The great thing about the Valencia – Madrid drive is that it takes you through the awesome orange-soiled highlands around Albacete, and has a half-way recharge stop that will blow your mind – The Alarcon Parador (pictured to the right in the above panorama). A restored castle surrounded by a gorge that overlooks the bridge into the village backing up to the castle.
Let’s start the trip from the beginning:
The night before the trip we visited the SH Palace Hotel where they had kindly prepared our Drive & Dream favourite 22kW 5 pin CEE outlet. This is the first hotel I know of in Valencia to have one, so if you are going to Valencia check out the SH Palace, which by the way has a great Spa area and is really handy for the city center and river park area.
Their garage is underground and protects the car from the weather as well as being very secure. The recharge point is on floor -2 but still gets good 3G coverage.
They chose a good wide parking spot near the hotel elevator which makes it easy to park the Model S (not a small car, lets face it).
The trip from Valencia to Madrid is not far off 400kms so even in a combustion car we prefer to take a rest half way. As Madrid is about 700m above sea level (and the car was loaded with our family of 5 plus dog plus luggage) the Model S battery would struggle to make this trip on one charge. So this time our rest stop also needed to be a recharge spot. The cool thing is that the Alarcon Parador is not only awesome to visit, but the detour there is actually a few kms shorter than the main highway plus you get to see some of the old main road.
Getting to Alarcon is easy and the entry to the village is marvelous – get your camera ready. You will need to ignore the GPS in the village as it will take you up impossible streets… just follow the signs and your nose. The recharge point is in the out-buildings on the other side of the Parador car park:
Again, the Drive & Dream favourite 22kW outlet had been prepared and while the car was charging we had lunch.
The restaurant is excellent and worth a long lunch rest, but just a sandwich and coffee in the cafeteria area can be fine as the whole place is astounding.
As we took the long lunch option by the time we came out the car battery was nearly full so the 222kms from Alarcon to home could be driven “with enthusiasm”.
And in this there is a valuable leasson for electric car touring: A journey like Valencia-Madrid is not a huge one, but is plenty for us in a day. Stopping after 200kms or so is ideal and if it is in a beautiful place with good food and good company, why rush?
By making the stop a few hours long we had heaps of charge to get us home so we could set a good pace. I recommend this philosophy for anyone touring in their Tesla… stop every 200kms and enjoy yourself. That’s how we want to organise our trips in Drive & Dream.