Tourists who come to Madrid are mainly dedicated to getting to know the city, which offers a lot and has a lot to visit, or they go on excursions to nearby places. But if you have a car you will have great freedom at your fingertips to reach places that not everyone can.
Whether you have already visited the city several times or if you are a resident looking for new places to discover, we recommend that you take one of the following routes that we are going to suggest, which you can do by car comfortably.
They are routes designed to be done in a single day, but if you have more days for it, much better.
Routes by car to do in Madrid
Route through the Lozoya Valley
In the Lozoya Valley you have some of the most interesting towns to visit in Madrid. And also, with many hiking trails and activities in nature that will surprise you. In this case, we do recommend more than one day to enjoy the Lozoya Valley in all its splendor.
The route through this valley can begin in Puerto de Cotos, from where you can also go to Peñalara, and enjoy the views offered by the road until you reach Rascafría, one of the most touristic towns in the Sierra de Madrid. In Rascafría is the Monastery of El Paular.
A little further on you arrive at the town of Lozoya, although you can also enjoy Puerto de la Morcuera and Puerto de Canencia. The surroundings of the Lozoya Reservoir also have many activities to do.
To end the route we have the beautiful medieval town of Buitrago del Lozoya, with a simply spectacular walled enclosure. If you want, you can extend the route a little longer and reach the Atazar Reservoir.
Route through the Sierra del Rincón
The Sierra del Rincón is located in the northernmost area of the Community of Madrid and is the furthest from the capital that you can travel to within the region. It is a natural area of great beauty that is also a Biosphere Reserve.
In the Sierra del Rincón you can find wonderful villages with a very characteristic typical slate architecture, so we recommend parking and walking through them to enjoy them. Among the towns that you can visit are Prádena del Rincón, Horcajuelo, Montejo de la Sierra, Puebla de la Sierra and La Hiruela, the latter being perhaps the best known of all.
If you want to enjoy nature, the best place is the Hayedo de Montejo, a spectacular beech forest that is a World Heritage Site along with other beech forests in Europe. To visit it you have to reserve a ticket in advance as it is a protected area.
Route through the Jarama Valley
Bordering the province of Guadalajara we have the Jarama Valley, through which one of the most important tributaries of the Tagus River flows and which crosses the entire Community of Madrid from north to south.
The first of the towns that we can visit on this route is Torrelaguna, one of the most beautiful towns in Madrid thanks to the Church of Santa María Magdalena, a temple more typical of a big city than a small town. Nearby is Patones de Arriba, another of the great jewels of Madrid with its typical architecture and surroundings.
On this route you cannot miss other towns such as Torremocha del Jarama or Redueña, a complete unknown but no less interesting for that. El Vellón and its Arab watchtower will be the last destination on our route.
Route through the Upper Manzanares Basin
We jump to the center of the Community of Madrid and arrive at the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares Regional Park, another oasis close to the big city where nature offers you great gifts for your senses and where you can enjoy towns with a lot to visit.
The most interesting town to visit in the regional park is Manzanares el Real, which stands out for its imposing castle as well as for the routes you can take around the Santillana Reservoir. And it is also the gateway to La Pedriza, one of the natural jewels of Madrid and one of the most visited.
From there you can go to the Valle de la Barranca, in the municipality of Navacerrada and enjoy its pine forests.
To finish the route, recommended to do it in several days, we will arrive at Torrelodones and later to the municipality of Madrid, where the Mount of El Pardo is located, and its Palace, which is also part of the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares Regional Park.
Route by car through the Guadarrama Basin
The Guadarrama River is another of the great rivers that cross the Community of Madrid before flowing into the Tagus River. The route can start in the Fuenfría Valley, in Cercedilla, where you can enjoy the Natural Pools of Las Berceas as well as take different hiking trails.
From there we can go to Navacerrada, located next to the reservoir of the same name and at the foot of Puerto de Navacerrada, which we recommend climbing to enjoy spectacular landscapes.
From Navacerrada, passing through Guadarrama, which gives its name to the entire mountain range, we go to San Lorenzo de El Escorial, which stands out for the famous Monastery of El Escorial, one of the most important monuments in Spain although it is not the only point of interest in this locality.
From there we can go to the Valmayor Reservoir, the second largest in Madrid, ending the route in the towns of Valdemorillo and Brunete and its Plaza Mayor.
Route through the Sierra Oeste of Madrid
The Sierra Oeste is another of the great natural jewels of the Community of Madrid in which we will also find interesting municipalities and a lot of architectural value.
he route can begin in Navalcarnero, one of the towns in Madrid with a beautiful historic quarter, to continue towards Chapinería, where we can visit several churches and palaces before heading to the Pantano de San Juan, one of the favorite destinations of the people of Madrid to rest. weekends.
Nearby is San Martín de Valdeiglesias, a beautiful town of which we must highlight the Coracera Castle as well as different churches and palaces. It is recommended to walk through its streets and visit the Enchanted Forest.
From there we will head north to reach Robledo de Chavela, a town with a great history behind it, which has left behind several churches and monuments. We can also find some NASA facilities with giant telescopes. The route would end in Santa María de la Alameda after crossing Puerto de la Cruz Verde.
Route by car through Las Vegas in Madrid
La Sierra is not the only place in Madrid to enjoy a route by car. In the southern part we have a region called Las Vegas that is well worth a visit. You probably haven’t heard of this area bathed by the Tagus and Jarama rivers, but surely you have heard the names of Aranjuez and Chinchón, its main points of interest.
And yes, in Aranjuez, with its Royal Palace, its gardens and all the monuments that are part of the World Heritage Site, we begin our route to later head to Chinchón with its Plaza Mayor, its castles and its beautiful streets.
From there we will go to Colmenar de Oreja, another beautiful town in the south of Madrid, of which we must highlight its Plaza Mayor as well as its churches and the architecture of its houses. Other towns to see in Las Vegas are Fuentidueña de Tajo or Villarejo de Salvanés, and their castles, as well as Belmonte de Tajo.
The end of the route will be in Nuevo Baztán, another of the historic towns in the Community of Madrid whose main point of interest is the Baroque-style Goyeneche Palace.