Stone bridge in Patones de Arriba. Madrid.

10 ideas in the Sierra Norte region of Madrid

In the north of the Madrid Region you'll find a unique destination full of colours, images and aromas that's guaranteed to offer something for everyone. You'll be able to visit its 42 municipalities while you explore this genuine rural setting, discover its landscapes with their dense oak and pine forests, enjoy a range of water activities, spend time with the family or treat yourself to the authentic flavours of the local cuisine. Come to the Sierra Norte region of Madrid, and you're sure to be pleasantly surprised!

  1. Cowherd in the Lozoya valley. Madrid.

    Ministerio de Agricultua, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente

    Dreams of the wild

    Nature in its purest state and a veritable natural paradise, that's what you'll find in the Lozoya valley. You can set out into unknown territory and discover a whole new world in the north of the Madrid Region. You're certain to be captivated by its unspoilt, authentic and rural atmosphere. Come and be surprised by the amazing views and the host of activities awaiting you here!

  2. Hayedo de Montejo nature reserve. Madrid.

    Sierra del Rincón Biosphere Reserve: colours for everyone

    You'll be enchanted by the Hayedo de Montejo beech forest where the ochre, russet and golden hues of its ancient beech trees are the crowning glory of the landscape. And don't leave without discovering the genuine traditional culture to be found in the five municipalities that make up the area known as the Sierra del Rincón. A unique and exceptional place.

  3. Monastery of Santa María del Paular. Rascafría, Madrid.

    Rascafría: a different view

    There are not many places where you can visit a functioning Carthusian monastery. The Real Monasterio de Santa María de El Paular is over 600 years old, and the Benedictine monks who live there will show you its works of art, regarded as veritable treasures. This is a privileged setting where you can enjoy delicious cuisine –possibly featuring a dish of wild boletus mushrooms sautéed in garlic, a hearty bean casserole or a delicious entrecote. It's enough to make your mouth water and pointless to resist!

  4. Defensive walls in Buitrago del Lozoya. Madrid.

    Come and stay in Buitrago del Lozoya.

    In the heart of the Lozoya valley you'll find a charming town where a weekend away will make you believe you've been transported back to the Middle Ages. You'll feel like a knight or a princess as you walk through the walled enclosure, where you'll find the church of Santa María del Castillo, the Picasso Museum and a castle where its famous medieval fair is held. Make a point of going to the top of the wall to see the traditional living nativity scene at Christmas.

  5. Plaza Mayor square in Torrelaguna. Madrid.

    Discover the secrets of Torrelaguna

    A secluded area of the Sierra Norte, in the Jarama valley, with numerous palaces, convents and mansions that reveal this region's splendid past. Stroll through the streets, visit the famous church of Santa María Magdalena, and learn all the stories about the important families and historic figures that have lived there, including Cardinal Cisneros and San Isidro Labrador.

  6. View of Patones de Arriba.

    The magic of Patones

    Patones is special... Because it once had its own king... because it's been the setting for several television and film series... because it's full of charming rural houses and has wonderful food... and also because of the legend that it managed to escape discovery by the French army during the Napoleonic invasion. Make a note for your next visit!

  7. Hiking boots.

    Let the activities begin!

    Who's in the mood for some activities in the great outdoors? And even better if you can enjoy them in a practically untouched natural setting. Head for the recreational areas in the Sierra Norte region and you'll find just what you're looking for. In a landscape of reservoirs, streams, forests and pinewoods you'll be able to enjoy a wide range of different activities, like hiking on country footpaths and swimming in natural pools. And above all, you'll fall in love with the scenery and the outstanding views you'll see everywhere you look.

  8. Room in the Ethnographic Museum in La Hiruela. Madrid.

    A place for enthusiasts of sports or culture?

    In the association of villages known as the Mancomunidad del Embalse del Atazar, you'll find something to suit everyone. Hiking fans can walk some of the long-distance Genaro route, 70 kilometres long and featuring some unique buildings, a wide variety of landscapes and areas steeped in history. If you prefer to find out what life was like in this area in the past, the best idea is to visit its network of museums, where you'll see threshing floors, learn the importance of water, stone and geology, and put your senses to the test in a museum dedicated to touch, taste and smell, as well as having fun playing traditional games.

  9. Puente del Perdón bridge. Rascafría, Madrid.

    Walking in the middle of nature

    Embark on a journey into the unknown… and discover all the genuine natural attractions to be found in the Sierra Norte region. The route starts at the Puente del Perdón bridge (Rascafría), goes through a poplar wood and then continues along a natural path past shrines and ancient pine trees, and with imperial eagles flying overhead. You can do this route on foot or by bike –either way, you'll find every corner has it own special charm.

  10. Room with posters in the Picasso Museum - Eugenio Arias Collection. Buitrago del Lozoya, Madrid.

    Encounters with the world of art

    Imagine seeing a series of unique pieces dedicated and presented to a friend of his by the painter Pablo Picasso, walking into an outdoor air painting and sculpture studio belonging to a contemporary artist, or discovering the graphic works of the great Spanish painter Luis Feito. This is only possible in the Sierra Norte... Where else?

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