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Hiking in la Sierra de Madrid

This is a list of our walks in the Sierra de Madrid. You can download the GPX data for all these walks together.

Fuente de la Campanilla

On 3 June (2012) with Elena's parents.

The fountain of the bell lies in the woods of Navacerrada in the Sierra de Madrid. It has a bell which people ring before drinking the icy cold water from the mountains.

It turned out to be the last walk of Onyx, our terrier, who passed away one month and one week later. As one can see from these pictures, although 14 years old and a half, he remained healthy till the end, in fact, till the very last day.

El Cerro de San Pedro

On 6 October (2013).

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The Cerro de San Pedro is a landmark of the Sierra de Madrid, as it stands alone from the rest of the chain of mountains from the Sistema Central. Its small height and spread out distribution makes it an easy hike. It affords splendid views of the north of Madrid, being so close, and of the rest of the Sierra, around it. After hiking it, we passed by Guadalix de la Sierra and Soto del Real.

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Sierra de Hoyo de Manzanares

On 13 October (2013), with Tizón.

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Abedular de Canencia

On 27 October (2013), with Elena's parents and Tizón.

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Fp.laussy.jpgThe third route was the first from a book of scenic routes in the Sierra, bought by Elena en marge of a manifestation in Madrid, and the first with Inma & Julio. We quickly realized that it would bring us to the Chorrera de Mojonavalle which we had visited back in July 2008 with Daniele and where I almost killed myself, slipping while climbing the waterfall (?!) The choice of a wood was motivated by Autumn, and we headed for this popular location where birch trees (abedules) mix with pine trees. It had rained a lot the previous days, and many mushrooms enthusiasts were passing by with full baskets. So abundant were the Boletus edulis that we also found enough ourselves for the supper. Another unexpected encounter was with the Spanish celebrity Dani Mateo who was enjoying family moments hiding in a cap that could not however also conceal his peculiar voice (and who tried to climb the waterfall in very much the same foolish and dangerous way I did in 2008).

Along the Manzanares

On 1 November (2013). With Elena's parents and Tizón.

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The Yelmo

On 7 December (2013). With Tizón.

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La Pedriza

On 20 March (2014). With Carlos Sanchez, Blanca Silva, Juan Pablo Restrepo, Guillermo Guirales, Camilo López-Carreño, William Júnio Lima, David Colas, Dmitrii Vishnevskii, his wife Irina and their friend Olga, and of course, Tizón.

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El Cerro de San Pedro, in the springtime

On 17 May (2015), with Julia and Tizón.

It had been a long time, well over a year, since our last hike in the Sierra de Madrid, due to our Madrilean year. To get it on track again, we returned to the Cerro de San Pedro, which is an outstanding hike with a terrific view of a good portion of the Comunidad de Madrid. It is also our opening walk of this series, and we went the both of us. This time, we were accompanied by Julia and our little dog.

Hayedo de tejera negra

The snow in Castilla y León

On 17 January (2016), we went with Isabel and Camilo (also with Elena's parents, Tizón, ourselves and Julia) to the mountains, with a specific aim: to meet the snow, a first time for Isabel & Camilo (Julia got close enough in Auvergne in March (2015) but this basically was a first experience for her too as she was so tiny earlier; in fact she still has occasions to discover the snow for the first time!). There has been little snow in Europe this year, so we had to go a bit far, to the frontier of the Comunidad de Madrid, at its meeting point with Castilla y León.

Garganta de los Montes

On 18 June (2016), with Elena's parents and Tizon, we went to the mountain that sits behind the Cabrera, of which it affords a splendid, if not unfamiliar, view. It is largely forgotten from tourists and hikers so that you can enjoy a peaceful stroll among cows wandering freely and, in our case, even a flock of goats guarded by two half-savage dogs who galloped towards us as we reached the top. This reached a moment of extreme tension as they chased Tizon and captured him for a few seconds of extreme shock as it wasn't clear if they were not going after his life. Despite the horror, me jumping onto the dog (harming my leg in the way), Inma's shouting in shock, it so appeared they wanted to play with him as he was unharmed (he got the scare of his life and the moaning he made when he got caught, unable to escape the much faster dogs, appeared to all of us as that of a prey being murdered). Thankfully, all went well and we could complete the tour with only a good fright.

Hoyo de Manzanares: Cruz del Pan

On 12 October (2017), with Elena's parents and Tizon, Elena and Julia (without Fabrice) went to Hoyo de Manzanares to do the circular walk of Cruz del Pan. It took them around 3-4 hours because Julia was walking around 50% of the track.

La Bola del Mundo

On 26 August (2018), with Camilo.

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The alto de las Guarramillas is better known as the "bola del mundo" by Madrilenes, due to the old Spanish TV displaying in its announcements the antennas that crowns the top of the mountain on a stylized globe. It affords a rare view of the Communidad de Madrid, with Manzanares el Real, Colmenar Viejo, Tres Cantos and Madrid all lined up (you can get an idea of this view from one of our panoramas). This is a special spot for us as this is the view we have from our breakfat terrace in Montecito.

It is an easy (7.8km) hike from the Puerto de Navacerrada till the top and back, on a fully paved road, which decided us to attempt it in the last days of recovery of Fabrice's surgery (we used to walk round Tres Cantos before that). Since Fabrice couldn't carry Julia, this is also the first mountain excursion she fully completed on her own! It took us 1h30 to the top, going slowly. We spent another one hour there, marveling at the view with a snack. It was thrilling to identify our flat from so far away (29.5km in a straight line). We missed the Ventisquero de la Condesa, which is the birthplace of the Manzanares, that was a few hundred meters away but a fact we discovered only afterward. It was another hour to go down. The day ended with a nice dinner at the Terraza Jardin Felipe in Navacerrada.Bola-mundo-trajectory-aug18.jpg

La cascada del Hervidero

On 9 September (2018), with Camilo.

There are several waterfalls (cascada) in the Sierra, which give you the occasion of bathing in summer time. One of the most interesting waterfalls is quite close from home, in San Agustín del Guadalix.

Ducha de los Alemanes

Other interesting cascades include:


  • Poza de Sócrates y cascadas de las Guarramillas
  • Chorrera de Mojonavalle
  • Cascada de la Presa del Pradillo