La Pedriza del Manzanares Biosphere Reserve

Another hiker's heaven not far from Madrid.

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La Pedriza del Manzanares Biosphere Reserve

The Community of Madrid's oldest protected reserve.

Covering more than 40,000 hectares (154 square miles) and 18 municipalities in the northwest of the Community of Madrid, the Regional Park of Cuenca Alta del Manzanares has been recognised as a biosphere reserve since 1992. Bordering the Guadarrama Mountains National Park, this is also the Community of Madrid's oldest protected reserve. Its considerable size means there are several motorways to get here from the capital: the A6, the M-607 and the M-608. The most visited section is La Pedriza, a Natural Site of National Interest since 1930, and while it's a fairly easy drive, we'd recommend you start early because around the La Camorza area they limit traffic, closing off the route once 375 vehicles have entered. Even if this should happen to you, it's possible to continue the trip in a bus dedicated for this purpose - and you'll even get to enjoy the rest of the trip without the worries of driving yourself. The area is a hiker's dream and the best known trail is the Senda de las Formas. There are two ways to do it; the easier way is just 1.5 kilometres (just under a mile) long which takes about a half hour and can be done even with young children.

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