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In the most unique valley of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, Rascafría stands out for the

splendid nature

that surrounds it.

Priority objective of outdoor tourism in Madrid, it is the perfect place to escape during this December long weekend.

Not in vain, in this town the

first excursion

conceived as such of which there is news until now concluded.

It was staged in 1883 by the Malaga pedagogue and philosopher

Giner de los Ríos

and other teachers with a handful of students from the Institución Libre de Enseñanza.

Since then,

the capital of Alto Lozoya

has been an unavoidable destination in the mountains.

Before that memorable march, the municipality achieved notoriety for a powerful reason.

It happened in 1390, when the monarch Juan II decided to execute the wishes of his father

Enrique II of Castile of him

to build a Carthusian monastery.

He did it as a reparation to the one he destroyed in his war against the French.

The choice of the place was made by a monk who came to Castilla exclusively for the occasion.

He found it barely a kilometer and a half from Rascafría, where there was

a hermitage consecrated to Our Lady of Paular

and some mountain goat.

A young woman takes a picture in the mountains.

The works of the monastery lasted several centuries, until the reign of

Isabel la Católica

, when it became the most important in Spain within this religious order.

The chapter house, the Gothic refectory,

the Sagrario chapel,

the cloister, the main altarpiece and other interesting parts of the building date from that period.

The confiscation of 1835 meant the secularization of the Carthusians and the dispersal of a large part of the artistic cultural legacy.

A National Monument

Half ruined, in 1876 the

Royal Monastery of Santa María de El Paular

was classified as a National Monument.

It began to be restored to recover all the splendor of yesteryear.

Today, everything that remains of the construction has been repaired and replaced on its site.

The main altarpiece stands out, recently completed after a spectacular restoration, and the collection of canvases from the Carthusian series by

Vicente Carducho

(or Vincenzo Carduccio, the Baroque painter of Italian origin), surprisingly recovered in its entirety and hanging on

the walls

. of the


Not surprisingly, this exhibition is a reason in itself to see this monument first-hand.

One of the mountain goats in the area.

After touring the surroundings in search of hiking routes for all comers, it is worth discovering the

gastronomic chapter

of the area.

Not surprisingly, this type of tourism has a superb representation in the Alto Lozoya within the region.


the snow falls,

the mushrooms should not be overlooked and, for later, the forceful platter of local homemade stews and meat from the Sierra de Guadarrama.

It is a menu that comforts the visitor, no matter how depressed the activities in nature and

the vision of the history

that the town treasures have left him.

The rural hotel El Valle or the Conchi restaurant, two popular places in the area, are good places to pay homage.

Plate of meat from the mountains.



A walk between arboretums and forests

In the heart of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, after crossing the historic Puente del Perdón, one can go to the Ceballos Arboretum and the Finnish forest.

They are two very close places perfect for a walk in nature.


Hiking for all levels

In the vicinity of the town of Rascafría, unique landscapes abound for beginners or experienced hikers, such as the route to the lozoya springs, the tracks of the Belgian pine forest and the routes of the Peñalara massif.


A forceful mountain-style menu

Among the culinary essentials is the Conchi restaurant, with dishes such as mushroom and picón cheese croquettes, Castilian or stew soup and stewed tail.


Rural hotels for disconnection

Those who want to spend the night in Rascafría can opt for the rural hotel El Valle, a cozy mountain complex with family treatment.

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