Sniffing Out Easy Hiking In Madrid

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"a Street sign of Calle de Madrid while sniffing out easy hiking in Madrid this year"

On a January week-end, we stayed in the capital city of Spain on the invitation of Spain’s leading budget airline, Vueling and online radio ScannerFM and their MyVuelingCity guides

. (Gracias, Vueling, y ScannerFM). Both urged us to rediscover the city on our own terms. And so we decided to search out a couple of possibilities for easy hiking in Madrid and its environs, nothing too long or too arduous, something that can be done by anybody who is spending a few days here on business or on holiday. More about that soon.

But of course, we also took the time to explore the city a little while sniffing out easy hiking in Madrid.

Looking for Easy Hiking in Madrid

"On your way sniffing out easy hiking in Madrid - Plaza Mayor"

Madrid does not do „cute“, that much is for sure: Madrid does „brash“ instead – and does it well, better probably than any other city in Europe, and the Gran Via – Madrid’s main business street – reminded me in many ways more of New York than of London or Paris.

"on our way sniffing out easy hiking in Madrid - Gran Via"

Madrid was, of course, for a few centuries, the centre of what was – at the time – the largest and wealthiest colonial empire in the world, and the grandeur of the architecture certainly reflects that.

The Almudena Cathedral appears to provide the blueprint for every Latin American church you will ever have seen ….

"Catedral Almudena in Madrid"

… and manages to make even the Royal Palace next door look humble by comparison.

"Royal Palace in Madrid"

Next, we will go out of town, but do not yet know exactly where – we will make up our minds over dinner at our fabulous hotel, the Hotel Urban in the heart of downtown Madrid. (Thank you, Vueling and ScannerFM, you certainly know how to treat your guests.)

"where we stayed while sniffing out easy hiking in Madrid - Hotel Urban"

Originally, we were planning an excursion into the mountains north of Madrid near Cercedilla where – in the middle of, it is said, spectacularly beautiful scenery – some of the bloodiest battles of the Spanish Civil War were fought. (And where some hideouts from the time have apparently been preserved and can still be visited. This is the part of Spain where much of Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls is set.)

But the trip to Cercedilla takes, door to door, roughly two hours („about one hour“, it says in the brochures, but this calculation involves a slight sleight of hand), and with the first train from Madrid not arriving much before noon and darkness – at this time of year – falling at around 5, we would hardly have any time at all to explore the place.

So in the end, as much as I would feel tempted, we may go for something a little less ambitious – and nearer to home.


11 comments to Sniffing Out Easy Hiking In Madrid

  • Yes, maybe Madrid is different from London.

  • We’ve done two walks, Simon. One is on the outskirts of Madrid itself, just a metro ride away (coming soon) and the other in El Escorial.

  • I’ve been to Madrid a couple of tmes but for too short a period to fully appreciate the city which is beautiful and needs a longer stay. I’m really curious to read about your hike!

  • Thanks for dropping by, Cynthia. We only bascially had just 2 1/2 days to spend in Madrid and one day was for a short day hike, considering the time of the year. We hope we could do one or two more in future.

  • Check out Take a Hike: The Best 50 Routes in the Community of Madrid. There are some easy hikes pretty close to the city.

    Hope you enjoy your travels!


  • Madrid, of course, should be in your list aside from Barcelona and Seville, Debbie. Check out Vueling. We enjoyed our flight with them and they cover major Spanish cities.

  • We did manage to sniff out at least 1 an hour away from Madrid and 1 in Madrid, Leigh. Coming soon….

  • Cathy, this is our second visit to Madrid and must say we see it with a different set of eyes. For one, we didn’t have a toddler with us.

  • Glad to see this post since I’m crossing my fingers for a trip to Madrid soon. Always appreciate your perspectives and tips. I’ll have to check out the Hotel Urban.

  • What a nice change of pace searching out easy hikes in Madrid. Have fun. Looks like some beautiful architecture to enjoy while you’re at it.

  • Lucky you to be spending the weekend in Madrid! I haven’t been yet but am looking forward exploring Spain soon.

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