Wine and cycling or cycling and wine. The combination of sport, culture, food and wine make for the perfect cocktail on a cycling getaway. Divided into four wine making regions, the Community of Madrid is home to more than 8,800 hectares of vineyards and 51 wineries with Denomination of Origin (DO). Each region (known as subzones) produce grapes with distinctive and differing characteristics depending on the subzone´s climate and cultural assets: El Molar, Arganda, San Martín de Valdeiglesias and Navalcarnero. Today we invite you discover these regions, and at the end of the article, we are showing you how to create your own cycle routes using our website.
Wine production in Navalcarnero has been going on for centuries, as can be seen in the well-preserved urban wine caves. In this region there are 5 wineries with D.O. that produce red Grenache and white Malvar wine.
The Villa Real de Navalcarnero is a traditional Castilian town where you can taste the gastronomy and wines of the region and learn about this ancient tradition in the Wine Museum. Leading from the heart of the town, the Plaza de Segovia, you can cycle the route of the old Navalcarnero railway line that connects with the Vía Verde del río Guadarrama river to reach Móstoles. This tour is ideal to do with children and learn about the different landscapes of the region such as Mediterranean forests, holm oak meadows, farmlands and riverbanks.
Two stages of the Gran Tour CiclaMadrid also pass through Navalcarnero: one route goes to Griñón and the other leads to Aldea del Fresno. By taking the later route, you can link directly to the San Martín de Valdeiglesias sub-area and take the opportunity to plan another perfect getaway in the southwest of Madrid.
San Martín de Valdeiglesias subzone
In the wine region of San Martín de Valdeiglesias you will find 18 wineries with D.O. and two main varieties of grapes: the red Garnacha and the Albillo Real white variety. The Sierra de Guadarrama merges with the Sierra de Gredos to create a perfect microclimate that allows these two types of grapes to thrive.
This is the Sierra Oeste region, where you can find fantastic culture, food, wine and natural attractions that combine perfectly with fantastic cycling routes. A great way to get to discover the region can be to rent an electric bike, and then continue your adventure by kayaking in the San Juan reservoir. To rest, you can spend the night at Hacienda La Coracera, an old 19th century hacienda converted into charming accommodation and serving local wine and food in their excellent restaurant.
From San Martín de Valdeiglesias, we recommend two routes of the Grand Tour: either heading towards Robledo de Chavela and pedalling through pine forests, or towards Aldea del Fresno, where if you´re lucky, you may be able to spot the majestic Iberian imperial eagle.
El Molar subzone
El Molar is the latest subzone of the Community of Madrid that has achieved the Denomination of Origin certification, this is thanks to a superb winery that works with Garnacha Tinta and Malvar grapes. El Molar is the first village of the Sierra Norte, a Northern region in Madrid featuring altitude vineyards, charming villages, over 200 Cuevas del Vino, quality restaurants and cycling routes with spectacular landscapes.
From El Molar you can continue north and reach the town of Torrelaguna and cycle up to the Atazar reservoir to enjoy its impressive views. Another option is to cycle in the direction of Talamanca del Jarama, where there are fantastic hiking routes, some also suitable for cycling, characterised by the diversity of landscapes and by their Roman vestiges.
The Sierra Norte de Madrid is a destination with much to offer, and you will need several days to discover it. The Ciclolodge El Nevero, Estrella Rural or El Bulín Casas Rurales are excellent accommodation options that cater for cyclists. Each accommodation offers warm and welcoming hospitality situated in the middle of nature, with bike facilities and secure storage.
The Arganda wine region is the largest in the Community of Madrid: it has 28 D.O. wineries, where you will find select Tinto Fino and Malvar wines, with routes between vineyards, extensive fields and olive groves. One of the must-see urban centres is Colmenar de Oreja, where you can get off the saddle and use the new bicycle parking facilities at different points in its historic centre. This villa in Madrid is ideal to make a stop along the way and walk through its Plaza Mayor, the Zacatín Gardens and the Museo de Piedra (Stone Museum) or the Ermita y Jardines de Cristo (Hermitage and Gardens of Christ). In addition, Colmenar de Oreja is a land of tinajas (an ancient style of vase used to store and transport wine) and you can find the large historical ovens where the tinajas were made for wineries throughout the country.
In addition, from Colmenar you can travel the beautiful landscapes of Las Vegas pedalling through vineyards and plains towards Villarejo de Salvanés. In this municipality, lovers of castles and watchtowers will have to stop at the Castillo de la Orden Militar de Santiago.
The bicycle route continues between crops, olive groves and landscapes of Madrid’s Alcarria to Nuevo Baztán, where the Palacio de Juan de Goyeneche, declared a Historic-Artistic Site and Asset of Cultural Interest, will surprise you with its historic winery, today converted into an interpretation centre. From this point, you cannot miss a visit to the nearby Gosálbez Ortí Winery, a very special place with wine from organic farming.
To finish the tour of the Arganda sub-area, head to Chinchón and visit its beautiful square, or through Aranjuez, one of the three World Heritage cities that we have in the Madrid Region, and which was a Royal Site of the monarchy since the time of Felipe II, in 1560.
To top off your adventure and recharge your batteries we recommend stopping off at El Rana Verde, an emblematic restaurant situated on the banks of the Tagus river where you can taste the gastronomy of the Las Vegas area with select wines from local wineries.
Do you know that on our website you can design your bicycle route through the Madrid Region?
With the CiclaMadrid Association you can get to know the best of the Madrid Region at the push of a pedal. If, for example, you are interested in visiting the wineries in our region, go to the “design your route” section, choose your point of origin and the distance you want to travel. When checking the filters, choose “wineries” so that our website will propose the routes with those characteristics that you can do. The results will be ready on our map and you can also download the route in GPX format.