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Nature commands and disposes. This is not a bloom like that of growing fragrant lavender or the popular cherry trees. It is completely wild. The Adenocarpus hispanicus, or cambroño, is a wild, unknown and, above all, very colorful shrub that every spring covers the landscape of the Sierra de Guadarrama in yellow. Specifically the surroundings of Los Molinos, a mountain town 50 kilometers from the capital. It is not a discreet spot, but 800 hectares of yellow, the highest concentration of this plant in Spain.

"Every year is different, depending on what it rained. We do not know when it starts and when it ends, "explains the Councilor for Tourism of Los Molinos, Carmelo Álvarez. That of the cambroño is a flowering in height. It starts from 1,200 meters and reaches 1,700 or 1,800 covering pastures and mountains. One of the most spectacular places to see it is the skirt of La Peñota, one of the emblematic mountains of Guadarrama, which becomes a golden carpet.

"Many times we do kilometers by car to go see a flowering and this one that is spectacular we have next to Madrid. The nature of Los Molinos is a great unknown", underlines Álvarez. What everyone who lives in this town, very close to El Escorial, knows very well is that the cambroño pulls into the mountain. These days they celebrate the Cambroño Festival and many of their activities, it would be more, require getting lost in the forest. Of course, on foot, by bicycle or on horseback. Do not miss them because, in addition, there is a picnic in between. But the most important thing: they are guided routes with environmental orientation activities that take us along forest tracks or narrow and little traveled trails crossing the cambroñales.

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The origin of the festival

Now in its third edition, the Cambroño Festival is an ode to nature. It was a local neighbor passionate about his town and the environment, Luis Sancho, who launched the initiative. He is an official guide of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park and always maintained that the flowering of the cambroño had to be aerated throughout the sierra. Like him, many neighbors and businesses of Los Molinos actively participate in decorating their houses in yellow.

One of the private houses decorated in yellow in Los Molinos.VIAJES

Lovers of classical music can enjoy the concerts of 'Spring Notes' and those of adventure can try the mountain board, a board like the snow but with wheels to go down the mountain. There is also a painting contest, a cycle of conferences around nature, plane rides for those who want to see the cambroños like a bird and even a garden train with a steam engine that runs through the Plaza del Mercadillo.

Between bunkers...

Whoever comes these days to Los Molinos will discover other attractions of the most diverse. In addition to the cambroños, there are two obligatory hiking routes: the bunkers of the Civil War that, at 7.4 km, shows up to ten of these war constructions; and that of the pastures between oaks, ash and holm oaks, with a total of 11 kilometers of distance and landmarks such as the hermitage of the Virgin of El Espino. Without forgetting either other pleasures of the land, that is, the roast lamb that awaits after the excursion.

... and Geneva

Because Los Molinos hides another unmissable stop, the Gin Monti distillery. Geneva in the Sierra de Guadarrama? That's it. With up to 15 botanicals and water without impurities from the mountain. Everything is explained by Ana Monturiol, the neighbor of Los Molinos and architect of this project that has managed to conquer many chefs and more fans of London-style gin.


Cambroño Festival: until May 21 in Los Molinos. More information at ayuntamiento-losmolinos.es

Reservation of activities: Central de reservas Sierra de Guadarrama: sierradelguadarrama.com

Where to eat: Paco's Grill to give yourself a tribute of roast lamb. And in the Ice Factory, specialized in rice and with all the old refrigeration machinery.

Where to sleep: The Colorín. Pension in the center of town with restaurant.

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