San Lorenzo de El Escorial
King Philip II spent much of the latter half of the 16th century (and a fair proportion of his plundered new world gold) on building the immense palace where generations of his descendents would escape the sultry heat of Madrid.
In 1984 The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo of El Escorial was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a popular day-trip from Madrid - more than 500,000 visitors come to El Escorial every year.
A distant view of the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial (built by Juan Bautista de Toledo)
Avila is sometimes called the Town of Stones and Saints and coming upon the fairytale bulwarks of its medieval defences from the plains of Castile y Leon it is easy to understand why.
Aqueduct of Segovia
The Aqueduct of Segovia is the most important Roman building in Spain. Its 25,000 granite blocks are held together without any mortar yet have been standing almost 2000 years.
The Aqueduct of Segovia spans 818 meters and has more than 170 arches, the tallest being 29 meters high.
La Granja de San Ildefonso
La Granja de San Ildefonso - the humbly named 'Farm of San Ildelfonso' - is located at the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama (just a short day-trip from Madrid).