Hiking in Madrid: Cercedilla & Las Dehesas

Hiking in Madrid: Cercedilla & Las Dehesas.

The town of Cercedilla is engraved in the southern face of Siete Picos, 1.200 m over sea level. Multiple streams slide down through its forests that where once populated by bears. Up and above the dense and ancient pine forest we find a high mountain peaks and ridges; La Peñota, Peña del Águila, Siete Picos and beautiful sights to La Pinareja, Peña el Oso, and Pico de Pasapán that together form “La Mujer Muerta” (the Dad Lady).

For those adventuring “The Way of Saint James” from Madrid, it is here where they will cross to Segovia, by walking through Fuenfria Pass. In roman times this trail connected Segovia and Titulcia, and Cercedilla town was founded as a place of passage and refuge. This is without a doubt one of the most historic trails in Spain.

Cercedilla and its mighty forests were also who nurtured by Francisco Giner de los Rios and his followers of the “Instituciónn Libre de Enseñanza”. These pioneers of outdoor education toured the Guadarrama mountains again and again turning it into a place of meditation and scientific knowledge. Cercedilla and Las Dehesas are popular spots for summer camps hosting thousands of kids, teens and boys scouts groups from the 50´s to nowadays.

These lush forests have a completely different life during autumn. The rain combines with peaking sun rays providing the perfect environment for hundreds of different types of mushrooms to grow. Thousands of mycologist enthusiasts visit Cercedilla’s forests during this time of the year.

The town itself provides a living space to 7.200 residents. It has a rich mountain culture, especially winter activities. It is in this small town that we can visit the Ski Museum, which tells the story of how this sport started and developed in Madrid and the rest of the Iberian Peninsula and introduces us to the popular skiers: Paquito Fernández Ochoa, Olimpic Gold Medal in Sapporo 1972 and her sister Blanca Fernández Ochoa, world champion and Olimpic Bronze Medal in Albertville 1992. Cercedilla and las Dehesas forests are linked to the Guadarrama national Park and to mountain sports all year round.

Cercedilla & Las Dehesas Photo Gallery by Santiago Sierra

Hiking in Madrid: Cercedilla & Las Dehesas
1.1. Hiking in Madrid: Cercedilla & Las Dehesas. Dreampeaks


Hiking in Madrid: Cercedilla & Las Dehesas
1.2. Foggy landscape in Collado Ventoso


Hiking in Madrid: Cercedilla & Las Dehesas
1.3. Small waterfalls in Arroyo del Infierno. Las Dehesas. Cercedilla.


Hiking in Madrid: Cercedilla & Las Dehesas
1.4. Beginning of spring in La Peñota.


Hiking in Madrid: Cercedilla & Las Dehesas
1.5. On the way to Fuenfría Pass.


Hiking in Madrid: Cercedilla & Las Dehesas
1.6. Winter hike in “La Calle Alta”.


If you want to discover the best hikes in Madrid, we recommend you the following custom hiking tours:

Hiking in Sierra de Guadarrama National Park

Hiking in La Pedriza National Park

Enjoy the mountain safely!

For more more Outdoor adventures visit:


Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your hikes and adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don’t damage these amazing places.


Text and Photographs by Santiago Sierra (Mountain Guide & Photographer).