It is located in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains in Segovia (Castile-León) and is the site of the Valsaín mountain, one of the largest wooded areas in Spain. The area has great ecological value and is the site of several forestry research centres.
Real Sitio de San Ildefonso-El Espinar Biosphere Reserve
Segovia (Castilla y Leon)
What you need to know
It is well worth a visit to San Ildefonso to see the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso and its gardens. Visitors will also enjoy the Glass Museum, housed in what was formerly the Royal Glass Factory of La Granja, with a long-standing tradition and international fame. What's more, a little over 10 kilometres away you'll find the World Heritage City of Segovia, with its imposing aqueduct and Alcázar fortress.
The area is home to a wide variety of flora. For example, on the highest part of the mountain there is an abundance of grasslands and low scrub. In the middle and lower parts you'll find forests of wild pine, oak, holm oak, and typical riverbank vegetation. The fauna in this area includes such emblematic and endangered species as the Iberian imperial eagle, the black stork and the black vulture. Otters are among the mammals to be seen here, and there are trout in the streams.
Information for visits
Montes de Valsaín has a visitor centre located in the recreational area of Boca del Asno (CL-601 road, kilometre 127.5). You'll also find various trails, as well as a self-guided route for which you can pick up the brochure in the centre or download through the 'Useful links' section of this website. There are two other recreational areas in the Montes de Valsaín: Los Asientos and El Robledo.