An area of countryside with great biodiversity close to the Spanish capital
The Sierra del Rincón Mountains were designated Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005, and are just one hour by car from Madrid.
To the northeast of the Region of Madrid you will find the Sierra del Rincón Mountains, characterised by their varied landscapes and rich biodiversity. They are located around two valleys, La Hiruela and La Puebla, surrounded by the mountains of Sierra Cebollera, whose peaks are home to the source of the Jarama River, and the Sierra de la Puebla Mountains. This area has high mountain landscapes that alternate with rocky countryside, forests and scrubland on the mountainsides, and valleys, pastureland, country villages and cultivated land with traditional crops in the lower areas. The Sierra del Rincón mountains are at 900-2,047 metres above sea level, giving rise to different natural habitats - fundamentally Euro-Siberian and Mediterranean -, meaning that you will find a broad variety of species of trees, such as pine, oak, holm oak, beech and ash. Here, in the west of the area, the Prádena del Rincón-Montejo depression is worthy of special mention. This is home to the area's main towns and villages, and is also where you will find one of the region's main attractions: the Montejo beech forest. It has a mixture of beech and oak trees, and is one of Europe's southernmost beech forests. Every year, many people come to enjoy the stunning spectacle of colours, especially in autumn. There is also interesting traditional architecture and cultural heritage in the towns and villages of the region.
What you need to know
Towns and villages in the area have interesting cultural heritage, where mention should be made of simple churches and shrines in Romanesque and Baroque style, such as those of San Nicolás de Bari (Horcajuelo), Santo Domingo de Silos (Prádena del Rincón), San Miguel Arcángel (La Hiruela) and Purísima Concepción (Puebla de la Sierra). You can also see well conserved, traditional architecture and working elements such as fountains, forges and water mills.
The Sierra del Rincón Mountains are home to exceptional flora and fauna. Besides having a broad range of different habitats (forests of pine, oak, holm oak and beech, pastureland, rocky landscapes, etc.), this is also home to unique flora, with 833 species, 66 of which are rare, endemic or endangered. There is also a large variety of fauna: of the 194 species of vertebrates to be found, 140 are rare, endemic or endangered. Autochthonous breeds of livestock and traditional crops cultivated to this day also help to conserve the local environment.
Information for visits
The Sierra del Rincón visitor centre is in the village of Montejo de la Sierra. Here visitors will find information on local countryside, heritage, activities available and interesting routes to follow. Here you can also plan visits to the Montejo beech forest, given that you must book in advance - access is limited to preserve the forest's unique characteristics. Sierra del Rincón Visitor Centre: C/ Real, 64. 28190 – Montejo de la Sierra (Madrid), tel: +34 918697058 email: firstname.lastname@example.org