Peñalara Summit, Cirque and Lakes Nature Reserve

The Sierra Norte region in Madrid


Charming corners, nature and mountains welcome you to the little villages in Madrid's Sierra Norte. Just one hour by car from the capital and close to the neighbouring provinces of Segovia and Guadalajara, discover these four gorgeous villages: Patones, Rascafría, Torrelaguna and Buitrago de Lozoya.

A dose of nature and history The first stop awaits you in Patones, some seventy kilometres from Madrid, and split into two hubs: Patones de Arriba and Patones de Abajo. The first, packed with traditional slate architecture, will charm you with its typical houses. The second, Patones de Abajo, will please nature lovers, thanks to its Ecological Path around the village, while the three water channels crossing it are perfect for geology fans. Nearby, is Torrelaguna, whose highlight is Santa María Magdalena Church, in the main square. You can even feel like an actor for the day, since its old quarter has been the scene of numerous films over the years, including Everybody Knows, the Hollywood production The Pride and the Passion and the Spanish El turismo es un gran invento (Tourism is a great invention). Significant individuals from Spain's history are also connected to Torrelaguna, like San Isidro Labrador, patron saint of the city of Madrid, and Cardinal Cisneros, founder of the University of Alcalá de Henares.

Map of Sierra Norte, Madrid

Tradition and modern art Only 94 kilometres separate Madrid and Rascafría. Discover historic treasures like the San Andrés Apóstol Church and the El Paular Monastery, still inhabited by monks and open to visitors, two kilometres from the village. The nature path along Valle del Lozoya starts close by, on which you'll discover the panoramic view of the whole valley and monastery, including views of the Peñalara mountain peak, the highest summit in the autonomous Community of Madrid. Following the course of the Lozoya river further north, you will discover Buitrago del Lozoya, a village packed with art, history and nature. Medieval walls, a castle and Santa Maria del Castillo Church share the village with the Picasso Museum Eugenio Arias Collection, which has collected up to 70 pieces of the Malaga artist's work. It also holds a medieval festival every September.

Paular Monastery, Rascafría
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