57km (37 miles) NW of Madrid

By the time you reach this laid-back little town you're already in the foothills of the Guadarrama Mountains, and the hassle of the big city is far, far behind you. If you come by train, the center -- with its cafes, small square, and alpine-style chalets and modern apartments -- is hidden over to your right. The main attraction of Cercedilla, though, is that it's a walker's paradise with a variety of sylvan trails leading off from the pine-wooded Fuenfría Valley just ahead of you, blending into enticing ridges and peaks above the town.