Autumn is around the corner. The leaves are starting to change and the temperature is dropping! What a perfect situation to go hiking! To get some air and enjoy the beautiful colors. That’s why we have made a list of 4 perfect places to go hiking! Enjoy reading and we hope to see your pictures of your hiking soon 😉

Casa de Campo

CASA DE CAMPO

Madrid’s Casa de Campo was used as own king’s space to relax and go hunting during centuries. Nowadays it is used as public space for people to spend time going for a walk, hiking or to just chill. 

Casa de Campo is a labyrinth of paths and trails that offers endless possibilities of routes. The Casa de Campo boasts being five times bigger than Central Park in New York and 6.5 times bigger than Hyde Park in London.

Among the viewpoints that we can find in the Casa de Campo there is the Cerro de las Canteras from where you can see the entire panorama of Madrid and enjoy the nature.

What to see in Casa de Campo

  • The lake: it is an unavoidable visit. As a curiosity, it is interesting to know that in its beginnings it was made up of five interconnected ponds, but that due to the rains they ended up becoming a single lake. You can practice canoeing, triathlon or simply enjoy nature or one of the restaurants located nearby.
  • Madrid Amusement Park: after a five-hour walk through Casa de Campo, it may be a good option to finish off the afternoon or even the night at the attractions
  • Madrid Zoo Aquarium: another fun option that the area offers is to go see the different animals that populate the earth.
  • The Cable Car: it is the best way to travel from Madrid to Casa de Campo. With its almost 2.5 kilometers long, you can see Madrid from a privileged perspective for 11 minutes. It starts from Pintor Rosales and reaches 40 meters in height.

Route 1:
Glorieta de los patines – Glorieta de los patines

This route runs almost entirely through the southern area, where a large part of the leisure facilities and historical elements are found (picnic areas, rest areas, fountains, bridges, vestiges of the civil war …) In addition, it crosses the Pinar de las Siete Hermanas, with its huge stone pines over a hundred years old and part of the holm oak grove.

  •  Duration – About 1 hour
  •  Difficulty – Middle-low
  •  Length – Basic route: 12.06 Km / Route with alternative: 12.33 Km
  •  Height difference – 90 meters
  •  How to get there – Metro Lago – Parking roundabout of Skates – Cyclist Green Belt

Route 2:
Puerta de Rodajos – Puerta de Rodajos

This itinerary goes through the lesser-known areas of the Casa de Campo, with historical and emblematic places such as the remains of Casa Quemada and Cerro Covatillas. The pine forest of Puente de las Garrapatas and the riverside vegetation that surrounds the Antequina stream also stand out.

  • Duration – 1:30 hours approximately
  • Difficulty – Medium
  • Length – Basic route: 11 Km / Route with alternative: 13 Km
  • Height difference – 125 meters
  • How to get there – Puerta de Rodajos Parking

Route 3:
Puerta de Rodajos – Puerta de Rodajos (bis)

This route, which runs entirely on paved roads, has some of the hardest climbs in Casa de Campo, such as Cerro Garabitas or the Cable Car.

The tour also allows you to enjoy the incredible views of Madrid from the viewpoints and the highest points.

  • Duration – 1:45 hours approximately
  • Difficulty – Medium
  • Length – Basic route: 14 Km / Route with alternative: 13.20 Km
  • Height difference – 135 meters
  • How to get there -Puerta de Rodajos Parking

EL PARDO

El Pardo is seven kilometers from Madrid and has a beautiful route around the Manzanares river. With its almost 16,000 hectares it is one of the best preserved in Europe. It has at least 120 species of flora and about 200 vertebrate species of fauna.

Just seven kilometers from one of the European capitals like Madrid, we can find an incredible reservoir of life: deer, fallow deer, Iberian imperial eagles, black storks, black vultures, blue elani, which inhabit one of the best areas of Mediterranean forest that we keep in our peninsula, the mount of El Pardo. This area is perfect not just for hiking for cycling, bird watching, running and even fishing. 

El Pardo is part of the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares Regional Park. An excursion to this place is undoubtedly one of the best walks in Madrid. El Pardo is part of the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares Regional Park. An excursion to this place is undoubtedly one of the best walks in Madrid.

El Pardo

What to see in El Pardo

  • El Pardo Palace: belonging to the National Heritage, former hunting ground, Franco’s residence and current residence of foreign leaders, it has a splendid collection of tapestries. C / Manuel Alonso s / n. Hours every day from 10: 00-18: 00h.
  • Convent of the Capuchin Fathers (1.2 km): built by Felipe III. Its jewel is the carving of Gregorio Hernández, commissioned by Felipe IV, of a reclining Christ.
  • Quinta Duque del Arco (7 km): Palace of the Duke of the Arch from the 18th century in the image of the Palacio de la Zarzuela (cannot be visited). And its Franco-Spanish style gardens designed by Glaude Truchet in the 18th century divided into four terraces, with sculptures, fountains and water games (which can be visited)

The Quinta del Duque del Arco

This walk can serve to complement the previous ones, since there is little distance between them. This complex, also known as the Quinta de El Pardo, belongs to the National Heritage and is definitely worth a visit. It has a fantastic garden, from which you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views and pleasant sunsets, known as the Cuartel de Querada.

