Road trip through the Sierra Norte de Madrid
Día 1110hVisit to the medieval town of Buitrago de Lozoya1Day 110:00hVisit to the medieval town of Buitrago de Lozoya
Our route begins with a visit to the beautiful town of Buitrago del Lozoya. We will enter the walled town and walk through its streets. Highlights include the church of Santa María del Castillo and the castle of the Mendozas. From the walls we can see the Lozoya river that surrounds the town. The surroundings are spectacular.
We recommend you to go up to the viewpoint of Buitrago del Lozoya from where there are incredible views of the town. If you like adventure activities you can go kayaking in the Lozoya river or horse riding in the area.
12hNext destination: La Hiruela2Day 112:00hNext destination: La Hiruela
We start our camper and head towards La Hiruela, a charming village in the Sierra Norte. To do this we head north on the N-I, taking the M-137 to the right, following the signs to Montejo de la Sierra. From here we climb up towards the mountain pass of La Hiruela, from where we can already see the village.
This village of cobbled streets and traditional architecture is one of our favourites. We can take some food in our backpacks and go down to the flour mill (the only one in the Community of Madrid) which is located next to the river, following the route of Los Oficios, and have a picnic in this beautiful place. We can finish the route where we will find several references to traditional trades such as the coal bunker or the traditional apiary.
Watch out for the antennae of the satellite communications centre in Gandullas, they are impressive! Important: when you pass the square in Montejo de la Sierra, buy "cojonudos" in the bakery. They are delicious!
16hTowards El Atazar reservoir3Day 116:00hTowards El Atazar reservoir
We take the road again and head towards the reservoir of El Atazar, which supplies water to Madrid.
This time we continue along the M-130 road that will take us to Puebla de la Sierra, another of the most beautiful villages in the Sierra Norte. Continuing south we will be able to see the reservoir of El Atazar. If we arrive at sunset it is a real spectacle.
Continuing our route we will arrive at the dam of the reservoir of El Villar. It is worth making a stop and going up to the top to get a full view of the dam.
From here, back to Buitrago del Lozoya to rest.
We can spend the night in the camper park in Buitrago de Lozoya.
Día 2410hHiking in the Sierra Norte: San Mamés waterfall4Day 210:00hHiking in the Sierra Norte: San Mamés waterfall
After an early wake up and a good breakfast we will go on a very nice and easy hiking route. We will get to know one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Madrid, the chorrera de San Mamés.
We leave Buitrago de Lozoya and head towards the Lozoya valley along the M-634 road. When we reach the village of San Mamés we leave our camper and continue walking to the waterfall along a cattle track. With the river always on the left we will reach an old abandoned forest house. From here the track turns into a narrow path that crosses a pine forest and leaves us at the waterfall itself. A beautiful and very pleasant 3-hour route.
At the beginning of the route there is a cheese dairy where they make excellent artisan cheeses. A good opportunity to try the local products.
17hDiscovering the beauty of the Lozoya Valley5Day 217:00hDiscovering the beauty of the Lozoya Valley
Once we have eaten and rested from the route we will get into the van and head towards Lozoya. We will continue along the M-634 until we reach the junction with the M-604 road. Turn right and after a few kilometres you will reach Lozoya, at the Pinilla reservoir.
If you feel up to it, you can drive up to one of the recreational areas on the road that takes you to the Navafría pass. From there we can walk up one of the trails to see the spectacular views of the valley from here.
We can spend the night in the Lozoya car park, at the foot of the reservoir or in one of the recreational areas.
Día 3610hGetting to know the past of the Lozoya Valley6Day 310:00hGetting to know the past of the Lozoya Valley
After making an appointment in advance, we will go to the meeting point in Pinilla del Valle for a guided visit to the sites of Calvero de la Higuera. The project "The Valley of the Neanderthals" consists of showing and teaching how life in the valley was thousands and thousands of years ago.
From the village of Pinilla del Valle our guide will accompany us to the sites, explaining the flora and fauna of the area on the other side of the reservoir. Once at the sites and with views of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, he will tell us what life was like for the Neanderthals in the Lozoya Valley according to the discoveries that have been made.
It is a very interesting and instructive visit in a spectacular setting.
One of the most important findings in the Neanderthal Valley was the discovery of four milk teeth. Because of their characteristics, researchers think that they belonged to a girl of about three years of age who was no more than a metre tall. That is why she is called the Niña de Lozoya in honour of the Lozoya Valley.
Rascafría is one of the most touristy villages in the Community of Madrid as it is located in a unique enclave. Surrounded by the mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, including the highest in the community, Peñalara, and the charm of the village attracts many travellers.
What better time to take a stroll through Rascafría and sit on a terrace for an aperitif? Of course, take some warm clothes with you because even on a warm day the weather can change and it can suddenly get very cold.
If you have a sweet tooth, don't miss the natural chocolate factory "San Lázaro". They have chocolate for all tastes and all of them are very tasty.
16hThe heritage of Rascafría8Day 316:00hThe heritage of Rascafría
After lunch we can take a short walk to visit one of the most important monuments in Rascafría, the Royal Monastery of Santa María del Paular.
We will walk about two kilometres along the pedestrian walkway that runs parallel to the road that leads to the Cotos pass. In half an hour we will be able to see the impressive 14th century Monastery of El Paular.
Following our path we turn left and enter the Finca de Los Batanes where the visitors' centre Valle de El Paular is located. Here we can pick up information about the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park.
We cross the Puente del Perdón bridge over the river Lozoya. It is so called because it is said that this is where the convicts used to pass before being taken to the gallows and it was their last chance to repent for their sins.
Once we cross the bridge we turn left again. A few metres away we will find The Finnish Forest, a charming spot that enchants everyone who visits it. We can see a small lake with a wooden pier. There is also a small building that used to be a sauna. It is so called because it is very similar to Nordic landscapes.
If you want to see the Peñalara massif, one of the most important sites in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, go to the Los Robledos viewpoint, where you will find the monument to the Forest Ranger. There are stunning views of Peñalara and all the surrounding peaks.
Before you travel
- Wear mountain clothing and footwear. Don't forget a warm coat, as even in summer it can get very cold.
- Visit a collaborative website of places to spend the night. They will help you decide which one is right for you.
- Make the most of the opportunity to do some adventure activities.