SIERRA NORTE DE MADRID
Regions of the Sierra Norte de Madrid
Coming from the high Valley of the Lozoya, or of the NI, access from the carretera comarcal M-604, While from Buitrago you access the M-634 and from Colmenar Viejo and Miraflores de la Sierra by the M-629 through port Canencia.
Enough of the first stretch of the Valley of the Lozoya River elevations, they exceed the 2000 metres above sea level. The high slopes that descend from them contrast with the wide, flat Valley floor. These features of the landscape and climatic conditions occurring in it have conditioned the vegetation that can grow spontaneously, and also use that man has been able to make of the territory.
In the Valley between the waters of the Lozoya River become quieter, the ground softens its slopes and the Valley itself becomes more open. The Highlands are devoid of trees, like the very rocky areas. By the slopes alternating oak and the pine forest of reforestation.
When pine opens, gives rise to grasslands, in the vicinity of the streams of water and reservoir there are also small surrounded by groves meadows, and a narrow border of leafy composed mainly of ash and Turkey oak. Originated by surface sources or escarpments of ditches, flooded lands are formed, in the manner of peatland vegetation rich in herbaceous plants.
The different colors and textures of the vegetal masses allows you to differentiate plant formations in the distance.
A heritage is integrated in this natural setting – artistic very varied, in which religious architecture is mixed with good examples of civil architecture, most of them related to traditional culture serrana (branding Colts, Mills, old forges, sources, Pajares, etc.). Many of these architectural elements have been restored and rehabilitated, well as rural accommodation, well as small ethnographic museums that teach the visitor activities and crafts of our ancestors.
Municipalities that make up this sub-region is characterized by its small population and its links always to Buitrago del Lozoya, It would be the exception of them all in terms of the number of inhabitants. Its long tradition of livestock is reflected in the landscapes of meadows and pastures that still today, While farming has been abandoned progressively, configured the physiognomy of these lands.
This subregion offers all kinds of possibilities and tourist resources, as well as a wide range of activities related with environmental and cultural tourism and rural tourism.
The Valley is delimited by two mountain ranges: the Northern, divide between Madrid and Segovia, in the left margin of the Lozoya, It extends from preserves to the Portachuelo de Navarredonda, with altitudes ranging between 1800 and 2200 meters and with its snow-capped much of the year. Steps to Segovia are produced by the ports of preserves, The blow-out, Malagosto and Navafria. By South, the Valley closes on its higher by the long rope, with Najarra Summit (2015 meters) at its eastern end of the port of Morcuera, which is the natural access to the Valley from Miraflores close, later softening the line of summits between the peak of the Espartal (1733 meters) and the Cachiporrilla (1619 meters).
In its central area, the terrain is plain, and good quality, It is crossed southwest to Northwest by the Lozoya River; in it are abundant irrigation with numerous trees of riverside meadows, poplars, poplar and ash trees combined with horticulture, as well as oak, Oak and dry in its lower slopes, crops, In addition to some elm trees and Brambles. In its middle slopes are oak forests reduced by pine forest as well as pockets of sabinar, mixed with the creeping Juniper and the rebollo. At the highest summits are just high mountain pastures.
Different entrances leading to the Alto Valle del Lozoya: The NI by the regional M-604, the M-611 from the port of Cotos or M-637 from the Segovia slope by of Navafria.
Located in front of the monastery of El Paular two centres, the management centre "Park House" - bridge of forgiveness that manages the "Parque Natural de Peñalara and Valle de El Paular" and the information center and bridge environmental education of forgiveness, in this last you can get information about the different activities and resources in the area. Interesting signalized routes depart from these points to make on foot, on horseback or by mountain bike.
From its numerous mountain passes, some accessible by car (Preserves, Morcuera or Navafria) and other, steps of yesteryear now accessible only walk (Blow-out, Malagosto...), open large wisdom teeth that approaching summits as Peñalara, Iron head, The Snowfield, La Najarra or the Espartal. Before going down to the bottom of the Valley, a visit to the circuses of Peñalara and Pinilla is also suitable; to the viewpoints of Lozoya, Cossio and Oaks; to multiple streams such as the Umbria, Gable or El Paular; spots unique as the waterfalls of purgatory or the Devil's car; or as unique as the Pinar de Navafria vegetation, the Belgians or el Sabinar de Lozoya.
