celebrates its patroness. This celebration is taking place in September. The festivities take place over several days, but the biggest celebration day is organized during the last Sunday of the month. There is a traditional ritual that is followed during the September, starting with a novena, and ending with an impressive route from the Cathedral Shrine accompanied by the cadets of Artillery Academy and the Band.

·         San Lorenzo

Organized at the beginning of the August, this celebration is devoted to one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city.

Squares and other buildings

Segovia also has a lot of interesting squares and streets, which you will come across as you walk around the town and explore these amazing landmarks. These are all the places that had some role in the history of the town, usually as places where people gathered with some common purpose. The most notable ones include:

  • Plaza del Azoguejo
  • Jewish Quarter
  • Calle Cervantes
  • Puerta de la Luna arch
  • Church of San Martin
  • Casa de Los Picos
  • Plaza de la Merced
  • Plaza Mayor

All of these places you will find in the central historic part of the town, which is where you will spend most of your time while in Segovia.

Other activities in Segovia

While historic places and cultural sites are what makes Segovia worth visiting, there are other activities to do on your day trip to Segovia. Start by trying the local cuisine. There are a lot of restaurants near the Plaza Mayor, as well as in the area near the Cathedral and the Plaza del Azoguejo. It is recommended that you try out traditional Spanish dishes. One of those is Cochinillo, a roasted suckling pig. Everyone raves about this dish, and you will see a lot of reviews online featuring Cochinillo as one of the things to do while in Segovia. Cordero, roasted lamb, salads with vegetables and cheese, judiones, a big bean stew, as well as tapas, are all dishes Segovia is known for. Wine is also popular, especially red wine, as well as whiskey, having in mind that the town also has DYC whiskey distillery. After all, eating and drinking is a perfect way to wrap up an exciting day of sightseeing before you have to head to the bus or train station and leave Segovia.

Once you get back to your apartment in the center of Madrid, you will be overwhelmed by the impressions of this town that will charm you with its beauty, historic and cultural value. Even though you will be interrupting your visit to Madrid to go an hour drive away from the center of the city, it is still worth the time. It is a town that has had such an immense importance in Spanish history, which has also influenced the life in Madrid over the centuries. Even though it seems secluded, it will actually feel like a part of Madrid’s charm is transferred to this town.