April 24, 2024

The mountains of Madrid

Goats get a great view of Madrid and everything else at the top of Maliciosa, August 2022

The Mountains of Madrid

Madrid is located in the centre of Spain, in what for the most part, is an extraordinarily dry and rocky plain, known as the meseta. However, located in that very plain, and just forty minutes drive from the city is a mountain range, with some great walking to be done.

Up here, during the summer, when Madrid swelters between thirty and forty, the temperature is usually five to six degrees lower, and a light breeze can provide the kind of refreshment, unheard of in the city.

You can usually get a great view of Madrid from these places, and sometimes see the Saharan sand clouds, called the Calima.

There are several great places to visit.


There’s a really good walk to a mountain called Maliciosa.

From here you can see, in the same 360 sweep, Madrid to the south and Segovia to the north. You can imagine what the great Roman aqueduct that connected Segovia to the mountains must have looked like.

You’ll find goats at the top, who are basically waiting for hand outs.

Monte Abantos

There’s a precipitous car drive up to the top of Monte Abantos, but from the car park, you can take a very good path all the way to the top of Monte Abantos. In winter time you might even find a bit of snow in the higher reaches.

There’s a good guide to the walk here, written in Spanish.


Peñalara is the highest mountain in the area. Again you’ll find goats at the top. There’s a beautiful small mountain lake on the way down.

‘Tormenta sobre Peñalara’ (1906), de Joaquín Sorolla, nice bit of painting all things considered.


Silla De Felipe

At the foot of the mountains, there’s a place called Silla de Felipe, which you can walk to. You get a pretty good view of Madrid from there.

Silla De Felipe, 2019
From Silla De Felipe you can see Escorial


The four towers of Madrid, from the walk to Silla de Felipe


Parque Regional de la Cuenca Alta del Manzanares

All of this stuff is part of the Parque Regional de la Cuenca Alta del Manzanares.

So much more to discover.

So many more hiking routes to find out about and do. This is a good starting place.

This looks like a good guide.

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