Short escapes from Madrid: hiking at Cercedilla

Today we start with this post a series of recommendations if you come to Madrid with enough time to visit also its surroundings. By ‘short escape’ we mean places that aren’t more than hour and a half away from Madrid city by public transport. This first post is for mountain lovers and hiking passionates: Cercedilla.

Cercedilla is a very tiny village located 57 km (35,4 miles) away from Madrid, with only 6750 inhabitants. Historic files have dated the origins of this village back to the ancient Rome times, and old kings of Spain (Emperor Carlos I and Felipe II) used to hunt here during the 16th Century.

Cercedilla is placed at the heart of Sierra de Guadarrama, surrounded by peaks and valleys, so if you are looking for nature, this is a very good place to be. I can guarantee that with this picture:

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How to go from Madrid to Cercedilla and back

First what’s first: transportation. There are two main ways to go to Cercedilla by using public transport: bus and train (Cercanías). Bus line to Cercedilla is number 684; you have to go to Moncloa Station to take it, and Cercedilla village is its last stop. Depending on traffic, you may not spend more than 1:15 hours in this trip, that takes you through small villages – not very charming I must say- from the north of Madrid. Each ticket costs 5,5 euros, so going to Cercedilla and back to Madrid is worth 11 euros per person.

Once in the village, you have to take the bus back in a bus stop located in front of the train station. There’s a bus almost every 30 minutes, depending if you are taking it during the week, on the weekend or on a bank holiday. You can check the whole timetable by clicking in this link.

If you decide instead to choose the Cercanías, you have to look for line C-8. Atocha, Recoletos, Nuevos Ministerios or Chamartín are the most suitable options for you, depending where are you staying in Madrid. Atocha is the most popular station of all- if you pick the train there, you’ll arrive to Cercedilla by 55 minutes. A single ticket costs 8,7 euros, so going to Madrid and back by Cercanías is worth 17,4 euros per person.  Be careful if you want to go to Cercedilla on a weekend: there is only one train per hour. You can check the whole timetable through this link.

I must say I have tried both and that I prefer going on bus: it may not be the faster option, but is cheaper, with a higher bus frequency and very easy, because Cercedilla is the last stop, so you don’t have to control your drop-off point. Anyway, you can always combine both!

What are you going to find in Cercedilla

As I mentioned before, this place is small, but with lots of history and nature. As you go out of the train station or the bus stop, you’ll have to walk around 2,5- 3 km straight ahead to reach the starting point of all hiking routes and the natural swimming pool. There are up to nine different routes that can bring you through a roman road, a 17th Century stone bridge, a lake or simply into the woods until you find marvelous sights of Madrid. You can check them in this link (sorry, Spanish only).

#Warning None of this routes are for beginners. They aren’t extremely difficult, but you must have hiked previously and know what a mountain means.

#MadridHack You’ll find an Information Point in a wooden house at the beginning of this routes- go and ask for a map, it will be very helpful for you because signposting isn’t very good. You can download the same map through this link.

Please remember to bring with you proper shoes and clothes. Also something to drink and eat, because there aren’t restaurants in the surroundings. Also remember that Nature hasn’t trash cans, so carry all your rubbish with you until you find one back in the village and don’t pollute the forest!

#MadridHack You may find this hilarious- avoid wearing red clothes, you may find some bulls and cows in your way. They use to be pacific, but this is risk management to avoid anybody to ruin your perfect hiking day, that can end like this:

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See you in Madrid, Madlocals!

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