13 December 2023
We continue to propose plans that are perfect for cycling with children (although you will also have a great time if you are older!), and this time we are going to discover the westernmost and least known part of the Madrid mountains: the Sierra Oeste.
Sierra Oeste is a transition zone of the Central System between two mountain ranges with higher altitudes (the Guadarrama and the Gredos), with flat areas of pastures and smoother slopes, which makes it especially suitable for cycling with the family, with children or people without much experience in mountain biking.
Historically, this region has been very little exploited for tourism, so it has preserved its rural flavor, with small villages full of charm and low granite buildings. This is a traditional cattle-raising area, of great environmental wealth and with the highest concentration of birds of prey in the Community of Madrid, among which the majestic Iberian Imperial Eagle stands out.
Although we have at our disposal several main roads, the Camino San Martin stands out as it crosses the region from end to end and gives us access to a large number of tourist, leisure and gastronomic possibilities… and we already know how important all this is after a good bike route! In addition, throughout the route we will maintain a profile quite affordable for any public: starting in Zarzalejo and ending in San Martín de Valdeiglesias, this route runs parallel to the mountain range on one side and pastures and Mediterranean forests on the other.
For this family cycling activity, we propose you to discover some of the most important points of the Camino San Martin in routes of maximum 4 hours at a gentle pace:
We begin in Zarzalejo, the capital of the region, and where we can arrive from Madrid by Renfe: during our route we will see the Castrejón Lagoonsa wetland protected by the Community of Madrid that is located at the foot of the Las MachotasThe mountain formation that will serve as a reference point from almost anywhere in the Sierra Oeste. After a few kilometers we will arrive at Fresnedillas de la Oliva, a small mountain town dotted with watering places and horseshoes, where a surprise awaits us: a visit to its spectacular Lunar Museum.
Continuing along the Camino San Martín, the next must is the Dehesa de Navalquejigo: we are not exaggerating when we say that you will be left speechless, as few pastures have an environmental richness and a state of conservation like this one. Of course, you should be informed before your visit, because inside is an integral reserve to which there is access only a few months a year, as it is a nesting site of the Iberian Imperial Eagle.
We continue our route among cows, horses and sheep until we reach the Ermita de Navalquejigo de Robledo de Chavela, an ideal place for a refreshment at its picnic area at the foot of Pico de la Almenara, the highest peak in this area. And finally, we cannot fail to mention the military architecture, a vestige of the Civil War and one of the sites that can be visited in the Community of Madrid, which we will find Colmenar del Arroyo. This municipality also stands out for its unique town center, which is located just across the dehesa de Navalquejigo.
As the route is on smooth and accessible roads, we can use touring bikes, hybrid or MTB, both traditional and electric, although it is clear that the best option to cover more distance with less effort, especially in families with small children that we will have to tow in one way or another, are the electric MTBs to which we can attach different types of children’s aids according to their age.
Yes, in Zarzalejo 150 meters from the train station we have one of our partners, Las Machotas eBikes routes They have a service of routes and rental of electric bicycles with vehicles for children from 2 years old. They will be able to advise you on your tours even if you do not hire their services. In addition, they also have a guide service and a workshop and rescue service in case you have a mishap in the area. They have 2 or 4 hour tours classified in various levels of difficulty to adapt them to your experience so that all you have to do is enjoy!