Rural tourism by night in the Sierra de Madrid
Sunset over a rural landscape
The villages in the mountains in the west of the Madrid region offer the chance to experience a special visit by night. Many of them illuminate their monuments so that they can be seen every night in all their glory and enjoyed in total peace and quiet, in an atmosphere of complete silence and darkness. What's more, they are all within a distance of 45 and 80 kilometres of the city of Madrid.
The following villages are part of this initiative of rural tourism by night:
Santa María de Alameda: about 65 km from the city of Madrid and can be reached on the M-505 road. Its most distinctive buildings include the churches of Nuestra Señora de la Alameda, in the Gothic style, San Ramón Nonnato and Santa María de la Estación.
Robledo de Chavela: located about 20 minutes from Santa María de Alameda and about an hour from Madrid on the M-505 road. On your approach to the village you'll see the parish church of La Asunción de Nuestra Señora, fully illuminated and reminiscent of a fortress.
Fresnedillas de la Oliva: less than 10 km from Robledo de Chavela, its key feature by night is the parish church of San Bartolomé, dating from the 16th century. When illuminated, you may even be able to see the stork that lives on top.
Navalagamella: about 6 km from Fresnedillas de la Oliva, its parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Estrella, dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, is perfectly conserved. The historic centre of the village is also home to some noble houses and the Clock Tower, which was once part of the original Town Hall dating from the 17th century.
Chapinería: the village is located less than 15 minutes from Navalagamella and about 50 kilometres from Madrid. It is reached by the M-501 road. The illuminated buildings include the parish church of La Purísima Concepción, in the Herrerian style, the Palace of the Marquises of Villanueva de la Sagra and the shrine of El Santo Ángel de la Guarda.
Cadalso de los Vidrios: this village is reached by continuing west about 30 km from Chapinería along the M-501 road. Its illuminated route includes the Palace of Villena, dating from the 15th century, and its gardens where Roman and Visigoth remains can still be seen. Opposite the Palace is the Álamos fountain, which is Arab in origin and stands very near the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, partly built with stones from the old Arab wall.
Villamantilla: a little over 10 minutes from Chapinería and about 50 minutes from Madrid on the M-501 road. Highlights of the night visit include the parish church of San Miguel Arcángel.
Villamanta: only 5 km from Villamantilla. Its main monument is the parish church of Santa Catalina. Another exceptionally secluded site for enjoying nocturnal peace and quiet is the shrine of Nuestra Señora Virgen del Socorro.
Things to remember
The best way to visit these villages is by car, as public transport runs less frequently by night.
You'll find explanatory information panels at each monument.
The best time to visit is in spring (between April and June), when the temperatures are mild.
These are very small, quiet villages, rarely visited by tourists.