Turismo Madrid

Escapada a… Ajalvir

The new year brings back our renowned getaways to help you know our region in depth. This week we are visiting the Madrilenian town of Ajalvir—to the south of the mid-basin of the Jarama river, it houses interesting examples of artistic heritage, as well as natural areas where you will have the opportunity to develop a variety of activities in contact with nature.

If you are staying in Madrid this weekend, we suggest you visit the Madrilenian town of Ajalvir, located at about 30 km of Madrid, where you can enjoy its historical heritage and its wonderful surroundings in the mid-basin of the Jarama river.

There are different theories regarding the origin of the name of the town. One refers to its foundation in the 10th century by the Arabs, who built two farmhouses in the middle of some garlic terraces. Another, which may be more accurate, is the interpretation of Prof. Jiménez de Gregorio: he thinks the name Ajalvir comes from "fayy albir", a Mozarabic word meaning "wide path between two mountains" or "wide path to the well".

Among the attractions in the town centre, it must be highlighted the Iglesia de la Purísima Concepción (Church of the Immaculate Conception) a stunning building of the 18th century settled on an earlier temple in Plaza de la Villa, as well as the chapels of San Roque and Soledad, within the cemetery.

If you are looking for some time in nature, you are in the right place, as this Madrilenian town between the Jarama and Henares rivers offers the possibility to enjoy wonderful cereal landscapes.

Part of its municipality is protected as the SBPA (Special Bird Protection Area) n.130, "Cereal Producing Areas in Jarama and Henares rivers area", which makes it an important, high-quality spot for the protection of steppe birds, such as the bustard, the little bustard, and the kestrel.

If you are an ornithology lover, we suggest you take one of the following two proposed routes. The first, known as "Camino de La Huelga" (Road to Idleness), wanders between grain fields, fallow areas and hedgerows. Some of the birds that can be spotted are the red partridge and the Montagu's harrier. The latter, called "Camino del Calvario" (Road to Calvary), is perfect for families. It takes the visitor among olive groves and offers the possibility to spot the Montagu's harrier or even the black vulture.

The patronal feasts in honour of San Blas (Saint Blas) and Virgen de la Candelaria (Purification of the Virgin) will soon take place. They are held on 3rd February and include a varied programme of activities such as shows for kids, orchestras and dances, fireworks and gastronomy events.