Arenas de San Pedro is home to the stout 15th-century Castillo de la Triste Condesa, the sober 14th-century Gothic parish church and a Roman bridge. A 10-minute walk north of here is the neoclassical Palacio del Infante Don Luis de Borbón, which served as a gilded cage for Carlos III's imprisoned brother.

To escape the weekend and summer crowds, head for the Sierra de Gredos' less-frequented northern flank of mountains, which are normally snowcapped until around Easter.