A three hour drive west on the A5 from Madrid will bring you to Monfrague, a national park notable for its meandering rivers and an imposing ridge line thick with Mediterranean forest. Check in at the visitors center in the tiny village of Villareal de San Carlos and then make your way to the handful of cultural sites that include the Castillo Cave (ancient rock art near the teeming Tagus River) and the ruins of Monfrague Castle at the eastern end of the main ridge.
The biggest appeal beyond the stellar geography is the array of bird species, including eagles, raptors, and vultures. Take one of the number of leisurely walks available from the park office and get your avian fix; this isn't the more extreme hiking of, say, the Picos de Europa, but adjusted expectations will yield some adventurous results. Visit the official site for further information.
Location:Villarreal de San Carlos