La Pedriza is located in the Community of Madrid, to the east of the town of Manzanares El Real and to the south of the Sierra de Guadarrama. It seduces with its amazing rock formations and the beautiful stream that accompanies you all the way.
Difficulty of the route: ★★☆☆☆ (easy, but be careful)
It belongs to the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park and covers an area of 3,200 hectares. The area is characterised by its numerous cliffs and rocky walls, its beautiful streams and the famous Charca Verde.
What to do in La Pedriza Natural Park: Activities for all tastes
- HikingThere are several routes through La Pedriza that you can follow, we followed the route to La Charca Verde.
- Climbing: One of the most famous walls is El Tolmo de La Pedriza, a 20 metre high wall, which is equipped with parabolts. The rock is very peculiar and as soon as you see it you want to reach the top. You can also find the Santillana wall, the Calavera route and many others.
- Picnics: The park has some picnic areas and an area with restaurants located in the Cantocochino car park, which we will tell you more about below.
- Sightings of birds and other animals: There is a wide variety of species inhabiting the park area, you just have to keep an eye out for them as you go.
- Horse ridingYou can visit the riding club of La Pedriza and discover the area on one of the routes offered. The rides take place on Saturday afternoons.
- Enjoying a rich local gastronomyLa Pedriza and Manzanares El Real have a wide variety of restaurants and beach bars where you can spend the day. Some of the most typical are La Bodeguita de Judith, Azaya and Casa Agustín.
La Ruta de La Charca Verde
To get to the start of the route you must park in the El Tranco car park, which does not have many parking spaces, so you must we recommend arriving early in the morning. Another option is to park a little earlier, in a dirt area or even on the route there is a car park called parking Cantocochino.
Parking at the start of the route in the village of La Pedriza:
The route starts by taking the Tranco road towards Cantocochino, passing the chains of El Tranco. All along the way you are accompanied by the stream, with its soothing noise and the beautiful views of the landscape. It is therefore difficult to get lost.
- If you go in winterLike us, we recommend footwear suitable for hiking activities, as it is very easy to slip due to the freezing of the rocks, which are plentiful along the route.
Where to sleep in La Pedriza
In the Cantocochino car park We saw a large number of camper vans and motorhomes. It seems that many tourists decide to spend the day in the area, which has 2 other parking places, a little more integrated in nature and just as wonderful. However, in none of them is it possible to stay overnight.. But you can enjoy the marvellous views they offer. Moreover, in that area you can find 2 restaurants; Casa Torrero and Mesón del Montañero. to take a break, go to the toilet and enjoy the local gastronomy.
Car parks located inside La Pedriza Park:
The car parks inside the park access closed at 7 a.m.Therefore, if you want to park inside, you should arrive very, very early. Otherwise you can leave your car at any time in the above mentioned car parks, which are outside the protected area.
- If you want to spend the night we recommend leave the park area and look for a place in Manzanares or even go to the El Ortigal campsite, where you can park your van without any problems, as they have 150 plots available for motorhomes.
In the municipality of Manzanares there are also options of hostels and hotels.
On resuming the routeWe are now heading towards La Charca Verde. However, we must tell you that when you arrive at a wooden bridge that crosses the stream, you must cross it to climb up to the pond on the right side of the creekYou will be accompanied by the sun at all times and you will have a better view of the pond, where you can have a good time enjoying a picnic in company.
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Flora and Fauna to be found on the route
During our visit we saw vultures, horses, squirrels, donkeys and we were very close to mountain goats that roam free in the area.
It is also home to other species such as deer, wild boar, badgers, wild cats, foxes, hares, some snakes and a large number of migratory birds.
As for its vegetation, we can observe high mountain species such as pines, oak, maple, hazel, chestnut, yew, among others. And in its thickets we can find juniper, fern, rosemary, thyme and many other species.
Geomorphology of La Pedriza
During the Upper Palaeozoic (250 million years ago), large magma masses began to emerge near the surface, which cooled and gave rise to granitic batholiths (which can be easily observed at Torres del Paine in Chile).
In the Cenozoic period (40 million years ago), due to a process called Alpine Orogeny, the elevation of the Central System of Spain increased and the compartmentalisation into blocks as we find them today emerged.
Later, during the glaciation of the Quaternary period (2 million years ago to date), many of the current reliefs of the highest part of La Pedriza were shaped.