Canyoning in Madrid and Nearby Provinces: Where to practice canyoning around Madrid.
Although Madrid only has the Somosierra Gorge to practice Canyoning, there are numerous river canyons in the nearby provinces such as Cuenca, Ávila and Cáceres all of them in stunning natural sceneries. There are options to practice canyoning for families with children, for beginners or for more experienced people. From Madrid it will not take more than 2 hours and a half to the furthest canyon. A perfect day trip!
1.CANYONING IN MADRID:
1.1.Somosierra Canyon in River Duratón Gorges
The Canyoning tour of Somosierra is the only open canyon of the Community of Madrid and offers the opportunity to live a fun aquatic adventure in the impressive scenery of the river Duratón gorges.
After a 30 minute walk from the car, we will reach the top of the canyon. The canyoning descent includes waterfalls, pools, vertical rappels/abseils through 30 meters granite walls and a fun slide of 9 meters.
The difficulty depends on the flow and season. The main rappel of 30 meters is the most difficult section due to its verticality and water force, has a handrail of about four meters quite aerial to reach the the rappelling anchors on a minimum terrace. The aquatic descent offers consecutive, a couple of short jumps to small pools, waterfalls and 2 slides through granite slippery rock.
2. CANYONING IN ÁVILA
2.1. Arbillas Canyon
Arbillas is one of the southern river gorges, born in the sunny mountain skirts of Sierra de Gredos and located close to Arenas de San Pedro town.
This canyon offers everything you are looking for, technically it is not demanding and yet it has all the elements to make it fun and enjoyable. High vertiginous jumps to clear water pools, slides through granite rock and rappels of up to 20 meters make it one of the most playful canyoning adventure in the area.
2.2. Cascada de los Gavilanes (Cascades of Gavilanes).
In the upper part of river Tietar, explore this open canyon with many options of entry or exit. The most scenic sections are in the middle and in the bottom which is what we are going to do. In spring, with increased water flow, the river itinerary is a real canyoning adventure. Rappels of more than 30 meters, slides and waterfalls, make this descent an unforgettable experience and an unbeatable place for you to start in this exciting water discipline.
3. CANYONING IN CÁCERES
3.1. Garganta de la Hoz Canyon
A spectacular scenery, fun and adrenaline come together in this river gorge located in Villanueva de la Vera, Cáceres. The approach requires about 45 minutes walking along paths and farms that will make us reach the top of the canyon ready to jump into the water.
In the upper part (the one made in the integral descent), we begin with spectacular jumps to the most clear waters that you can imagine. After exploring several highlights we will arrive to the wellknown Pool oh Fell where we will have several options, a 5 meter rappel and a 10 meter slide, or a succession of jumps. A few meters below several jumps of 3 and 5 meters.
The canyon gets narrow, increasing the natural beauty and giving way to several jumps of about 7 meters and slides of up to 10 meters, ending in the stunning Pool of the Recuencano with its characteristic 5-meter slide.
3.2. El Chorro de la Ventera Canyon
We continue in Villanueva de la Vera area. El Chorro de la Ventera is one of the most popular and photographed places of the region and the entire Central system. It is considered Collected among the highest and most impressive waterfalls of the Iberian Peninsula.
But not everything is the famous waterfall, we will start with a beautiful approach on the left bank of the ravine of Minchones walking between ancient oaks and chestnut trees.
On the descent we begin, as a “warm-up” with a 12-meter-high rappel, just before the jet, after these two highlights, we will unzip an open area after which the canyon be boxed taking us to three rappels followed by 30 meters and the most pristine area of the river gorge and follows with another section of small rappels and jumps of up to 6 meters.
3.3. Papuos Canyon
In the popular town of Jerte (Cáceres) and two hours from Madrid, you can discover the descent of “La Garganta de Los Papuos”, for many the most complete and fun canyoning spot of the Central System. It has five rappels (24, 11, 30, 17 and 11 meters), six slides (3, 10, 8, 8, 3 and 4 meters) and two jumps (8 and 6 meters). Adrenaline is guaranteed in a unique environment with waterfalls of up to 30 meters and pools of crystalline waters that make this descent one of the favorites for lovers of this sport and an unforgettable and addictive experience for those who try Canyoning for the first time.
3.4. Las Nogaleas Canyon
Las Nogaleas river gorge is named due to the large number of walnuts that abound on its banks. Access to the head of the canyon is very comfortable. W we will ascend along a path parallel to the descent, which is also one of the busiest natural hiking routes in the Jerte Valley.
Graded as a Lower intermediate level without jumps and slides, the descent take us through a succession of vertical Waterfalls including a total of 7 rappels (25, 8, 4, 3, 25, 15 and 27 meters respectively), is ideal for those who are looking for a Canyoning route Ravine with many rappels.
