In the Upper Lozoya River Valley, located in the Guadarrama Range, northern Region of Madrid, we will discover unique landscapes and activities for couples, families and friends.
This protected area of the Upper Lozoya and a privileged place for those who love ornithology, is known under the name: "the jewel of Guadarrama". This treasure hosts the protected area of the "Natural Park of Peñalara" and the "Natural Park of the Cumbre, Circo and Peñalara Lagoons", the highest area of the Region of Madrid with a great biological, geological and recreational values. The birds protected area (ZEPA) stands out in the Upper Lozoya, as well as the glacier lagoons of Peñalara and the wetlands of the Peñalara Mountain. There are many indicated paths, rest and recreational areas, viewpoints and auto-interpretative itineraries that will help you to roam around.
WHAT TO VISIT, we cannot miss it
We can begin our tour in Rascafría and discover the Monastery of El Paular, founded in the 14th century by Enrique the 2nd of Castilla, thanks to the donations made by the Carthusian monks. Pay attention to the cloister, the masonry and historic ensemble of the place. The drawings of the cobles at the entrance merit special attention since they are made with animal bones.
In front of the monastery, crossing the Lozoya River, we find the Forgiveness Bridge. The bridge got this name because it was the last place where the prisoners condemned to death could appeal their sentence before being executed.
You cannot miss the Natural Chocolate Factory in Rascafría, where you can buy the best artisan chocolate in an interesting way.
If we continue through the Natural Path that runs over the Valley, from the Monastery of El Paular until the municipality of El Cuadrón, we will get into calm walkways, peaceful streams, archaeological sites, centenary hermitages and villages with charm and hospitality. This place has a great biodiversity, with protected species like imperial eagle or the Grasellsia (a unique moth in the world).
Just in the middle of the Lozoya valley we find the municipality of Alameda del Valle, an ideal destination to enjoy calmness and nature. It is surrounded by beautiful orchards and multicolored crops, pasturelands and pine forests that leave the land beyond. The church of Santa Marina and the Hermitage of Santa Ana are the most significant buildings. Make sure to go on the 2nd February to the festival of the Virgin of the Candles. The City Council invites everybody to taste ham a drinks, like the lemonade.
And continuing our journey, at the beginning of the reservoir with the same name, the village of Pinilla del Valle receives us surrounded by streams and with a distribution that is mainly rural and invites us to rest and relax. The historic heritage is very interesting, highlighting the Parish Church of St. Miguel the Archangel, the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Concepción, the hydraulic Mill of Navazo and the Fountains scattered around the population. But the most significant thing is a Quaternary deposit that contains valuable fossils from the hominids. The area of Los Claveros has been declared a Place of Cultural Interest.
Between the river and the reservoir the town of Lozoya is scattered. This town gives name to this large valley, which is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, perfect for hiking and with endless outdoors activities. The spectacular sights of the valley, where you can watch the Pinilla-Lozoya reservoir, the Peñalara Mountain and the Cabeza de Hierro, make this place the most beautiful of the area.
If we go a little bit northern, we arrive to Gargantilla de Lozoya y Pinilla de Buitrago surrounded by oaks, ashes, Holm oaks and natural grasslands. It is a hundred percent rural landscape located between the Cerro de la Cruz and the Riosequillo reservoir, where you can rent canoes or hike into several routes. You cannot miss the historic heritage. From Gargantilla there are many routes that will show you the Middle Age history. This place witnessed the proclamation of Juana "La Beltraneja" as the heiress to the throne of Castilla.
And settled in the hill of El Chaparral we find the municipalities of Navarredonda y San Mamés. These are two of the classical "Mountainous" enclaves full of charm at any time of the year. You cannot miss the church of St. Michael the Archangel and the Hermitage of St. Mamés, which was the stage of the coronation of the queen Juana la Loca (Juana the Mad), or the jump of water named the Chorrera de San Mamés, whose flow maintains every year.
Just in the mountain, surrounded by walnuts, blackthorns Holm oak groves, we arrive to Canencia. If you love hiking and calmness, you cannot miss a visit to the surroundings of this place taking the routes alone or with your family. Later you can enjoy a fantastic gastronomical offering in this town, mainly rancher.
Do you Want to Restock Energy?
There is no better way to regain the vital tone by tasting the livestock products that give the name to the Denomination of Origin from the Guadarrama Range. There are many traditional restaurants and grill-restaurants hided between the small towns that are part of the Lozoya Valley.
As a dessert (from time to time is not fattening) we can get sweeter in the Natural Chocolate factory in Rascafría, where all the products are elaborated in a handcrafted manner.
I am Tired, Where can I Sleep?
There are many places to choose since fortunately there is a huge accommodation offering. You have houses or rural apartments for families, groups or couples. There you can host business or family meetings, or weddings and bachelor parties since they have many spaces an services. The calmness, the care and the strategic location will surprise you.
The possibilities that the area offers to practice activities surrounded by nature are diverse and huge. Among which we can highlight as shown below:
- Sports: alpine skiing, cross country skiing, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing ...
- Mushrooms and seasonal wild berries harvesting.
- Discover the production of artists and artisans that have chosen the Lozoya Valley to get inspired, create their works, live or exhibit.
- Visit the mountain ports of the Region of Madrid, most of them located in our valley.
I Need More Information
And as the coda to our activities we stand out that in front of the Monastery of El Paular there are two tourist centers: the Management Centre "Casa del Parque-Puente del Perdón", which manages the "Natural Park of Peñalara and El Paular Valley" and the Information Centre and Environment Education Puente del Perdón. The last one can give you information about the different activities and resources of the area. From here there are many signalized routes to go walking, by horse or cycling.
Discover the Northern range with the train "Translozoya", which departs from Chamartín station and goes over the main towns of the area.
Más información: http://www.valledellozoyadescubrelo.com/