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Weekend Getaways: A Day in Sierra de Madrid

Elisa Lozano

Tired of the city? Madrid is a wonderful cosmopolitan place, but let’s face it, from time to time you feel like escaping from all the non-stop city life and you just want to breathe some fresh air. You’re lucky! The Sierra of Madrid, less than an hour away from downtown, may be the ideal place to escape this weekend, where you can enjoy nature, visit new charming villages, and just disconnect.

The Sierra Norte of Madrid and the Sierra of Guadarrama offer a wide variety of activities, both cultural and sports but also leisure and relaxation. And all this within our weekly budget! Prepare the suitcase and don’t forget to write down the name of these 5 must-see towns:

Soto del Real

Soto del Real (via Flickr)

Soto del Real: Located 42 km from Madrid and within the Regional Park of the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares and the National Park of Sierra de Guadarrama, ideal for nature lovers and foodies. It is also a place where modernity and antiquity are blended in an unforgettable place. Don’t forget to visit its centenary church or visit its incredible restaurants, such as the legendary Asador los Pepes or El Vagón de Beni.

Lozoya River in Rascafría

Lozoya River in Rascafría

Rascafría: It is located in a valley of extraordinary beauty and it’s very charming. The beautiful territory has a high scenic value, and is populated by forests of oak and pine trees that alternate with meadows. Here we can find the natural pools on the river Lozoya, a recommended visit at any time of the year. After a refreshing swim, you can dine at any of the excellent restaurants in the Lozoya Valley, a highly recommended place for mountain sport lovers.

Church at Miraflores de la Sierra

Church at Miraflores de la Sierra

Miraflores de la Sierra: The medieval origins of this place gives us a rich cultural heritage, such as fortresses, ancient fortifications, and parishes. Located in a privileged enclave of outstanding natural and ecological value, Miraflores de la Sierra is part of the National Park of the Sierra de Guadarrama, as well as the Regional Park of the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares. Here, ecotourism, cultural tourism, and gastronomic travel are unbeatable. If you prefer to ride a bike, you will certainly find beautiful routes through these forests and hills.

Panoramic view of Buitrago del Lozoya

Panoramic view of Buitrago del Lozoya

Buitrago del Lozoya: Located in the Middle Valley of the Lozoya, it stands out for the medieval wall that surrounds this historical town and is in turn surrounded by the river Lozoya. Its Castle, or Alcázar, next to the Church of Santa Maria del Castillo, the Clock Tower, and the Moorish wall breathe a medieval air to this town, which boasts with a very active cultural agenda. If you love art and theatre you’re in the right place: visit the Picasso Museum and do the theatre tours around town.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial Monastery

San Lorenzo de El Escorial Monastery

San Lorenzo de El Escorial: Its accessibility and connection with Madrid have made it a tourist destination for both locals and many national and international visitors who are attracted by the heritage, cultural and natural attractions of the town. San Lorenzo del Escorial was founded in the 18th century by King Carlos III and its most famous building is the impressive monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, designed by King Felipe II, which has been part of UNESCO World Heritage since 1984.

Another must visit is The Valley of the Fallen, whose construction was ordered by the former Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco. For you skiing lovers, just few minutes away is the Port of Navacerrada, with multiple ski slopes where you can practice this sport in a natural environment without leaving the Community of Madrid.

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Are you currently living in Madrid? Thinking about hitting one of these towns this weekend? Let us know in the comments!

And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the perfect student home on Uniplaces.com.

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