Manzanares River Environmental Corridor

This is one of the most popular routes in El Prado. It runs parallel to the river and is very easy to do, since it has practically no slopes. Many visitors usually start by parking at the entrance of the Somontes Sports Complex. From there the route continues to the Mingorrubio dam. It is a total of about 10 kilometers (one way), which can be strenuous for many, so some simply choose to do the bike ride.

Valpalomero viewpoints

This option can be done in several ways. Everything will depend on how much the visitor wants to go. One option is to take a short excursion, which starts from some point after having passed the train tunnel that leads to La Quinta del Duque del Arco.  Nearby there is a large recreation area, a stone fountain, and several viewpoints, with spectacular views of the city and the mountains.

Madrid Río

MADRID RÍO

Starting from the Parque Lineal del Manzanares in the neighbourhood Villaverde, there is the possibility to go towards Casa de Campo walking along the river Manzanares for about 12kms. It can take around 5 hours, but you can either go across the city or following the river.

Parque Lineal del Manzanares, a large natural space of about 20 km in length that extends from the crossing of the river with the M30 to the mouth of the Manzanares in Jarama, there in the municipality of Rivas-Vaciamadrid. As the distance from end to end is wide, the bicycle is the most used means by those who travel it, but it is also interesting to travel it on foot if hiking attracts you.

Section 1

The one between the end of Madrid Río, past Legazpi, to the Supersur junction of the M-40. It includes the Manzanares Sur Park and the surroundings of the sports facility “La Caja Mágica”.

Section 2

It extends from where the previous section ends to the limit of the municipality of Madrid with Getafe, at the height of Perales del Río. It runs through an undeveloped area, partly occupied by orchards and farmland.

Section 3

Links the space previously described with the Southeast Regional Park, extending to the mouth of the Manzanares in the Jarama river, near Rivas Vaciamadrid.

Among the places of interest in the park are the Paseo de los Sentidos, -pedestrian axis made up of four squares, the labyrinth, the umbracle and two ornamental fountains-, the pond of approximately 1000 square meters, and the Watchtower, a viewpoint of 21 meters of height in whose highest area is the Lady of the Manzanares, a bronze and steel sculpture 13 meters high and 8 tons in weight made from a design by the Valencian artist Manolo Valdés. As a curiosity, it should be noted that both the mound of the Watchtower, and the other one behind the sports area and that constitute excellent viewpoints of Madrid and its surroundings, are really artificial mountains, made from rubbish heaps.

LOS CERROS DE ALCALÁ DE HENARES

The Cerros de Alcalá de Henares, declared a Mount of Public Utility in 2000, are 8.26 km2 (800 hectares) in size and are located on the left bank of the Henares River south of the city.

It is a great place to walk and play sports. If you go, you will find many people walking or mountain biking the different marked trails that you will find along the way and that divide the mountain into four main routes: the Tamarix route, the Castle route, the Green Gate route and Ecce homo route. One of the most interesting routes in the Cerros de Alcalá is the Castillo, which leads to the fortress of Alcalá la Vieja, a journey of about 8 km round trip. Although many prefer the Ecce Homo route, 10.3 km long and reaching the highest point of Alcalá, from where you can appreciate spectacular views that encompass two provincial capitals, Madrid and Guadalajara.

Take also the opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Alcalá de Henares when you go to it’s “cerros”.

Alcala de Henares

Route of the Tarayes

This simple route allows to know natural and anthropized environments of the park. You can see the recovery of an old landfill, the Henares River, the valleys and cuttings, the pine forests and tarayales characteristic of this part of the park. Simple route, especially suitable for young children.

Route of the Arab Castle

The route begins on the Camino de las Repopulations, where you can observe the recovery of the mixed Mediterranean forest. The route takes the Camino de la Alvega among riverside vegetation and borders the Malvecino hill. The Qal´at´Abd-Salam fortress, built in the middle of the 9th century, was part of the defense system of Toledo. From the top of the Arab ruins you can contemplate the beauty of Qal’at or Alcalá or picturesque places in the park such as the Monte de la Tortuga, the Malvecino or the Henares river.

Ruta de la Puerta Verde 

Coinciding at its beginning and end with the route of the tarayes, this route enters the repopulated pine forests among which an interesting birdlife can be spotted. The highest area of ​​the route has a new signposting, which directs the path through the most closed and highest pine forests of the park, where the visitor can enjoy great tranquility. Due to its layout, this route is not advisable for cyclists.

Ecce Homo Route

From the Camino de los Catalanes, between pine forests, it joins the Zarza ravine and the path ascends to Ecce-Homo or Pico de la Vera Cruz. At its base is located the Cueva de los Gigantones or del Champiñón. On May 3, 1118, it is said that a luminous cross appeared at the top of the hill that encouraged the Christians to carry out the final assault on the conquest of Qal´at´Abd-Salam. From the Ecce-Homo peak you can enjoy a beautiful landscape: Somosierra-Ayllón, Madrid, Guadalajara, Daganzo, Meco, Camarma and of course Alcalá de Henares.

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