The park is located in the Guadarrama Range, between Madrid and Segovia. These mountains are an extraordinary refugee of biodiversity. Glacial Cirques and Lagoons, mountainous landscapes and huge pine groves make the area an attraction for the active tourism like hiking or winter sports.
A good way to get to know this protected area created in 2013, is the guided visit program "Punto de encuentro" where you can get to know the park with four different tours: the Cercedilla and Fuenfría Forests, the geological landscape of the Pedriza, the Peñalara Glacier and the sights of Lozoya Valley.
With all these activities you cannot miss the National Park, you can even travel by bus that has guided tours in English and Spanish.
From El Escorial to Guadarrama
And travelling to the Cruz Verde Mountain Port, we will have one of the most spectacular landscape views of the Monastery of the Escorial, both with snow, during the sunset or at night.
San Lorenzo de el Escorial hosts an urban complex with great architectural beauty. It ranges from the majestic Monastery, built for hosting the Royal Pantheon and where there are buried Spanish kings of the Austria and Borbón Houses, until any building of the old town, passing through the Royal Coliseum of Carlos III of the Small House of the Infant. The 15th August you cannot miss the Party of the Voyage of the Summits.
In El Escorial, which is a twinned town with San Lorenzo, you can also enjoy the heritage attractions like the Church of San Bernabé or the Small House of the Prince. The first Sunday of September it is celebrated the festival of the Pilgrimage of the Virgin of the Ironwork in El Escorial. The festival has been declared of Regional Touristic Interest, and during one week there are religious events honoring the Virgin.
The Abantos Mountain, the Chair of Felipe II or the Valley of the Fallen are areas where you can enjoy a day into history, culture and nature.
Guadarrama, the municipality that give name to the Range, is a place full of natural resources. There was a Roman road that drove to la Fuenfría. But one of the most important places, recognized as a protected place of the Region of Madrid, is the natural monument called La Peña del Arcipreste de Hita, called like that due to the commemoration of the six centuries of the book The Book of Good Love (El Libro del Buen Amor). You cannot miss the marvelous views.
Around it, there are towns with a great natural and architectural beauty like Collado Villalba, Moralzarzal, Collado Mediano, Los Molinos o Alpedrete. From any of this places you can take the most interesting and unique routes, even with your family, with your partner or friends.
In Collado Villalba you can see a beautiful renaissance church, which hosts the image of the Virgin of the Juniper. Next to it there is a juniper branch where, according to what is told, the virgin appeared. Nowadays, this town is considered as "the capital of the Range". Leisure areas, bars, shopping areas and music festivals, like Vía Celta or Granito Rock (the last one in 2014) have increased its fame.
Moralzarzal, surrounded by water springs and streams like El Regajo or the Streams of the Valley, show that this population is special precisely for the water. Sports and nature are safe bets. The artistic heritage from Moralzarzal has the Church of San Miguel the Archangel and the Clock known as Frascuelo, the most outstanding constructions. Moreover, it is recommended to walk through the streets and to enjoy what this municipality offers. The town also knows how to maintain the ancient traditions and it has incorporated new ones. Religious, traditional and popular festivals are celebrated all over the year.
In Collado Mediano the Parish of San Idefonso, the hermitage of the old cementery, the monument to the Spanish army or La Cobañera make this town very special a mixture of art and nature. You cannot miss the festival honoring the patron, Our Lady of the Peace (Nuestra Señora de la Paz), when, after the mass, the priest offers typical candies (pestiños, pastas and rosquillas) with sangría
In Los Molinos you can still watch the vestiges of former mills, which gave name to this town. The Chapel of San José (1713) or the parish of the Purísima Concepción (1580), offer a great touristic interest. The fauna is a general calim, since among it, there are highlighted boars, rabbits, deer, trout, eagles, crows, vultures and storks that can be observed through the different hiking routes.
An in Alpedrete, famous for its quarries, we can see that it preserves an architectural ensemble where the council and the Church of the Assumption are the main samples of artistic heritage in the municipality. In the surroundings, where pasturelands stand out, make this place the pefect one for a tourist.
Skiing and Roman Remains in the Navacerrada Mountain Port
Going to Navacerrada, we find the Roman Road between Cercedilla and the Fuenfría Port. These are rest of the Roman road that connected Titulcia (next to Aranjuez) with Segovia and Astorga.
Cercedilla , in the heart of the National Park of the Guadarrama Range, is a beautiful town surrounded by varied vegetation and with natural swimming pools, which during summer delight the swimmers. Roman bridges, the road the Roman Church or the former train station are historic legacies that we cannot avoid if we want to get to know the history of this town.
The Fuenfría Port is a crossroad known very well by hiking lovers. One of the paths is the Schmith Path that drives until Navacerrada through a lovely walk. La Fuenfría is surrounded by centerary pine tres just in the middle of the valley, where we can take a walk through historic places like the Roman Road, the Republic Road the Schmidt road of the old path of Segovia.
Navacerrada and Valdesquí are located next to this port, and further away the old resort of Cotos, where you can practice winter sports like the cross–country skiing. If it is Winter right now, enjoy during these months the snow in Madrid!
Come to the antiques Marquet of Navacerrada, one of the most importants in the range. Every Sunday you can find exclusive products or second hand products as well as you roam through this wonderful town with cobblestone streets and surrounded by the most representative mountains of the central range.
Continuing to the South we reach Becerril, a touristic spot of reference in the region of Madrid. The granite formations, the pasturelands and the livestock are part of a ensemble that is worth to visit.
In El Boalo you can hike and recreate in beautiful viewpoints or visiting its churches ad the centenary hermitage, the most famous of the range since it has a spectacular landscape of water and grass. The Church of San Sebastián Mártir stands out, and it is from the 17th century.
Southern we reach Galapagar, a town surrounded by oaks and wild olives. The population has a great bullfighting tradition and the town hosted famous artists like Arturo Pérez-Reverte or Jacinto Benavente. A curious fact: it has an Archaeological Museum located in the old dungeon of the City Council with archaeological pieces of great value that you cannot miss.
We reach Brunete, a banner town of the Spanish history and stage of the most savage battles of the Civil War. We also find landscapes of great touristic and gastronomic interest that you cannot miss: Quijorna, Villanueva de la Cañada, where the Castle of Aulencia or Villafranca is the most emblematic and beautiful building. It has a muslim origin, from the 14th century. The castle is located in one of the most ecological places of the Regional Park of the Middle Guadarrama River Basin.
We finish our tour in Villanueva del Pardillo with a peculiar council and Big Square. The only building that stood up after the Civil War is the Big House (the current National Library). We also find Colmenarejo, close to the Valmayor reservoir and with the Church of Santiago Apostol that mixes Gothic and Renaissance. Finally we find Valdemorillo where you cannot miss the parish church of Our Lady of the Assumption, with beautiful Gothic and Herrerian elements.
Gastronomy and more
The star product of the gastronomy of the Guadarrama range is the Meat with Denomination of Origin. Enjoy it and many other products in the multiple roasters that you will find while you walk around it.
As you can see, you cannot miss the Guadarrama Range. Al plans are possible here: cities, heritage of humanity, places for hiking, active tourism, climbing, skiing, nautical sports, ornithology tourism and much more.
Learn more: http://www.parquenacionalsierraguadarrama.es/