El Escorial Camping is a very large campsite located on the outskirts of Madrid. It is 50km from the capital, with a bus link from outside the camp entrance. Madrid can be reached by bus in around 40 minutes.
The site is set in 100,000 square metres of trees and surrounded by mountains, giving a true outdoors environment.
For 2 people, tent and car we paid just over 25 euros, which is on the pricey side for camping, but you are paying for the facilities and location. Prices are per person, per car and per accomodation (ie, tent, caravan, motorhome). There is an extra charge for electricity but showers are included in the price. Bungalows are also available to rent, but they were very pricey at around 100 euros per night in early May.
*Reception & First Impressions*
The reception set up is very modern and secure. On arrival you take a ticket depending on your requirements and then go to the corresponding booth. There are security guards patrolling the entrances and an automatic scan is taken of your car numberplate. Access is then granted by automatic barriers that actually greet you by name (rather hi-tec!)
The campsite appears well kept and welcoming. The pitches are laid out in rows for caravans, and there are huge open fields for tent campers.
We stayed in a tent and so were placed on the open tent field. There is plenty of space, and the grassy fields are lined with shade providing trees. You are free to pitch anywhere you like on the tent fields.
We visited on a Spanish bank holiday and so the site was very busy. We still had no trouble finding a pitch though and had plenty of privacy.
There are numerous facilities on the campsite and plenty for children.
As well as a supermarket, the camp has its own restaurant and cafeteria. Ordering food is done in a novel way and involves making your selection at a vending machine, which then provides you with a ticket. You then take your tickets over to the till area, pay up and wait for your food.
Sporting facilities include swimming pools, a games room, tennis courts and courts for basketball, football etc.
A full entertainment programme is organised during school holidays, and there is a childrens disco and adult disco every night.
Reception staff are efficient, well trained and professional. The staff we spoke to had friendly attitudes and were eager to help with our queries.
This would be a good campsite for a holiday, especially for families. For an overnight stop, the price is a bit high, as you are paying for extensive facilities that you probably won't use. However, it is a good base to use for seeing Madrid and certainly far cheaper than staying in the centre.
The campsite was well kept, washrooms were very clean and modern. Everywhere was kept in good condition and staff were polite and helpful. I would recommend this campsite.