Madrid’s top 7 outdoor activities

9 October 2017 0 Comments Category: Active Lifestyle, blog, Robert Nieuwland


Madrid has the unique characteristic of offering every outdoor and adventure experience thinkable. Madrid Outdoor Sports’ founder Robert Nieuwland has made a selection of what he personally considers the top 7 options.

Spain’s capital has it all: the cultural and urban options of a major European tourist destination plus a National Park at less than an hour driving. This 150.000 acres large mountainous area offers an endless array of Outdoor Action, Cultural Heritage and Gastronomic Pleasures. You’ll be amazed at what awaits you at less than an hour from the center’s sunny terraces.

1. Trail Running

With our Trail Running Day Trip you can go to some of the most breathtaking natural sceneries. Whether you’re an experienced (trail) runner or a beginner, Madrid’s mountains offer a huge variety of landscapes and trails for everyone.

We always arrange a pick-up and then drive straight to the mountains. Having discussed your preferences beforehand, we will run a trail that adapts to your wishes and experience. Knowing the mountains and all the trails there will always be a suited route.

2. Horse Riding

With Spain’s newest Guadarrama NP we now have fifteen National Parks. One of the best ways to explore this stunning area is with a horse ride. Even for beginners this is possible.

The location of our Day Trip base makes it possible to combine the activity with a visit to the nearby sights. A delicious lunch can be enjoyed as well; the area is nationally very well known for its local cuisine.

3. Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is one the most popular activities for the ‘madrileños’ and there’s a good reason for it: it’s super easy to go for a highly entertaining route.

Madrid’s city forest ‘Casa de Campo, for example, is an excellent option. This urban outdoor paradise lies at just ten minutes from the city center. Nevertheless, it takes you into a completely different setting, offering peace and quiet and a whole lot of mountain biking fun.

Take a 20 minute drive from town and you can give the challenging downhills and climbs of “El Pardo” a try. If you drive just half an hour further you’ll find yourself in a mountain area you’d never expect so close to a city like Madrid.

4. Climbing Day Trip

Madrid’s mountains offer many possibilities for different rock types and route difficulty. La Pedriza, for example, is Europe’s largest granite mountain range. It’s absolutely spectacular! The climbing there is mostly what’s known as adherence climbing, where the rock face hardly offers any pockets or good hand grips and you depend on your feet more than anything. A good adherence climber has the grace of a ballet dancer.

It’s also great for bouldering. Here there are no ropes involved and you brake a possible fall with a “crash pad”, a foldable and resistant mattress. La Pedriza is one of the best known areas in Europe for this discipline.

5. Paragliding

The stable and warm climate in Central Spain makes it possible to do a Paragliding Tandem Flight all year round! There are several breathtaking areas in Madrid’s mountains where you can take off and soar the skies.

The flight sites are located in three different areas, all of them around one hour from Madrid: Cebreros, Somosierra and Pedro Bernardo.

It is possible to combine paragliding with a visit to either Segovia or El Escorial (depending where the flight will take place).


6. Canyoning

One of the most adventurous ways to explore the canyon “Barranco del Duratón”. You will make your way through the canyon by abseiling down various waterfalls. And of course you will be under the guidance of experienced instructors.

It is definitely an experience you won’t easily forget (in the best way possible of course). Once you have done canyoning you will be hooked! Afterwards you can enjoy a three course lunch in the nearby mountain Somosierra mountain pass.


28-7-2013 Descenso del barranco de Somosierra. foto: santi burgos

7. Snowshoe Hiking

The last (but not least popular) activity that is a must in this list, especially with the winter coming up, is snow shoe hiking in the breathtaking higher mountains. During winter, they offer a completely different atmosphere than in the hot summer months.

Moonlight Snowshoe Hiking

Hiking in the winter’s full moon is without a doubt one of the most special experiences you can enjoy in the winter months. Everything is even quieter and intensified during the moonlight hours and you won’t even need a headlamp.


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