3.5. Los Hoyos Canyon
A unique and accessible route through the channel of the Garganta de los Hoyos, tributary of the Garganta de los Papuos. Comfortable access and duration does not have great difficulties except the slippery rock during the canyoning descent. However, it will take us from one bridge to another, fun, between alders, descending through some first slides, some simple scrambles and 5 rappels of 13, 16, 10, 11, and 6 m high perfectly equipped. A good choice for beginners.
4. CANYONING IN CUENCA
4.1. River Júcar Canyon
The Júcar canyon is located in the town of Villalba de la Sierra. The Júcar river gorge is also known as Ventano del Diablo for the spectacular viewpoint that dominates it from above. It is a true natural water park where canyoning is a very easy and fun. It does not require ropes or abseiling techniques and all jumps have escapes to be able to avoid them if necessary, although the fun is to jump into the water, always safely.
Slides, jumps, pools, waterfalls and more jumps that is what awaits you to spend an entertaining and exciting day in this unique place in Cuenca.
You can also combine the descent of the canyon with the stunning via ferrata of the Ventano del Diablo to spend a full adventure day.
4.2. Poyatos Canyon
The river gorge of Poyatos in Cuenca is one of the most spectacular ravines of the Serranía de Cuenca. This descent of ravines offers jumps, water and verticality in abundance. The canyon is located in the town of Poyatos and can be accessed with two vehicles or with one.
The Poyatos canyon descent begins in a narrow boxed area, after several abseils we will arrive at a more open area with the 20-meter rappel that leaves us with unparalleled views.
The straits of the final dam leave you with a great taste in an experience of high-adrenaline canyoning. The ravine is recommended at any time of the year with special beauty and better time to do it between October and June.
4.3. Portilla Canyon
Once we have parked the car, we descend towards the gorge along a well-marked path to a stone bridge where we will begin the descent.
The Portilla canyon in Cuenca is open in the initial part and very confined and without the possibility of exit in the area known as the Gollizno Straits, which has four rappels. The river gorge of Portilla has 7 rappels and is considered one of the most scenic limestone canyon of the Serranía of Cuenca. It is impressive to make the canyon with flowing water in early spring, late winter and after rains. In the summer gets dry but its narrow walls and abseils will leave you an unforgettable canyoning experience.
4.4. Las Majadas Canyon
Las Majadas canyon located in Villalba de la Sierra in Cuenca, is a very beautiful ravine to perform with water after rains or storms since it barely catches flow. The route includes 8 rappels and some jumps and it is advisable to descend it between November and May. in summer it is also very spectacular as an almost dry ravine.
If you want to enjoy rappelling between spectacular vertical walls and enjoy a beautiful landscape, this is one of the canyons that you can choose to explore in Cuenca.
4.5. Hoz Somera Canyon
When we talk about the Hoz Somera canyon we have to focus on the scenic beauty it offers. This gully in Cuenca is shaped by the curves of the Cabriel River and located in Santa Cristina village.
We enter Santa Cristina and cross the town, we follow the track that goes to the right to the upper area where the road begins to descend to reach a hill where we see another track to the right that takes us to the channel of the Hoz Somera canyon.
The first steps in the canyon takes you through beautiful limestone formations with four rappels. Later on a rocky section gives strength to the current until you reach a quieter area. Before reaching the confluence with the Guadila River you can enjoy two rappels in a more open area.
The canyoning descent can be done throughout the year but you have to pay attention in the rainy season and be caution in areas with abundant vegetation.
4.5. Vallejo Hondo Canyon
Vallejo Hondo canyon is located in the Fuertescusa area and is not so well known. If you want to do canyoning, this canyon is a great option to discover the Serranía de Cuenca.
After crossing the Escabas river by a bridge we take the second road on the right and past the Vallejo Hondo channel we park the cars. On foot we skirt the hill of the Castle to reach the beginning of the ravine.
The gorge of Vallejo Hondo provides a surprising landscape in the first section with two rappels that with water are the most spectacular of the mountain range (one of them of 60 meters), then go through consecutive rappels until finishing with one of 35 meters, more vertical, which takes us to bottom of the Escabas river canyon. This canyon must be done with water in the months of March, April, May, October or November.
In the area there are the Via Ferrata of Priego and Fuertescusa, a very interesting combination to enjoy a multiadventure weekend in Cuenca.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your hikes and adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don’t damage natural parks and wilderness.
DREAMPEAKS: CANYONING IN IN MADRID. ADVENTURE TOURS IN MADRID. OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN SPAIN.
Text by Gabriel Blanco (International Certified Mountain Guide).