El Molar, Foothills of the Sierra

El Molar is a small city in the foothills of the Sierra, about 45 minutes north of Madrid.

A couple of friends of mine just moved up there, and I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days seeing the town and the sights.

el molar foothills of the madrid mountains

Path outside of El Molar, Comunidad de Madrid. Photo by Lucy Moretti design.

Attractions in El Molar

The main tourist attraction in El Molar are a number of bars known locally as “cuevas” up on a hill on the edge of town. These bars have a series of caves underneath them which have been turned into dining rooms and cellars for keeping wine. The bars themselves make their own wine which they sell at very low prices.

I don’t have much experience with this type of wine, but I can tell you it has a very “authentic” flavor which is not nearly as easy on the palate as a Rioja, and that it goes to your head in a surprisingly powerful way.

The village is small enough that you can walk anywhere in 10 or 15 minutes, and some of the walks in the surrounding countryside look promising. As with many places in Central Spain, there isn’t much shade. It’s far better to do walks like this on sunny days in spring or autumn. We walked towards the northwest of the village, going through Pedrezuela and on to the Embalse de Pedrezuela, a reservoir close to the larger town of Guadalix de la Sierra.

How to get to El Molar

The bus is number 193 and costs about 4 euros (price subject to change). It leaves from Plaza Castilla a few times an hour. Some of the buses are express, meaning they don’t make as many stops in San Sebastián de los Reyes or Alcobendas.

I guess if you’d like to spend the night, there’s a hotel and probably a couple of hostels.

See also: La Vendimia and Austerity Donkeys. And if you’re looking for something to see closer to home, check out the top sights in Madrid.

Daniel
 

How did I end up in Madrid? Why am I still here 12 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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