Walking in the Sierra de Guadarrama

Just 40 or so kilometers to the North of Madrid lie the Sierra de Guadarrama. This range of hills and mountains runs from south west to north east for about 80 kilometers with a width of about 20 kilometers and they separate Spain’s capital from the plains of Castilla y Leon and the magnificent former Roman city of Segovia, famous for its wonderfully preserved aqueduct.

The Sierra reaches its maximum height of 1860 metres at Puerto Navacerrada and most of its beautiful countryside has long been a national park. The region has always supplied the water needs of Madrid and the many lakes and rivers add to the delight of the region. At the southwestern end of the Sierra are the summer palace of the Catholic Kings at Escorial and the enormous memorial to Franco and tragedy of the Spanish Civil War, Valle de los Caidos. The Palace at San Ildefonso La Granja with its amazing water gardens is also nearby. 

The flora of the region is very varied, pine and sabina at higher altitudes whilst lower down deciduous woods including vast areas of oak abound. As can be expected there is a wide variety of birds and the forests provide a home for wild pig and deer.

With the excellent communications this is a very popular area particularly at weekends and of course during the skiing season. Walking and hiking are just two of the many activities available and most substantial towns have a network of routes available usually from the local tourist office or town hall. Quite a number of walks are clearly marked. 

Good centres with a range of accommodation for walking would be Miraflores, Rascafria, Lozoya and Navacerrada.

With Madrid so close, it would be hard to think of such a delightfully varied walking area so accessible. Do give it a try.

Sierra De Guadarrama


You can use these pages to browse for walks in specific regions, counties and areas. It is a good idea to narrow down your search to the most local area possible, as the list of walks for larger areas can be very long. An alternative way of searching is to use the Find a Walk tool.

We would like to include a short article for each of the areas on these pages. If an area has no article and you can send us a few hundred words about the area, pointing out its key attractions and other useful information, we would greatly appreciate it.