The strangers of the Sierra Norte de Madrid
The Sierra Norte de Madrid is composed of 42 municipalities, some of which stand out and disclose because of their important resources or recognitions, but we can't forget about small towns or microdestinations that show us natural and cultural charms, while making us go back in time by checking the traditions and ways of life from years ago, what we can call "the secrets of the Sierra Norte".
In these lines you're going to discover some of them.
We started with the municipality of Valdemanco, which depended on the antiquity of Bustarviejo and both belonged to the Villa and Land of Segovia until 1833, it has interesting routes such as the route of the Vereda de los Muertos (was the usual way to lead the dead to bury the Convent of San Antonio when Valdemanco lacked a cemetery), the Granite Route that introduces us to the relief of the area, the Path of the Orchards in which we will walk to the bank of the Albalá among riverside vegetation, the Way of the Shepherds which allows us to make a journey back in time passing through the Cañada Real, or the Path of the Footprints of History where we can see the landscape of the area as well as traditional agricultural and livestock practices.
Berzosa del Lozoya also known as "the balcony of the Sierra Norte de Madrid" since the altitude at which it is located allows us to have some of the best panoramas of the Sierra Norte de Madrid, it is a municipality very suitable for athletes as it offers us different paths with various levels of difficulty to enjoy nature, as well as outdoor activities such as paragliding, climbing, cycling or nautical activities in hot season; as well as year-round cultural activities. Regarding the architectural heritage stands out for its religious theme represented mainly by the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption of the seventeenth century although it had to reform after the Civil War. The distribution of the interior of the urban core is due to unique patterns that are explained by its mountain location, being the resulting civil architecture characteristic of the area. We can see reflected the footprint of a past rancher with elements such as a laundry of the year 1940, a smithing colt and the Fountain of The Hontana. We must not forget that the reservoir of El Villar, with one of the first dams built in the Community of Madrid, occupies a part of the municipality.
La Acebeda, municipality 60 inhabitants who owe their name to the numerous holly ones in the territory, which is home to the largest holly forest in the Community of Madrid. It should be noted that the first historical sources attesting to the birth of the village date back to the Reconquest period, when houses began to be built by the shepherds who led their flocks to the transhumanroutes. Proof of this is that the Cañada Real Segoviana runs through the municipality under the name of "Calle del Puerto" transporting us to past eras when the economy was based on agricultural exploitation. This route was for centuries the main transhuman infrastructure in Castile, and now communicates, along with numerous livestock routes, reserves and natural areas of a high biological and landscape value. This makes the practice of many outdoor activities such as hiking particularly note-based, cycling or horse riding. You can visit the Forge, a magnificent example of municipal rural architecture, holding inside the old blacksmith's oven, as well as a bellows and an anonym, and on the outside a foal to smith; as well as the 17th-century Baroque church of San Sebastian and the shrine of the Fountain of The Saz, a small artificial grotto located on the banks of the stream of Dehesa to 2 km from the city centre, which houses a carving of the Virgin.
In the municipality of Robregordo we can go back to rurality years ago, surrounded by a totally steep landscape, being one of the last municipalities of the Sierra Norte de Madrid before leaving the Community and the smallest in a population with less than 50 neighbors to this day living in the village. It is a magnificent enclave for nature lovers, starting a short distance from the urban center the Dehesa Boyal, an enclave of highly relevant landscape and ecological because of the high number of plant species that are located here, although its main nature resource is its Acebeda, where it is quite possible that grouse in this territory has existed in the past, as the "red ball" Holly are their favorite food. For hiking lovers there are quite a few fishing roads that run through the municipality: the own Cañada Real Segovia is the Calle Real, as well as different hiking trails through the Acebeda. Regarding the architectural elements it is worth highlighting the Parish Church of St. Catherine built in the middle of the seventeenth century and was remodeled in the twentieth century. It also has the recreational area "El Plantío" in the upper part of the municipality, being the starting point of municipal routes and a perfect space to make barbecues in addition to having a football field. It is curious the neighborhood and collaboration among its residents with the example that for several years is celebrated "Robregordo en Acción", a charity event aimed at raising funds for various entities that help collective vulnerable.
We continue with Madarcos, municipality of the Lozoya Middle Valley located in a privileged location in the Sierra Norte of Madrid. We must refer to the splendid popular architecture of the village, whose urban nucleus survives without major modifications since medieval times. At every step we find elements that speak of traditional economic activity par excellence in these places: livestock. You can see several traditional buildings, in general a single plant, gable and cover with masonry walls made of granite and schist rocks. Buildings include orchards and pens with stone walls, as well as the Herrar Potro, Sun clock, and the architectural ensemble of the City Council (together with the Office have received a quality award from CAM). When talking about religious heritage, it is necessary to mention the Parish Church of St. Anne, built in the 17TH century and singular by its belfry. As for festivities, we find "Madarcos Yesterday and Today" held on 4 October, it is a recovery party of traditional activities in which doughnuts and pestiños are made and traditional tools are exposed, allowing us to transport ourselves back in time to the past. There are several hiking trails that start from the urban core, highlighting that of the Blacksmith that according to the locals, corresponds to the journey made by the blacksmith who lived in Horcajuelo, which moved to the blacksmith's shop located in the current La forge Bar; or the South Circular route, both tour natural enclaves of great ecological value and hydraulic works such as the Old BridgeS Reservoir.
We end with Navarredonda-San Mamés, privileged location framed by numerous streams that pour their waters into Riosequillo reservoir. With a view to the Carpetanos mountains, this landscape located in the heart of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park is a territory of great ecological wealth. During the Civil War settled in Navarredonda a Republican detachment, whose command post called in the Ermita de San Mamés, being the place of coronation in 1504 of Joan the Mad during her short reign of just two years. It has the route of the impressive Squirt of San Mamés, one of the highest waterfalls of the community of Madrid (30 meters), proceeding its waters from the creek of Pinilla. It is a perfectly suitable environment for mountain sports, with routes that allow to enjoy spectacular views of the Valle del Lozoya. The Municipality of Navarredonda-San Mamés offers information on routes from the municipality to this waterfall, as well as routes in the National Park.
All of them have restaurants and accommodations that can be of interest to us during the visit.
Do you dare to visit the Sierra Norte and discover them?