• Rascafría
  • Rascafría

Rascafría is a small town in Sierra de Guadarrama, some 100 km north of Madrid situated in the lovely Valle de Lozoya at an altitude of about 1,100 m and is one of the natural jewels of the Madrid region.

One of the most impressive sights in town is without a doubt the remarkable Santa María del Paular monastery located in a breathtaking natural setting. Building of this monument started in the late 14th century, but it wasn’t until one century later that most of the work was finished thanks to Juan Guas, the architect to the Catholic Monarchs. The façade of the church is a great example of the flamboyant Gothic while the cloisters are an example of the Mudejar Gothic.

In spite of having centuries of history, there are still monks living in the monastery (now it is a Benedictine Abbey and originally it was the Carthusian order). The monks still make some of the famous local products like liqueurs, cheeses and honey.

You should definitely visit the beautiful Puente del Perdón that gives a wonderful view of the monastery. Several surrounding buildings also take us back to the past like the Batanes Old Paper Mill that produced the paper used in printing the first edition of Don Quixote, one of the most important books of all times.


A few kilometers from there is the town center of Rascafría, with its famous Plaza de los Trastámaras, reminiscent of the dynasty of the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel and Fernando.

The town hall was built in the neo-Mudejar style of the early 20th century and close to it we can see the 15th century San Andrés Apóstol Parrish.

Apart from the history and art, it is the nature that also attracts thousands of visitors every weekend. In the summer months lots of people go to the Las Presillas, on the Lozoya riverside, perfect for a swim. And in the winter they all head for the mountains, to the Valcotos and Valdesquí ski resorts.

The Blue Walk is an urban route along the Artiñuelo riverside, offering a beautiful and easy walk to discover some of the least known areas of Rascafría. 

For those in the mood for festivities, culture and food, there are plenty of things to do in this town. The local folk festival, Natural Folk, attracts each June numerous fans of this music and there are tons of cultural activities all around town: from the El Paular Monastery, the Church and the Corral de Comedias(type of open-air theater specific to Spain) of San Andrés Apóstol, Albergue Juvenil Los Batanes assembly hall and the Fernando Bendito community center.

In the fall, especially in the months of October and November, the food lovers have an additional motive for the visit: Mushroom, Game and Wine Food Festival. Here you can try the most delicious mushrooms, game and pair it with some of the best wines of Madrid that are gaining more and more fans in Spain and abroad.

How to get there

  • Public transportation: bus 194 or 194A from Plaza Castilla. If you are going to the ski resorts, line 691 from Moncloa Station.
  • By car: from A-1 (Nacional-1, Madrid-Burgos) take the exit to the local road M-604 (located between the towns of Lozoyuela and Buitrago del Lozoya).

Interesting links:


Other must-visit places near Madrid
  • Discover the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes and the old Universidad Complutense, a World Heritage Town that is closely tied to the history of the Spanish language.

    Alcalá de Henares
  • Visit the Palace and the Gardens of the Royal Site and Town of Aranjuez, a town close to Madrid which has historically been linked to royalty.

  • Visit one of the greatest architectural exponents of the Spanish Golden Age, a monumental complex devised by Philip II.

    Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial
  • Quickly reached from Madrid, Toledo shows how Jews, Muslims and Christians could live together in harmony.

  • Discover the spectacular aqueduct and enjoy the food of this World Heritage city.

  • Discover the amazing walls and the cathedral of this Medieval city where Jews, Christians and Muslims used to live together.

  • The monumental city, home to a centuries-old university, is in the World Heritage Site list.

  • This city-come-landscape famous for its “Hanging Houses” is less than one hour from Madrid by train.

  • Next time you come to Madrid, don’t miss the chance to visit the mosque in the most important city of Al-Andalus, Córdoba.

  • Toledo
  • El fin de siglo. Sala 61 A del Museo Nacional del Prado ©Museo Nacional del Prado (660 x 335)
  • Spend the day at a UNESCO World Heritage site, hire a guide to teach you interesting historical and cultural facts about Madrid, or follow one of our themed itineraries to discover the city from a different angle. 

    Day trips and themed itineraries
  • Hop on board one the region's tourist trains and discover some magical places. Following the suspension of services in 2020 due to COVID-19, the tourist trains are yet to confirm their services in 2021.

    Tourist Trains
  • Tren de la Fresa 2017


An observation deck at 92 metres.

Our online store (in Spanish) sells artisan souvenirs.

Guided tours for all ages (in Spanish).