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Editor'S Choice - 2019

Aranjuez beyond what the guides tell

The Real Sitio de Aranjuez is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Community of Madrid. But in addition to palaces and gardens, Villa de Aranjuez has much more to tell

Aranjuez beyond what the guides tell © Alamy

From last April 18 we can enjoy the wonderful tour of the Strawberry Train, the historic railway that connects the capital with the Villa of Aranjuez. Possibly Aranjuez is one of the most important historical destinations of the Madrid's community, and it is easy to leave things without seeing if you do not have a good guide.

In addition, Aranjuez is magic and energy, it is esotericism in its purest form. The Strawberry Train stops at a World Heritage destination that hides many things that do not appear in the guides.

Exteriors of the Palace of Aranjuez © Alamy


Aranjuez is History of Spain in its purest form. To admire the beauty of the Royal Site, with its majestic fountains and its flowers of thousands of colors It makes us see that the city was designed for the absolute pleasure of the senses.

The road map through the gardens has to understand Three essential stops:

The palace. It began to be built to late fifteenth century and it was renamed the Royal Site when the gardens appeared a century later. It became the favorite summer residence of the monarchs who came to the Royal Site to relax and enjoy a good retreat.

The current palace was built for the eighteenth century with King Carlos III, a great lover of Chinese porcelain who did not hesitate to give prominence during his reign. The interior of the palace is a true fan of the decorative tastes of each of the monarchs that inhabited it. In addition to an impressive collection of watches, the state of conservation of the rooms is impressive, observing the traces of Isabel II in furniture and lamps, shows the great character that the monarch had.

Dances, games and even project laws were many of the activities that took place in the palace, especially in the Arab cabinet, an impressive polychrome sculpted plaster room which takes us to a delicious smoker in the Alhambra.

Interior of the Labrador House © Alamy

The Labrador House. This royal residence was devised by Juan de Villanueva at the end of the 18th century and it was built on an old farmhouse. The work ended during the reign of Carlos IV and almost suddenly appears among the lavish gardens of the Royal Site.

Inside he surprises again the prominence of the porcelain of the Royal Factory of the Good Retreat and the marble of the Statues Gallery, One of the most curious. He Ballroom, the Platinum Cabinet or the pool hall With the collection of paintings on views of Madrid, they make up a visit to this palace that once was constantly flooded due to its proximity to the river. One of the most fascinating things is the malachite table of the Ballroom, Tsar Alexander II's gift to Isabel II on the occasion of her wedding.

The Museum of Royal Falúas. The last magical corner that emerges from the Prince's Gardens is next to the Royal Embarcadero. Is about a museum that shows a picturesque collection of six boats that the Royal House once used to navigate the Tagus.

Possibly more than one remains with his mouth open when admire the greatness of the gondola, The oldest boat in the collection. It was caprice of Carlos II The Bewitched that He ordered it in Naples in 1683 for its use and enjoyment in the pond of the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid.

The Green Frog and its coveted terrace © iStock


Possibly one of the things that can mosque the traveler when it opens in Aranjuez is that small legion of 'cardholders' who assail you at the entrances of the Royal Site with restaurant advertising of all kinds and ornament and that promise a gastronomic sky to the tourist.

The fast and bad food tufo always accompanies these tourist pilgrimage mecca, Many times because they assume that the tourist is able to eat anything at an exorbitant price.

But in Aranjuez they do find the exception. Because if there is something good that can be done in Aranjuez it is eat, and eat in good places, with and without frills. And is that the dances that the Tagus does for the town, leave the riverbank dotted with some terraces to have the appetizer simply spectacular. The most disputed to tourists are at the entrance of the palace, With two completely different concepts.

On the one hand, The green frog (Queen's Street, 1), honoring the viejuno bar that has tried to adapt to the times and that has managed to hunt the tourist through the sense of smell. In front of him, his rival, Matilde (ctra. Madrid, 2), with one more roll now, a concept of author cuisine without risks and an environment that wants to make you feel exclusive (with all the dangers that entails). Both offer a truly unpayable river terrace.

A mandatory stop is Pablo House (Syrup, 42), the restaurant run by Sergio Guzmán, third generation of the family, which is flooded with stories.

They have been preparing corns since 1941 © Casa Pablo (Facebook)

Be a participant in the history of Aranjuez since 1941 It gives a lot of yes, especially when you have been offering for almost eight decades the same dishes of corns and snails that the grandmother served. And it is not for less, because those snails of Casa Pablo should have a place in the World Heritage Site and we would still be falling short.

Your commitment to native and seasonal product, takes us to an artichoke or asparagus from Aranjuez worked with care and care, which is how things have to be done. And to finish, A strawberry from Aranjuez with a gin and tonic, Which is how the festival has to end. Bullfighters, politicians and actors have dropped into this piece of Madrid history that still uses the cold store with which they opened the restaurant in 1941.

Jose House (Supplies, 32) It is another of the essentials of Aranjuez. It does not matter that he had his Michelin star because the stars cannot measure the warmth with which Armando and Fernando del Cerro They receive you at home. What once was a family tavern led to a restaurant that makes the product of the garden an art.

The entrance to the atelier exposes a kitchen view where to have the snack It already makes you understand the importance of having the supply market next door. They have known very well to create a chic atmosphere in a traditional attic house where not a detail is missing.

Calm down, we weren't going to go without walking through its gardens © Alamy

The letter is being renewed, but without a doubt the product of the garden is the protagonist, playing with shapes and textures as far as creativity reaches. We recover a leek that tastes like leek or a plate of sea bass that is born from an afternoon of delicious improvisation and that cries out for a pairing with cava. Also, the table tops with Armando taste like friendship.

Oh and You can't leave Aranjuez without eating an ice cream from heaven. Next to Casa Pablo there is an ice cream shop where they make it delicious.


No, we have not forgotten the wonderful Aranjuez gardens. But the joy and enjoyment of the Royal Site should not start wandering around the gardens, that's better leave it for last, by the time the sun goes down and the breeze that rises from the river subsides.

The trill of the birds makes the presence of a Farinelli Il Castrato feel for inspiration. Farinelli spent part of his stay in Spain in Aranjuez where he ordered the ill-fated Palace to be built that the Dukes of Osuna would later acquire and to which so much misfortune has surrounded. Undoubtedly, I would feel the melody of the air running through the bushes, saying goodbye to the leaves that fell in the running of the Tagus river.

The Prince's Garden has a special essence. It's almost like a gigantic volta pile that natural energy recharge to all who enter their capricious ways. It is not uncommon to bump into the most unsuspected recesses with a soul in the middle of an exercise of recollection and meditation. Because we are in territory mindfulness, a space full of life where It is easy to find oneself, without clocks or calendars. Without rules. Perhaps that was what the Kings of the different dynasties saw in places like this and that is why they recreated there.

From the energy of a bamboo forest to the romanticism of Chinescos pond. This unique corner in the world has become one of the energy focuses preferred by yoga lovers in his eternal search for harmony between body and mind. This is the other Aranjuez, the one they don't talk about in the guides and how jealously it is saved for the one who will really appreciate it.

Find places to lose yourself in a hurry © Alamy

Video: Places to see in Aranjuez - Spain (December 2019).

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