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VISIT Beautiful Villages in the Sierra of Madrid

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Buitrago del Lozoya

To find beautiful villages in the mountains of Madrid it will be very easy for you. Because this mountainous region offers you places full of charm and located in magnificent landscapes. It is located northeast of the Autonomous Community of Madrid and, in turn, is made up of several mountain ranges, mainly those of Guadarrama, malagon, The corner and the Cabrera.

This vast territory has national parks like that of the Sierra de Guadarrama meadows like we are the sierra mid-mountain areas such as the Lozoya River Basin and elevations of over two thousand meters like the Penalara Peak or the carnation rock. And, with all this, you have hiking trails and ski resorts like Navacerrada or Valcotos. But above all several towns that retain all the charm of countryside and that they are authentic monuments in themselves. Without further ado, we are going to propose these beautiful towns of the Sierra de Madrid.

Buitrago del Lozoya

Buitrago del Lozoya Castle

Alcazar of Buitrago del Lozoya

We start our tour in the north of the Community of Madrid to stop in this beautiful medieval town located between the Cabrera and Rincón mountains. You will be surprised, first of all, fortified enclosure dating from the eleventh century.

Already in the city, you have to see the Alcazar built in the 15th century combining the Gothic and Mudejar styles, and the Church of Santa Maria del Castillo, with its impressive Flamboyant Gothic entrance. Also interesting is the suburban bridge built in the Middle Ages.

Similarly, in the foothills of the city is the forest housea 17th century construction that was built for the Dukes of the Infantado as a villa in the style of those of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio. But perhaps the most surprising thing about Buitrago del Lozoya is his Picasso Museum. Apparently, the painter’s hairdresser was from the city and bequeathed the works he had given to him to carry out this exhibition. There are around sixty of them dedicated by the Malagan artist.

Rascafría, another of the pretty towns of the Sierra de Madrid

Paulary Monastery

Monastery of Santa Maria del Paular

Also in the Lozoya Valley is this town which is the gateway to Penalara Natural Park, with numerous hiking and mountain trails. Through them, you can reach the famous glacial lagoons with their moraines and cirques.


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Once in the city, we advise you to visit the parish church of San Andrés Apóstol built in the 15th century, the old hospital of the XIV, and of forgiveness bridge. Through this, likewise, you will attain the mighty Monastery of Santa Maria del Paular. This monastery was built at the end of the 14th century, although it has undergone several restorations. The church stands out in the complex, but its great jewel is the so-called Chartreuse series of the cloister. These are fifty-four paintings by Vincent Carducho contemporary of Velázquez, on the history of the Carthusian order.

Finally, from the monastery starts the hiking trail that takes you to the purgatory waterfalls a set of waterfalls in the Aguilón River that are truly spectacular.

Patons from above

View of Patones from above

Patons from above

We cannot tell you about the beautiful towns of the Sierra de Madrid without mentioning Patones de Arriba. Because this city is a monument in itself. With its slate houses, it is a perfect example of black architecture of the Sierra de Ayllón which earned him the declaration of property of cultural interest.

But Patones offers you so much more to see. The beautiful st joseph church It was built in the 17th century and the Hermitage of the Virgen de la Oliva It dates from the 12th century and is in the Romanesque Mudéjar style. Very close to the latter is the Olive Pontoon, a dam built at the time of Isabel II to supply water to the city of Madrid. And also the archaeological site of Castro Dehesa de la Oliva from pre-Roman times.

Finally, if you like caving, the Cave of Reguerillo It is the most important trough of the entire Madrid community. However, it is currently closed. To enter you need a special permit.

Manzanares the Real

Mendoza Castle

Castillo de los Mendoza in Manzanares, one of the most beautiful villages in the Sierra de Madrid

Another marvel among the pretty towns of the Sierra de Madrid is Manzanares. It is located on the shores of Santillana Reservoir and at the foot of the pedriza, a perfect place for hiking and climbing. All this without forgetting the Countess Snowdrift where the Manzanares river is born.

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But the city also has magnificent monuments. Its great symbol is Mendoza Castle, built at the end of the 15th century, but which is in perfect condition. Inside you can see a collection of tapestries and a museum of Spanish castles.

It’s not the only one Manzanares had. You can also see the remains of the old castle, of which only two walls remain. For his part, the Church of Our Lady of the Snows it is estimated to have been built towards the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century. It combines Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance elements.

