Camping El Escorial March 2012
This is the
biggest, and most well-organised, site we have ever stayed on! Reception has six check-in desks which were all busy when we arrived, a week before Easter. A man in a golf buggy showed us to our pitch, and he was careful to spread everyone out so we weren't
all on top of one another.
The site is all on a level and laid out in a grid-pattern. Pitches are grassy and a reasonable size, and there are some extra-large ones for people with RV's. There are trees for shade and about half the pitches
have permanent sun canopies.
There are well-separated areas for tourers, tent campers, bungalows and permanent caravans. As anyone who uses Spanish sites often will know, the Spanish love to go to campsites at weekends with their large
families, usually staying in their own statics or bungalows, and they can be somewhat noisy - so it was a nice touch to have the touring area well away from the hubbub!
There is one large central sanitation block, very smart and clean,
with roomy showers of the push-button type but with controllable temperature. The washing-up and laundry sinks are under cover and have hot water. Washing machines cost 3. 50 euros. Everything is fully enclosed and heated in winter.
is a large bar and restaurant and plenty of entertainment and sporting facilities. There are 3 large swimming pools and one smaller children's one. The supermarket is large and there's also a souvenir shop in high season. Wifi is free but available only in
The surroundings are very pleasant, and look more Austrian than Spanish - mountains all round, lush green fields full of cattle, and even chalet-style buildings. There is a bus to Madrid but it's a long walk up to the main
road from the campsite.
There is also a station in the town of El Escorial. If it's Madrid you want to visit, there are more convenient sites than this; the great attraction here is the huge monastery-cum-palace of El Escorial which
is austere but impressive.
Another interesting place to visit is the Valle de los Caidos, not far from the campsite. This is where Franco had a vast mausoleum hewn out a mountain, to house his body and act as a memorial to the dead
of the Civil War. As a monument to Fascism it's creepy and disturbing, and was almost entirely deserted when we were there.
Security on the campsite is fantastic. Staff drive round in vans or golf carts keeping an eye on everything.
My only complaint would be that there was very little tourist information available in reception, and everything was so well-organised it was a little impersonal.
Nevertheless, a very pleasant site that I would recommend.
At 16 euros a night with ACSI it was good value