Just 45 minutes away from Madrid, Chinchón feels like another world. It’s quaint, small, and ideal for a Madrid escape. In fact, it’s so close, you can even see the city’s skyline and sierra. From the crumbling castle, Chinchón’s highest point, time and space muddle together. Young boys kick a football, girls swing their hips in the rhythm of practiced hula-hoopers, and an older generation simply looks on, observing quietly. I watched, photographed, and felt like a speck of time in the old, but not lost, traditions of Spain.
Chinchón is decidedly and delightfully small (around 5,000 call it home). Besides its colorful Plaza Mayor (painted a surprisingly Mediterranean blue), the small village is known for its food. Though I didn’t try the pastries, the famous anise delicacies (travel fail), I did get a roasted portion of pork (to share with others) and a notably cheap jar of vino de la tierra, or wine from the land. Wander up the hill from the Plaza Mayor, just two blocks away, and you’ll find a restaurant with wine caves and a rustic and incredibly sprawling setting. It’s a bit more expensive than desired (speaking from an English teacher’s budget), but the atmosphere sanctified it. And again, at least the wine is cheap! Where? Mesón Cuervas del Vino.
To get here, from Metro Conde de Casal, take bus 337. The bus stop sits on the main road, Avenida del Mediterráneo. Roundtrip ticket costs 8 euros.