Above: The main square, Plaza Mayor, in Chinchón, Spain

Toledo, Segovia and Avila are the most popular day trips from Madrid, but recently a Spanish friend tipped me off to Chinchón. This delightful little town — an easy 45-minute bus ride from a stop near the Conde de Casal metro station — is renowned for its stunning Plaza Mayor, an oval space surrounded by houses with green-and-white façades and small wooden balconies, as well as its excellent food.

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