Spain’s Sierra de Guadarrama

The Peaks of Sierra de Guadarrama

Sierra de Guadarrama is a chain of mountains located in the middle of the Sierra de Gredos of the Avila province and the Sierra de Ayllon of the Guadalajara province. Sierra de Guadarrama stretches from a southwest to northeast direction and spans 80 km. The highest peak in Sierra de Guadarrama is Peñalara, which rises 2,428 meters over the sea level.

Some of the most notable destinations in Sierra de Guadarrama are Peñalara’s lakes and La Pedriza’s rocky landscape. Some picturesque valleys include Valle de la Fuenfria and Valle de Valsain. Although some parts of Sierra de Gadarrama are occupied by Madrileños, it still accommodates areas with oak trees, shrubbed pastures, birds of prey, deer, badger, wild boar, and waterfowl.


A hiking trip up to Peñalara, one of the more famous mountains, may prove to be an interesting one because its peak is a park called Parque Natural de Peñalara. Here, a small chapel stands so hikers can spend a few moments for meditation and enjoy the view. Natural sceneries also complete the hiking trip because the Parque Natural de Peñalara encompasses cirques, waterfalls, and streams. The Lagunas de los Clavales, Laguna de los Pajaros, Laguna Chica, and Laguna Grande also consitute the mountain of Peñalara.

Cabezas de Hierro

The Cabezas de Hierro is a mountain that rises 7,818 feet or 2,383 meters from sea level. Its peak is covered in snow and has traces of magnetic iron. Going up the Cabezas de Hierro during winter can be very difficult considering that snow storms may affect the snow foundation. It is better to dress up in winter clothes and bring crampons and ice axes when climbing the Cabezas de Hierro.

La Pedriza

Hiking on the Sierra de Guadarrama may be enjoyed even more if hikers pass by La Pedriza. It is situated in the Cuerda Larga on the southern slope in the Parque Regional de la Cuenca Alta del Manzanares. What distinguishes La Pedriza is its rock formations, granite walls, savin junipers, and rockroses. A hiking vacation will also be completed by a visit to the Mansanares river in the middle of the valleys of La Pedriza.

La Peñota

An outdoor adventure to the La Peñota mountain can be an exhilarating experience because it offers a lovely mountain view and rock formations. The incline of the mountain is not as steep as the Peñarala because La Peñota only has an altitude of 1,945 meters above sea level. The climb to La Peñota is also a lot less difficult compared with the climb to Peñarala, and hikers can make a complete up and down hike in approximately four hours. To be safe during the hiking trip, hikers should be careful especially during colder months. The presence of polished rock and water on La Peñota makes a dangerous hiking trail.

Accommodation in Sierra de Guadarrama

The provinces of Madrid, Guadalajara, and Avila offer comfortable accommodations for those on a hiking vacation. Apartments, bed-and-breakfasts, hostels, and hotels are open to tourists especially during peak seasons. The rates of the accommodations near Sierra de Guadarrama vary. Also, transportation facilities to be taken to get to Sierra de Guadarrama include trains, cabs, and buses. For more information, visit.

Accommodation example:Las Meninas Hotel, Madrid. C/Campomanes 7, Madrid, Spain 28013.

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How to get there

Getting to Madrid from the Barajas Airport is easy. Vacationers can take a taxi or rent a car, but it is more convenient and cheaper to make a reservation with special taxi services. Examples of taxi services are AresMobile and Aerocity. These provide door-to-door transportation for a minimal fee, although passengers may need to share the vans with other tourists.

Trains and buses can also take hikers from Madrid to Sierra de Guadarrama. The bus, particularly number 684, leaves from Intecambiador de Moncloa. The train, Cercanias line C8b, picks up passengers from Estacion de Chamartin and Estacion de Atocha between 6am and 11pm.

Sierra de Guadarrama
Attractions in Sierra de Guadarrama
Traveling to Madrid
Traveling to Sierra de Guadarrama

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