EL BOALO, CERCEDA, AND MATAELPINO
On the South side of Sierra de Guadarrama one encounters these three beautiful towns, characterised by the vast mountainous setting, embedded into the middle of Sierra de Guadarrama National Park. One can still feel the authentic rural atmosphere they contain, breathe the exhilaratingly fresh air from the peaks, and feel nature in all of its splendor.
These are ideal places for meditation, harmony, peace, and finding oneself by enjoying the outstanding routes, trails, and paths sprinkled with crystal clear streams.
The majestic Sierra de los Porrones can be seen, with the amazing La Maliciosa peak and its more than two thousand metres as a backdrop that sets the scene of this unique area.
The Camino de Santiago that goes from Madrid to Galicia goes through these villages, and there is currently accommodation available for travellers in Mataelpino.
There are also some medieval necropoli and archaeological sites from the Roman and Visigothic eras. The neolithic tombs located at the El Boalo entrance are also a highlight.
Inside these beautiful towns, one can find artisanal markets, ecological products coming from bees such as honey, and craft beer in addition to other traditional products made from natural raw materials.
The gastronomic offer is rich and varied, perfect for recharging your batteries while enjoying the surroundings.
Enjoy the charm and humility of the locals, as well as their peculiar festivities such as “the running of the balls”, celebrated in August, which is a unique event in the area that has garnered international attention and consists of a huge ball essentially chasing people through the steep streets of Mataelpino, as well as the “Night by Candlelight”, celebrated on the last Friday of June. It’s a magical night on which thousands of candles are lit to illuminate the town, which is converted into a poem of fire and mystery.
There are also gothic churches to visit, such as “Santa María la Blanca” in Cerceda, which dates back to the times of the Catholic Kings and which has been declared a National Historic monument due to its architectural value. The “San Isidro” chapel in El Boalo should also be mentioned, which is found next to the significant “Peña Mediodía”, by the recreational area bearing the same name.
During the day, predatory birds can be seen while they soar through the sky, while at night we can hear the whispers of nocturnal birds in the silence of the night.
Emblematic tree species can be spotted, such as blackberries and centennial cork oaks. One can also encounter areas scored with streams of transparent water, such as the San Buriel River.
The three towns belong to the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park and are therefore part of the “Biosphere Reserves”, declared as such by UNESCO in 1992 due to the uniqueness and beauty of this one-of-a-kind area.
To sum up, this is a privileged and singular area that is more than worth the visit.
Fall in love with its landscapes, its atmosphere, and travel back in time through these three towns…