When you first think about traveling to Madrid, chances are you imagine a big city, tall buildings, charming facades, tapas, etc, however Madrid isn’t all skyscrapers and pavement! The Comunidad de Madrid has some beautiful towns and natural parks that are great for a day trip or weekend getaway (especially during Covid-19 times when state borders are closed!) As an avid hiker, I would say that most of these hikes are moderate-challenging and one must be in somewhat good physical shape to do them. Keep in mind that weather in the mountains is very changeable, so be sure to check weather previsions and carry enough food/water/and layers of clothing!
Patones de Arriba – this is my all-time favorite hike, with beautiful views of the Atazar Reservoir and on a clear day, you can see the Sierra de Gredos and the Madrid skyline! The peak of this hike is also where our wedding invitation video was filmed!
Peñalara– the highest peak in the Comunidad de Madrid- a very trafficked route so I would recommend going during the week or very early in the morning (parking fills up quickly). Also, the weather is very changeable on this mountain, so be sure to be prepared (hence me wearing shorts hiking in the snow below!)
La Barranca– an easier trail with great views- apt for kids and people with varying physical abilities
La Bola del Mundo in Navacerrada– this path is great if you are looking for a good work-out on a paved trail- beautiful views and a great incline
La Cabrera– a great trail with beautiful views- on a clear day you can easily see the Madrid skyline
Chorrera de San Mamés – a shorter hike through a pine-tree-filled forest and up to the top of a waterfall!
Casa de Campo– located within Madrid’s “city limits,” this path is accessible by metro and transports you to the countryside
Buitrago de Lozoya– a charming town with well-preserved Moorish town walls, dating back to the 15th century
Aranjuez– located in the south of Madrid, home to a magnificent Royal Palace with gorgeous gardens
Navacerrada– a cute town located on a lake with beautiful scenery, especially in the fall with the foliage and winter with the snow capped mountains
Rascafría– a touristy, yet charming town, well known for its architecture, and home to the Santa María de El Paular Monastery
Patones de Arriba– a historic town dating back to the 16th century, where almost all building are made of pizarra (slate). This is a touristy town, and gets busy on the weekend, so be weary when it comes to parking/making a lunch reservation.