What to see in the Sierra de Madrid

Views of the Sierra de Madrid

Is there good weather? Well, you have to be outdoors and enjoy it! Yes, you can also do something if you live in Madrid, big cities have corners to do it, it's a matter of knowing them and knowing how to take advantage of them.

The calls Sierras of Madrid make up a mountain range near the capital whose correct name is Sierra de Guadarrama and today we will see what to see here.

Sierra de Madrid

Towns of Sierra de Madrid

Although everyone calls this series of mountains the correct name is Sierra de Madrid. the mountains are shared by the provinces of Ávila, the Community of Madrid and Segovia. If you don't want to or you can go far on vacation and you like to be outdoors, then this destination is great.

You can swim and get wet in natural pools, take walks, have a picnic and much more. And it is a great destination for families because children love to move a lot. Well, it could be that your little ones are very connected to their screens, so taking them out a little bit is also a very good idea.

Let's go by parts: The misnamed Sierra de Madrid can be divided into Sierra Oeste, Sierra de Guadarrama and Sierra Norte.

Sierra de Guadarrama

views of the Sierra de Guardarama

The Sierra de Guadarrama is a series of mountains that form part of the eastern half of the Central System of the center of the Iberian Peninsula. It extends through the provinces of Madrid, Avila and Segovia. They will be about 80 kilometers long and the Peñalara is its highest peak with 2428 meters above sea level.

The saw divides the Duero and Tagus basins and it is a land that abounds in grasslands, wild pines and rocky areas. This just 60 kilometers from Madrid and that is why it is very crowded. It has a good infrastructure tourism and mountain sports, so you always have to be careful with the environment. Here there are two nature reserves: the Cuenca Alta de Manzanares Regional Park, covering 47 hectares and a Biosphere Reserve since 1991.

The park is along the Manzanares River and in La Pedriza. Another park is Peñalara Summit, Cirque and Lagoons Natural Park. It has 768 hectares and is in the center of the mountains. It is where we find the Peñalara peak and a group of lagoons of glacial origin such as the Laguna Grande de Peñalara, the Laguna Chica, that of the Carnations, that of the Birds… There is also the Guardarma National Park, ecosystem protection project.

Views of the Sierra de Guadarrama 2

The sierra has many "mountain passes", many with a height of more than 1800 meters and many other tourist centers. The oldest is the Fuenfria Port, already used by the Romans when they walked through these lands. We can name the Puerto de Navacerreada, the Puerto de Cotos or the Morcuera, just to name a few. Also there are waterfalls, rivers and reservoirs.

Obviously this pretty saw too It has towns: La Hiruela, Patones de Arriba, Puebla de la Sierra, Pradena del Rincón, El Berrueco, Montejo de la Sierra and some more. There are towns with history like San Lorenzo de El Escorial o Miraflores de la Sierra and sites declared natural heritage such as La Pedriza or the Hayedo de Montejo. La Hiruela is very traditional, with many interesting hiking trails, Patones It is super picturesque and therefore very photographed, in El Berrueco there is the El Atazar reservoir.

Landscapes of the Sierra de Guadarrama

Among what we can do around here, one can also know the bunkers of the Civil War, follow the Route of the Arcipestre de Hita, visit El Escorial and get on the chair of Felipe II, also climb Monte Abantos or ride a burricleta in Manzanares el Real.

Sierra West

Sierra Oeste Summits

It is one of the regions of the Community of Madrid and is in the southwestern part. Here the Perales and Alberche rivers pass and there are very varied landscapes because the altitude varies from 500 to 1500 meters above sea level.

The Sierra Oeste is between the last of the Sierra de Guardarama and the first sectors of the Sierra de Gredos. There are coniferous and chestnut forests, cork oaks and holm oaks, for instance. It rains a lot all year round, although less in summer, and if you go in winter, prepare for cold and the occasional frost and snow.

The West Sierra It is the land of Cenigentes, Aldea de Fresneo, Comelnar del Arroyo or Navas del Rey, among other municipalities. Here you can ride a bike through the Alberche, for example, or visit the San Juan reservoir and do activities, visit wineries, have fun at the Adventure Park in Pelayos de la Presa, visit the medieval bridge of Valdemaqueda, the beautiful Enchanted forest in San Martín de Valdeiglesias or the center of Nothingness in Robledo de Chavela.

Sierra Norte

Picturesque canyon in the Sierra Norte

It is located in the northern end of the Community of Madrid and has a total of 1253 square kilometers in 42 municipalities. The Lozoya river passes through here, which has five reservoirs and is thus the main water supply of the community. Inside this mountain there are many valleys (Lozoya Valley, Jarama Valley, Sierra de la Cabrera and others).

Here cereals, olive groves and vineyards are cultivated and there are beautiful pine and oak forests, hazelnut, elm, ash, juniper and holm oak. It has always been known as a "poor mountain range", dedicated to agriculture and livestock, but for some time now, tourism has developed, gaining importance and promotion.

In the Sierra Norte you can bathe in the Las Presillas Natural Pools, visit the Santa Maria de El Paular Monastery, follow here the Los Robledos Route, get to know the forest of Finland, the purgatory waterfall, take bike rides around the Pinilla reservoir or take a canoe ride.

Landscapes of Sierra Norte

How do you get to the Sierra Norte? From Madrid the main route is the A1 motorway. It is 50 kilometers away. Bilbaeo is 300 and Burgos is 150. Always by car, but you can also use the bus. It has a good and very complete web page, to visit it and take note before embarking on the adventure.

Finally, beyond these destinations within the so-called Sierra de Madrid, which, as we have said, is called that incorrectly, we can visit some destinations in neighboring provinces. I speak of Pedraza, one of the most beautiful towns in Segovia and in Spain,  skiing in La Pinilla, do the Route of the black towns of Guadalajara, practice Hiking  and more.

The truth is that near Madrid there are plenty of tourism options.

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