The sierras , mountains around Madrid!

One thing that escapes many is the sierras or mountain passes and outdoors available just outside the city of Madrid.  In my youth I used to come by Navacerrada, Cercecilla,Villalba, Guadarrama, and San Lorenzo a lot with my family and friends.

These were nice moment spent outside the grinder of the city, and especially in summer it was great. In Winter too, but my first encounter with the snow trails at Navacerrada turn into a twisting roll down the mountain that almost cost my life, luckily came out ok, but took me away from the slopes forever. Now my boys are into it, and they have been with our family there, and I have gone back to drive thru and see the beautiful scenary.  The idea of this post is to let you know a bit more of glorious Madrid, and its Comunidad de Madrid and its sierras.

First the Navacerrada mountain pass and ski resort is fantastic, and the only medal winner in the Olympics games of Sapporo 1972 came from here.  The Navacerrada is a complete resort nowdays with all modern facilities.  You have 9 slopes in the zona alta or high hill and 7 slopes in the zona baja or low hill; the zona baja is for beginners and such and the zona alta is for pros. It has 9 lifts to carry you all over the mountain. At this moment the station is close for maintenance but its the end of the season, really, be ready for next winter. However for summer splurges and walks into the valleys or a ride by car it is still wonderful. Most folks visiting arrive here by train, leaving from Estación de Chamartín in Madrid you take the cercanias or suburbian train C-8b to Cercedilla ,and the the C-9 or train of Cotos to Puerto de Navacerrada. Info tel +34  902 240 202, and train webpage RENFE ,  . There is a bus service as alternative but never taken it,it is every day from the  intercambiador de Moncloa in  Madrid on line  691 of the group Avanza Intercambiador de Moncloa bus station. webpage bus company

Then you have it by car, my way. You have two ways recommended, from Madrid on the A-6 to Collado Villalba and here take the road M-601 direccion Segovia until you reach Puerto de Navacerrada.  A better way off expressways is to take the road  M-607 (the ones from the north of Madrid direction  Colmenar Viejo, and follow the signs for Puerto de Navacerrada. The Madrid route planner is good on Repsol for all of Spain here

This is the official site for the Puerto de Navacerrada in Spanish,



The other towns are smaller but plenty of outdoor activities around the embalse or water reservoirs especially around Cercedilla as well as mirador or lookout points to see farther into the Sierra. In addition walk trails such as the Siete Picos, in the village of Adesgam for 5 kms and low density for all. And for the more experience and with good weather the 17 kms of Puerto de Navacerrada to Manzanares El Real.

These webpage will help seek out all the information you need on this vast area, that will need several visits to know it all. Even I ,admit have not seen it all here,its a huge Sierra. For the Guadarrama Sierra in general this site is great ,

If you like to go further north in the Sierra Norte and reach Buitrago del Lozoya then you will be thrown back to medieval times in an authentic Castilian town , just perfect wonderful , the webpage for the area is

You will have a wonderful open country forest, mountain, lakes, rivers, and plenty more here just as little as 25 minutes outside Madrid. The Comunidad de Madrid tourist office with info in English on all these towns is at

It all start with a bit of open space at Casa de Campo next to Madrid where we spent several trips with the family.

Hope you enjoy the openness and natural beauty of this region easily reach from Madrid. Enjoy the Sierras around Madrid.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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3 Comments to “The sierras , mountains around Madrid!”

  1. You have given me a memory nudge. In March 2009 I was crossing the Sierras but at the Puerto de Navacerrada we were diverted by officers of the Guardia Civil because of snow blocking the road. I was short of fuel and was certain that I would not make it back to Madrid airport but eventually came across a fuel station in the town of Rascafria.


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