Walking in Madrid: La Pedriza
One of the most popular spots to go walking around Madrid is La Pedriza, about an hour north of the city by bus. It’s a natural park around the source of the Manzanares River, which flows through the rocks making a series of natural pools. You can swim a little bit and walk along the river, and some people go rock climbing.
Photo by Kadellar, CC Attribution Share-Alike 3.0
How to arrive: Catch bus #724 to Manzanares el Real in Plaza Castilla. Buses run about every half hour on weekdays, once an hour on weekends. Here’s the schedule for bus 724, and here’s the Consorcio de Transportes Interurbanas. The website really sucks. Welcome to Spanish life.
It takes a bit more than 45 minutes to reach Manzanares el Real, you can get off at the castle.
Castillo de Manzanares el Real. Photo by Ramón Durán. CC attribution 2.0
Manzanares el Real is a cute little village with plenty of bars and restaurants. There’s a tourist information place next to the castle that will tell you what’s going on in the village and direct you, otherwise, there are bound to be plenty of people going to La Pedriza, you can follow them. The street you have to take is called Avenida de la Pedriza, it leaves the village to the west.
La Pedriza itself is a couple of kilometers to the northwest of the village, and you want to follow the trail along the river. It’s a bit rocky but easy and not very steep.
Photo by Kadellar.
There are a couple of bars and restaurants in unexpected places out in the middle of nowhere, and if you know where to look, you can find cows and mountain goats.
A note about cows: It’s the cows that are walking around loose, not the bulls. They do have big sets of horns, but they’re not aggressive. If you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone.