Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Manzanares El Real

     On Saturday, Jack, Katie and I took a bus to the small town of Manzanares El Real, 45 minutes north of Madrid by bus. Our main goal was to do some hiking, which was threatened by morning rain. But when we arrived, the rain was a drizzle, and after breakfast we headed for the rocks.

     On the way was an old hermitage built in the 14th century.

After stopping for some tapas at a bar on the road that dead-ended into the rocks, we started the real hike. The town is so named because the Manzanares river runs through it. This is the same river that runs through Madrid. Apparently once in Manzanares El Real one can hike a few hours to the source of the river, which we would like to do one day.

(The Manzanares River)

     The hiking path offered unexpected views of the snow-capped Guadarrama mountain range in the distance. 

     The main trail follows the river, and assumedly goes on for a long time. We were hiking in what is called La Pedriza, which is a part of the Cuenca Alta park. La Pedriza is famous for its eroded rock formations, some of which we saw, but many will have to wait until next time we visit. There are a ton of trails to hike. Rain was threatening all day, and since we had already walked a couple of miles to the trailhead, we decided not to walk too many more miles into the park. 

(Cover to future Rock album)

     After the hike, we walked around the "new" castle of Manzanares, which was begun in 1475. It is one of the best preserved castles around. 

(New Castle of Manzanares El Real)

     En fin, it was a very nice, low budget trip, easily reached on a city bus. We will definitely be returning to explore La Pedriza more extensively. 

(The hermitage— Photo by Katie)


  1. Yes indeed you'll be returning to explore further - with ME! What a beautiful area and your photos are fantastic!

  2. Katie, great depth of field and water droplets!

  3. looks like an excellent day trip! will definitely have to add this to the to-visit list!