This area is located at the northeastern end of the Sierra Norte, in an area in which its population shortage contrasts with the wealth of resources that conserves.
Visitors who go through these lands you will find three distant municipalities each other a few kilometers: Horcajuelo de la Sierra, Pradena del Rincon and Montejo de la Sierra.
From Montejo de la Sierra you can access La Hiruela by the port of the same name, small town in beautiful views, surrounded by mountains constituting also a point for bird watching.
Puebla de la Sierra can be reached either from Pradena del Rincon or from Robledillo de la Jara. It's a high mountain village presenting the attraction of forming a small Valley surrounded by the mountains of the Sierra de Puebla and crossed by the river of la Puebla.
It borders to the North with Somosierra, on the East by the foothills of the Ayllón massif and the terms of the Cardoso, Colmenar, The Vihuela, all lands of Guadalajara; to the South with the municipalities which are located surrounding reservoirs and to the West with the national I.
The Sierra del Rincón offers visitors natural surroundings of great richness in plant and animal species. The predominant forest formations are the pine forest of reforestation and the oak (Pyrenean oak), the latter co-exists well with other trees of Net Atlantic character such as Rowan, yews and Hollies.
Special mention deserves the mixed forest of beech and oak in the municipality of Montejo de la Sierra, on the Mount of El Chaparral, where the Hague has its most southern Iberian refuge.
The five municipalities are different elements of traditional architecture, and they offer visitors many tourist possibilities to learn about the natural and cultural environment.
In this area the Jarama River is the natural border of the community of Madrid and the province of Guadalajara, through the municipalities of Patones, Torremocha de Jarama and Torrelaguna, forming the beginning of a Valley characterized by its amplitude and fertility.
The water in this area acquires a special importance because of the large number of hydraulic infrastructures (channels, old homemade, bridges, beacons, etc.), you run through the different municipalities of this subregion.
The landscape of the limestone in the surroundings of Torrelaguna and Patones, contrast with the granite to which we are accustomed the Sierra Norte. The fluvial terraces, but in this stretch of the Jarama are not still very relevant, they announced already a typical landscape of still mixed with rain-fed agriculture irrigation.
All the municipalities that make up this sub-region, they have a cultural and natural heritage of great importance. From the point of view of the historical heritage – artistic highlights as perfectly integrated in the landscape and original architectural elements, the Muslim "watchmen", watch towers, located in strategic locations and built in stone masonry. Among the sub-region of the Valley of Jarama are the watchtower of the fleece from where you can see a magnificent panoramic view of the entire Sierra La Cabrera, the vega del Jarama and the city of Madrid in the distance, the description SS Watchtower at Torrelaguna, or the Torreoton in Torremocha de Jarama.
The stunning views that suggests the beautiful El Atazar dam, as well as those of the town which bears his name, the rural and almost magical environment of Patones, the forest of cork oaks in Torrelaguna, the Museum of agriculture in Torremocha de Jarama, etc., They invite you to delve into this sub-region of great naturalistic values, landscape, cultural and human, where at the same time can the visitor admire important examples of historic heritage – art in the urban core of Torrelaguna, It reflects the importance and relevance which the Villa exerted in the past.
Guarded by the string of peaks that make up the majestic Sierra de La Cabrera, discovered seven municipalities of easily accessible due to its proximity to the n-I road to Burgos.
Since ancient times, its close relationship with the old road to France, It has led to that the majority of these municipalities have inherited to be passages to the passenger service, fact that has survived to our days, Ancient inns and sales remember life of yesteryear in these population centres.
The sub-region of the Sierra de La Cabrera, It offers to the visitor who arrives from Madrid, a first insight into the Sierra Norte. The diversity of Rocky forms, the colorful tapestry of vegetable and the strategic location of the population centres are part of the tourist attractions that have all the municipalities that make up this sub-region.
