Madrid is very much an urban city and so it’s a real must to discover its green zones and escape for some peace, quiet and a dose of nature.
On a gorgeous warm Sunday I decided to explore the green belt along the Manzanares River. I started off by exploring the park in front of the Royal Palace, it isn’t too big but it’s a lovely green oasis.
From here I headed towards to the Manzanares River where I hired a bicycle for the afternoon. There’s a fantastic green belt that stretches for 6 km along the river, which includes an urban beach, rowing lanes on the river, walks, bicycle paths, kiosks, cafés and restaurants, sports facilities and play areas. The whole stretch was full of people enjoying the outdoors and the sunshine. Such a wonderful way to spend the day.
Another great walk is to combine a visit to Madrid’s botanical garden with The Retiro Park. The Royal Botanical Gardens are just south of the Prado Museum. They certainly don’t compare to the magical parks I saw in Seville but are still a worthwhile escape. I enjoyed the greenhouses with all the amazing tropical plants.
From here, continue up the road to The Retiro park which is Madrid’s pride and joy. This large park is really beautiful with tree lined avenues and fountains. Take a boat ride on the boating lake, around which there is always a large variety of street performances on the weekends.
Make your way to the Crystal Palace and take a seat in one of the rocking chairs. Or head to the Palacio de Velázquez and view an exhibition organised by the Museo Reina Sofia. Definitely a great afternoon visit.
All photography: Lana Kenney ©