February 26, 2015 - Posted by Erin in Madrid, Spain, Travel, Travel with kids, Travels in Spain

After seven years of living in Madrid, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that Chinchón might be my very favorite day trip (despite the awkward memories). All the others — Toledo, Segovia, Ávila — they’re lovely, but they lack a certain intimacy, perhaps because of their larger size or maybe due to all the tourists. But Chinchón, it’s got chispa, a spark.

Chinchon

You see, it feels like a legitimate pueblo, the oval-shaped, sand-covered plaza home to bull fights and donkey rides. It’s got a castle (though in ruins and not open to the public) and a cute little tangle of hilly streets.

Chinchon

And this amazing thing happens during the winter on cloudless days: when the sun shines down, it hits the plaza’s eastern-facing terrazas just so, such that the pavement below the tables warms up. Suddenly, despite Madrid’s frigid temperatures, you feel as though you’ve been dropped right into the middle of spring. 

Chinchon

Nico approves of it too. Already a social butterfly, he toddles around, making friends with locals, which includes both people and donkeys.

Chinchon

Local products? Chinchón’s got it covered. The village is noted for its fragrant specialties including garlic and anís, an anise-flavored liqueur.

Chinchon

Adorable right? Served with a glass of red wine or a cold beer (or even some anís, I suppose), and a spread of tapas, Chinchón is, in my book, the perfect pueblo. It doesn’t have the flash of Segovia’s Alcázar or the jumble of tiny twisting streets found in Toledo, but it is the kind of place you’ll want to go back to again and again.

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May 19, 2011 - Posted by Erin in Madrid, Spain, Travel, Travels in Spain

When I think of Chinchón, I think of the first time I met my husband’s sisters. Over four years ago, and on my second trip to visit Jacobo in Spain, we headed out to the pueblo with my future sisters-in-law for a lunch party. I was sporting an empire-waist dress I had gotten from Zara, thinking that my Spanish ensemble would help me to fit in. But then, as I sipped (chugged) my wine, some old doctor lady came up to me to say that I shouldn’t be drinking while pregnant. Say what?!? I may like my chocolate and tortilla española, but pregnant? Come on – not even close! Needless to say, I’ve never bought empire-waist anything since.

So perhaps that’s not what you wanted to know about Chinchón, but it’s virtually all that comes to mind when I think of the place (followed by laughter, and then perhaps forced reassurance from Jacobo that I in fact don’t look pregnant). Indeed there’s more to the pueblo than just this. Spanish-ness oozes from every crevice of the teeny town – from its picturesque plaza, to its crumbling castle, and the church that overlooks the village and its olive orchards. Only about 40 minutes southeast of Madrid, it’s the perfect place to have lunch, then go for a stroll (and pick up local pastries – obviously). And so last weekend, that’s just what we did.

Here are a few pictures from our mini-viaje:


“Donkey taxis,” which I desperately wanted to ride. Too bad I was wearing a dress (again) and didn’t want to scare the little kiddies.


The Plaza Mayor, which dates back to the 15th century, has been used for a variety of purposes over the course of time, some of which include: royal events, executions, a movie set, and a bull ring (which they still do to this day).

My husband and my apparently pregnant-looking self.


I also wanted to ride this bull, but again, the dress.

In conclusion, there’s something about dresses and Chinchón that really don’t go well together – am I right?

To see a few more pictures from the excursion, please visit the La Tortuga Viajera Facebook page.

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