Finally, on the way to La Pedriza, you will find the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Peña Sacra which was built at the end of the XVI and the beginning of the XVII.


The main square of Torrelaguna

Plaza Mayor of Torrelaguna

In the foothills of the Sierra de la Cabrera is this town, famous for being the cradle of the Cardinal Cisneros. It is precisely to him that we owe a good part of the monuments that Torrelaguna possesses. Among these, the spectacular Parish Church of the Madeleine, in Gothic style and with Baroque and Plateresque altarpieces. Likewise, the Abbey of the Barefoot Franciscan Conceptionist Mothers It has a beautiful chapel attributed to Juan Gil de Hontanon and a Renaissance mausoleum.

You can also visit in Torrelaguna the Hermitage of Our Lady of Solitude, from the 14th century, although restored in the 18th century. It houses the image of the patron saint of the city.

As for the civil architecture, it highlights city ​​hall of 1515 and the remains of the medieval walls, including the Gate of Christ of Burgos. But the great monument of the city is the Salinas Palace Renaissance jewel also attributed to Gil de Hontañón.

Horcajuelo from the Sierra

Horcajuelo from the Sierra

View of Horcajuelo from the Sierra

This small town in the Sierra de Madrid is also distinguished by its traditional architecture, in its dark stone setting. Moreover, it is an essential place to visit in the Church of Saint Nicholas of Bari with its Mudéjar facade, its medieval baptismal font and its Baroque altarpiece.

Also, you will be surprised in such a small town of the existence of a ethnographic museum. But he even has a perfectly restored forge and a foal to shoe the cattle. Finally, in the vicinity of the city is the Hermitage of Our Lady of Sorrows.

La Hiruela, one of the best preserved villages in the Sierra de Madrid

the hiruela

Traditional architecture in La Hiruela

Despite its small population, this city is one of those which have best preserved its traditional architecture, with its stone and adobe houses. It is also worth visiting the restored flour mill the building of city ​​hall and the Houses of the priest and the teacher.

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But more curious is the nearby apiary, a traditional construction used to obtain honey and which rested on hollow oak trunks placed on slabs and covered with cork or wood. In addition, wonderful hiking trails start from La Hiruela that will take you, for example, to the spectacular Montejo beech forest.

The Berrueco

The Berrueco

Municipality of El Berrueco

Located to the east and close to the province of Guadalajara, El Berrueco enjoys an enviable environment. They highlight the Cabrera Massif and the imposing El Atazar Reservoir where you can practice water sports such as sailing.

This city of barely eight hundred inhabitants also has a lot to offer you. Among its monuments, the Church of Santo Tomás Apostol with its Romanesque Mudejar portal, and, on the outskirts, the muslim guardiana watchtower built of flint.

But perhaps the most curious thing about El Berrueco is his Museum of Water and Hydrographic Heritage dedicated to the many hydraulic infrastructures of the Sierra de Madrid. Besides, he’s not the only one in town. It also has another dedicated to the traditional masonry of the region.

Mountain Gorge

mountain gorge

Church of the Pilar in Garganta de los Montes

We will end our tour through the beautiful villages of the Sierra de Madrid stopping at Garganta de los Montes, located in the Lozoya Valley. Don’t stop looking at your traditional mountain houses They are built of stone mixed with mud and pebbles and end in a bell-shaped chimney.

But you also have to see the monuments of the city like the churches of Santiago Apóstol and Nuestra Señora del Pilar the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Meadows and horseshoes. Also, don’t stop approaching the Attention from where you will have an impressive view of the Lozoya Valley.

However, the most curious of Garganta de los Montes are the statues that are distributed in its streets and which represent scenes of the daily life of the village. Among them, that of the grandfather and the granddaughter sharing their experiences, that of the altar master or that of the local looking at the valley.

In conclusion, we talked about beautiful villages in the mountains of Madrid. All are worth your visit. But there are others that are just as valuable. For instance, Puebla de la Sierra which always has an Arabic font; Grove of the Real with its baroque church of the Immaculate Conception and its Romanesque bridge; Guadarrama with its typical Plaza Mayor, or Cercedilla, with its Church of San Sebastian. Get to know these cities and enjoy the experience.

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