Day Trip to La Granja de San Ildefonso

Transportation from Madrid to Segovia:

Prices and time schedules are as of Dec. 31, 2008.

A. Renfe AVE Train

1. This is the preferred way to go to Segovia because it takes a shorter time than the bus and is more comfortable, since one can stand and go to the bathroom.

2. The train station is the Chamartin Station, towards the north of Madrid.


3. For the day tripper, there is the Alvia 04087 that leaves at 08:00H and arrives at Segovia in half an hour.

Tourist price: 21.20€

Web price: 8:50€

Estrella price: 12.70€

4. For the return trip, there is the Alvia 04140 that leaves at 18:46H and arrives in Madrid at 19:56H.

Tourist price: 21.20€

Web price: 8:50€

Estrella price: 12.70€

5. Read Buying Renfe Tickets Online in Trip Advisor. One can buy tickets 62 days in advance. It is best to buy the tickets early to get the web price.

6. The train station at Segovia is the Segovia-Guiomar Station, which is 4 km from the city center. Take the No. 11 bus (cost about a euro), that drops you at the aqueduct. This is their website:

7. Be sure to get back to the train station in time.

B. Bus

The Sepulvedana Bus Co. goes from the Principe Pio Intercambiador (transportation hub) on Paseo de la Florida to Segovia.

1. This is the website:

2. The website is in Spanish only, but one can navigate it using this example:

3. After entering the website, go to Rutas y Horarios.

Origen: Madrid Florida

Destino: Segovia

Tarifas: Normal

Fecha Ida (Date of travel): 26-1-2009 (This is a Monday)

Numero Plazas (Number of tickets) : 2

Hit the Buscar button.

4. There is a bus every half hour starting at 6:30H until 23:00H. The time to reach Segovia is about 1.5 hours and the price is 6.64€ as of this writing.

C. From Segovia to La Granja and Back:

The bus stop is near the Aqueduct and the trip to La Granja takes 15 minutes.

Segovia - La Granja with Sepulvedana, S.A. bus

Daily: 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 3:30, 5:00, 6:45 and 9:30

Only working days: 7:40, 8:50, 12:30, 2:00, 9;00 pm

Sunday and Holidays: 10:30 PM

La Granja to Segovia

Daily: 11:00, 12:10, 2:00, 3:30, 4:30, 6;00,

7:30, 9:00

Working days: 7:20, 8:00, 8:30, 9:30, 5:50

Sunday and Holidays 10:00 PM

La Granja de San Ildefonso

This royal palace is located in Segovia. The palace was built by Felipe V, the first Bourbon king in Spain who came from France. Felipe V fell in love with the area where the palace was built and ordered the palace to be built as his retirement home. The palace was started in 1720 and finished in 1723. French architects who worked on the palace and gardens of Versailles were used. The style was late baroque.

The second floor has the rooms of the king and those of the queen. All of them have beautiful crystal chandeliers, and atop the chandeliers are modern spot lights that focus on the beautiful frescoes of the ceilings. There is a lot of light in every single room, so one can appreciate the beautiful floors, the furniture, and the art work.

Downstairs are the sculpture galleries, that run the length of the building. When Queen Cristina of Sweden (there was a movie of her made by Greta Garbo) passed away in Rome, her heir did not want to keep the sculpture collection that she amassed, so the representative of Felipe V bought the whole collection at a very good price. The sculpture was brought to La Granja, but in the past the original pieces were brought to the Prado in Madrid, and plaster copies of the statues were made for La Granja. The sculptures are impressive and very beautiful.

What makes La Granja impressive are the gardens, probably the most extensive of the royal palaces in Spain. The main garden comes down a small hill towards the palace, and it is full of fountains that have a lot of water that flow towards the palace by gravity. The palace overlooks the gardens and from inside the palace one has a good view of the gardens. There are many different gardens and beautiful paths to explore.

All in all, the palace of La Granja is one of the most beautiful palaces in Spain, because of the well maintained interiors and also because of the impressive gardens. The fountains are turned on only once a week. Their website gives details on this.