In the Region of Madrid we have 10 protected natural spaces, which occupy more than 15% of its surface. Come with us and take a tour around these places of the Region of Madrid.
Enjoy the First National Park of Madrid
Since 2013, Madrid possesses the first National Park in the Guadarrama Range, which is located in the frontier between the Region of Madrid and Castilla y León.
Going into one of the signposted paths give us the chance to watch 74 protected species as well as to practice winter sports on the highest areas or to visit the Hayedo de Montejo.
Feel the adrenaline climbing in the Pedriza (in the Cuenca del Manzanares) or practice paragliding in the Northern Range.
Inside the park there are some areas that were declared that where declared special protected areas before the National Park was established and special attention is required.
The "Natural Park of the Summit, Circus and Peñalara Lagoons" is the highest area of the Region of Madrid with great biological, geological and recreational values. The ZEPA in the Alto Lozoya stands out, as well as the glacier lagoons of Peñalara and the meadows of the Peñalara Mountain. Since it is a high mountainous area, we can find optimum euro-Siberian species, one of the most southern places where we can find them. You will find many indicated paths, rest and recreational areas and viewpoints and auto-interpretative itineraries that will help you to travel around.
The "Regional Park of the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares", where you can have fun in la Pedriza, is an area of geological interest and a ZEPA in the Soto de Viñuelas. In the park there have been incorporated areas where species of high geological value live, like the pilgrim hawk or the griffon vulture. The park was declared a Reserve of the Biosphere in 1993.
The "Natural site of national interest of the Hayedo de Montejo de la Sierra" is a place of special interest, since it has been declared Reserve of the Biosphere as one of the most southern beech groves. It has a strict control of visitors, so book your place if you want to visit it.
Cuenca del Henares and Vegas de Madrid
Following the Manzanares River until the south and crossing to the Henares and Jarama Rivers, we find Comarca de las Vegas of the Jarama and Tajuña Rivers. It is an area of the countryside with great contrasts around water.
The protected area of "Soto del Henares" is a protected area of Alcalá de Henares and Los Santos de la Humosa that stands out due to the riverside forests, one of the bests in the Region of Madrid.
Here we find the "Refugee of the fauna Lagoon of San Juan", located on the right margin of the Tajuña River, inside the municipality of Chinchón, where the meadows have a great ecological importance. Both during sunrise and sunset we can find a great number of aquatic birds (common pochard and muñudos, mallard and friezes...) and reptiles, wait for the precise moment.
In this region we will also find the "Regional Park around the axes of the lower Manzanares and Jarama Rivers (Southwestern Park)" in an area with great ecological, paleontological and archeological value that includes inside an area of birds protection in the "Cortados and Cantiles of the Jarama and Manzanares Rivers".
If we follow the Jarama of the Tajuña Rivers, we will reach the Tajo RIver. Here we find the "Natural Reserve El Regajal-Mar de Ontígola" close to Aranjuez. In El Regajal we find the most peculiar butterfly species in the world, with a colorful landscape. Prepare your romantic escape. In the Mar de Ontígola a birds protection area has been created in the "Carrizales y Sotos de Aranjuez" and a meadows protected area, in order to promote the protection of the aquatic birds.
En esta región también nos encontraremos el Parque regional en torno a los ejes de los cursos bajos de los ríos Manzanares y Jarama (Parque del Sureste) en una zona con gran valor ecológico, paleontológico y arqueológico que incluye en su interior una zona de protección de aves en los Cortados y Cantiles de los ríos Jarama y Manzanares.
We continue to the Guadarrama or the Alberche Rivers
If we continue to the West, we will get into the riversides of the Guadarrama and the Alberche Rivers. There we will find the "Regional Park of the middle Guadarrama and its environment". It is a tour that goes from Galapagar until Batres, in an environment where we can enjoy from nautical sports in the Valmayor reservoir, which if feed by the waters of the Abantos Mountain. From this mountain we have the best views of the Monastery of El Escorial in the middle of Nature. The Park has a great importance due to its peculiar geo-morphology, its vegetation and fauna: birds like the Spanish imperial eagle, short-toed eagle, booted eagle, hawk, vulture, eagle owls, black storks, etc; reptiles, mammals, etc.
The "Picturesque landscape El pinar de Abantos and area of Herrería" is a dense pine grove where we have fantastic views of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. It has a great landscape value that you cannot miss. In the area of Herrería you will find vegetable species like gall oaks and ash trees.
We go back to our starting point
Going Northern we go back to our starting point. In Guadarrama there is a place that mixes literature and Nature: "Natural monument of national interest of La Peña del Arcipreste de Hita". It has been a protected space since 1930 to commemorate the six centuries of "Libro del Buen Amor". It comprises the area of the crag located close to Puerto del León that appears on the famous book and it is one of the first references of the Region of Madrid in the literature. The protected area comprises the crag and the pine trees that spread out to the adjacent water spring.
Ge tinto a great variety of natural spaces less than 100 km away from the Puerta del Sol, breathe fresh air and practice all kind of activities.
Learn more: www.espaciosnaturalesmadrid.org
Image credits: ©Hugo Fernández. Region of Madrid