13 December 2023
Did you know that just over an hour from Madrid there are lush forests, peaks of more than 1800m, and villages with slate houses that look like postcards? Did you know that you can cover them on your bike, at your own pace, adapting a circular route of more than 200km that passes through incredible places such as the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, the Sierra del Rincón Biosphere Reserve, or the Vega del Jarama and the Lozoya, which are part of the Natura 2000 Network?
Get comfortable and read while you think if you have your mountain bike ready, because today we tell you all about the CiclaMadrid MTB Tour, the best way to enjoy the Sierra Norte de Madrid.
The ancients used to say that the circle is the perfect shape, and seeing routes like this one, they were right: the CiclaMadrid MTB Tour does not have an obligatory beginning or end, but its circular route is designed so that you can pedal along its 213km signposted route from wherever you want, joining the route from one of the beautiful villages that dot its perimeter. If you have time, we certainly recommend you to take it easy and stop for the night in an old slate house now converted into rural accommodation, or to recharge your batteries with slow-cooked stews, which in places like these taste better than anywhere…
And when we say that to embark on this pedaling adventure means to know the northernmost Madrid in all its glory, we are not using an idiom: the CiclaMadrid MTB Tour reaches a maximum altitude of 1845m as it passes through the Linera pass, with an almost permanent succession of passes and cols, such as La Acebeda, El Cardoso, Navafría, La Morcuera or Canencia, -to name a few- and with heights that remain above 1500m for much of the ride, allowing incredible views over valleys and mountain ranges.
In fact, the route combines two of the great mountain ranges of the Central System, that is, the Sierra de Guadarrama and the Sierra de Ayllón, cradle of two of the rivers that feed Madrid: the Lozoya and the Jarama. From the saddle of your bike you will have spectacular views of the row of reservoirs that during the last century have been capturing the waters of the Lozoya, in a territory where there are still majestic buildings from the Middle Ages, such as the Monastery of Santa María de El Paular, in Rascafría, or the castle and walls of Buitrago de Lozoya.
The cyclability of the MTB Tour Sierra Norte is 99.5%, a real luxury. Of these, 93.8% are on dirt roads, forest tracks, rural roads and service roads of the Isabel II canal, and 6.8% on roads. The cumulative elevation gain is 5946 meters, so it is a demanding but beautiful route, in which you will undoubtedly enjoy pedaling.
Below is a list of the municipalities that are part of the CiclaMadrid MTB Tour and the CiclaMadrid Association. The latter is a sign of its commitment to bicycle tourism in the Community of Madrid, which often translates into the availability of bicycle parking, cycling routes and other services designed for those of us who love to travel by bicycle. We also offer you a list of associated establishments (accommodation, restaurants, workshops or specialized stores) that you can find in the surroundings of this cycling ring, as well as the possibility of getting to know the Sierra Norte de Madrid and its MTB Tour CiclaMadrid through one of the organized trips also offered by our partners.
As always, we wish you, alone or accompanied, on your own or as part of an organized route, continue to enjoy cycling in the Community of Madrid.
We thank our partner Centro de Innovación Turística Villa San Roque Sierra Norte Madrid for the technical data of the route with which we have prepared this article.
🏫 Nuestros ayuntamientos asociados en el CiclaMadrid MTB Tour: (consulta su información en el apartado “ayuntamientos” de nuestra web)
🏡 🍲 🚲 Alojamiento, restauración y actividades de nuestros asociados en el entorno del CiclaMadrid MTB Tour: (tienes toda su información en los apartados “servicios turísticos” y “servicios cicloturísticos” de nuestra web)
Viajes organizados para recorrer en bicicleta el CiclaMadrid MTB Tour: Tienes más información en el apartado “viajes organizados” de nuestra web