Looking for some peace and quiet, or want to enjoy a boat ride right in the middle of the city of Madrd, your best choice is the Parque del Retiro. Inside the park, near the huge entrance gate located in front of the Puerta de la Independencia, is the artificial lake called the Estanque del Retiro. Officially, it is known as the Estanque Grande del Buen Retiro.
While it is a veritable all-year-long, must-see segment of Retiro, it becomes even a bigger attraction during the summer and spring seasons when everyone looks to the pond as a fun recreational spot where he can hire a boat that can be navigated around. It is also the habit of people, young and old, to hang out by the banks, particularly the area where the huge statue of Alfonso X11 stands. Needless to say, the estanque was easily an important component of the park, as it provides a natural appeal that entices visitors to visit the place.
How much is the boat ride?
While many would love to lie around and sunbathe, or just leisurely walk around the banks, the most popular recreational activity is to hire the boat and row it to your heart’s conrent.
You may rent a boat, which accommodates a maximum of four people, any day of the week. Rental fee is higher during weekends, at 8 euros. Monday to friday, boats can be had at 6 euros.
The pont was built in the 1650s, during the time of King Philip IV. Eventually, the estanque, as well as the whole park itself, became properties under the administration of the city of Madrid. In its front stands the monument to Alfonso the Twelfth, looking mighty and proud while guarding the waters.
People love to spend their afternoon hours idling on the banks that surround the four sides of the pond I’ve been a witness to this scene a number of time I visited Retiro, where ducks in group swim and wade happily in straight or circular direction. The pond serve as their natural habitat, one that they claim as their own.
How to go to the Retiro Estanque
It is easy to reach the Estanque Grande del Buen Retiro. Take EMT Autobus No. 51; this bus passes by one of the main entrances of the park near the Puerta de la Independencia. Inside, look for Calle Nicaragua, which runs in front of the pond. Other buses that go through the park are lines 1, 2, 14, 15, 20, 26, 51, 52, 63, 152.
There is also the Retiro Metro Station, which belongs to line 2. This station is right within the park. Take Paseo del Estanque, one of the nearest streets that will take you to the pond.