Lozoyuela – Las Navas - seven churches, Bustarviejo, Cabanillas de la Sierra, La Cabrera, Navalafuente, Valdemanco and Venturada are the municipalities that make up this sub-region of important livestock tradition and where the countryside is still the essence of the past, appreciable through the meadows of collective use, fenced meadows, branding Colts, roads and paths, cattle trails, etc.
From the point of view of the physical environment this subregion is considered a zone of transition between the plain and the mountains and include the granite landscapes, whose more relevant example is all the ridge of the Sierra de La Cabrera its continuation toward Bustarviejo. The vegetation of this sub-region stands out due to the presence of large patches of thickets of jara pringosa mixed with junipers, Oaks, Pyrenean oak, etc. We highlight an area of pine forests in the northern part of the Sierra de La Cabrera and a rich riparian vegetation around the small rivers that flow through the entire sub-region.
The municipality of Venturada opens its doors and invites you to see the region of the Sierra Norte to anyone here come. Its topography, its rich culture and customs give us the guidelines of the charm that holds all of the region. As a good host teaches us how the relief rolls, the environment is cleared of the urban and grow the colors in the landscape of each station.
With this background, We arrived at Cabanillas and Navalafuente in areas less high and more plain with beautiful meadows of Turkey oak. To advance northward closer to areas of higher elevation and mountains to learn the following municipalities, Bustarviejo, Valdemanco and La Cabrera, It is the most mountainous terms of the subregion, where to find altitudes above the 1.500 meters and finally arrived in Lozoyuela – Las Navas – Sieteiglesias, municipality that offers a plain and hilly landscape with granite formations contrast rounded and extensive pastures of livestock exploitation which even today are still important from an economic and environmental point of view.
In the municipality of La Cabrera we find the Sierra Norte "Villa San Roque" tourist Innovation Center, where the visitor can gather all kinds of information in this area that we call Sierra Norte de Madrid. The Cabrera also has a regional centre of the humanities "Cardinal Gonzaga", It houses two important pictorial collections, a library, an auditorium, as well as various rooms and workshops.
The low Valley of the Lozoya represents one of the most peculiar sub-county of the Sierra Norte de Madrid, where the Lozoya River and its waters becomes a resource of great importance. Precisely, the course of the Lozoya has been affected in the second half of this century by the different reservoirs that the Canal de Isabel II has built in it to cater to the supply of water of Madrid.
Specifically, Puentes Viejas reservoirs are in the low Valley of the Lozoya, The darker, The Villa and the Atazar. The rest of the hydraulic infrastructures, dams, channels, etc., in the area are a true reflection of the importance of water as a natural and economic resource.
The terrain is generally hilly, Although the heights are moderate and some steep areas. They dominate the boards, and the floors are in general poor. The vegetation is dominated by the jaral, Although in some areas you can find splendid oak and pine forests like for example those in the municipal district of old bridges. As unique formations we can find typical vegetation of ribera as the Aliseda de Mirabel or the Aliseda of Riata, as well as poplars, Ash, etc., around the cross Canal de Lozoya.
The nuclei of population belonging to this subregion is characterized by important livestock vocation, today in recession, and that you have configured a characteristic architectural typology that dominate the traditional elements and agricultural constructions. Depopulation has affected all the nuclei with the consequent abandonment of the traditional activities. In recent years have promoted an important alternative activities such as the development of the "Rural tourism".
The entire region has natural and environmental resources of great value, as evidenced by the fact that part of it is within the national reserve of Sonsaz hunting, where can we find a variety of faunal resources.
The recommended access to the low Valley of the Lozoya, It may be done through the NI de Burgos, Turning off well in La Cabrera, taking the M-127 road to the town of El Berrueco, from where we can access the rest of the municipalities of the region. The deviation in the Burgos NI can be done also in Lozoyuela, taking the M-135 that goes to Mangiron, either the M-131 you arrive to El Berrueco. Since both cores, we can access the rest of the sub-region.