Lying 50 kilometres to the north of Madrid, Miraflores de la Sierra is an ideal excursion to make from the capital.
The town which is believed to have been founded inthe thirteenth century by farming folk from the region of Segovia was according to local legend renamed Miraflores by the then queen Isabel of Bourbon in 1627. Isabel who was the French wfe of Phillip IV of Spain and who held in in such high regard that he left her twice in charge of the country as Regent whilst he went to quell the Catalan Revolt.
In the legend the queen was supposedly walking to the nearby monastery of Santa Mariá de El Paular when she came across the village and was struck by the flowers in bloom exclaiming to her courtiers ” Mira, ¡flores! (“look! flowers!”)
Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, the village of 6000 inhabitants is easily accessible by road from Madrid and is an ideal city gettaway offering beautiful scenery and exxtraoridnary views over the Sierra of which she belongs.
A long and winding road takes you to its secluded location between the mountain passes of La Morcuera and Canencia which interject between the two natural parks of the Sierra de Guadarmana and La Cuenca Alta del Manzanares.
Things to do In Miraflores:
The town of Miraflores is as it´s name emplies charming and rustic and a perfect weekend retreat for Madrileños, many of whom have summer and weekend homes there. With a histrory going back to the middle ages it has histrory, tradition an with over 40 bars and restaurants a fine selection of places to settle in and soak up the ambiente.
Miraflores de la Sierra, located close to the mountain slopes of the Najarra, and on the southern slopes of the Pico de la Pala, at a height of 1.150m is the ideal starting point for many routes through the Guadarrama mountains. The town is a reference point for hikers and there are suitable walks for all,ranging from the short, gentle walks through the Muñequilla oak forest to the demanding climbs up to the summits of La Najarra orLa Perdiguera mountains.
Each season of the year offers visitors a superb variety of landscapes, such as the shady Monte Aguirre pine forests in summer, or the snow-covered peaks of the Cuerda Larga in winter, all containing a rich biodiversity with vestiges of past human activity to be found in the sheepfolds, shepherd huts, old charcoal kilns, beehives, bridle paths, fountains, water tanks, forest nurseries and ancient dry stone walls.
Where to Stay
The village an enchanting collection of rustic hotels for couples or groups at reasonable prices all year round.
Where to Eat
The festive cycle of Miraflores de la Sierra begins on February 3 with the San Blas Festival which commerorates the defeat of Napoleon´s tropps and their abandoning of the town by the local guerrillas in the Humilladero de San Blas. when they launched a night attack in which they wore cowbells on their backs, simulating a cattle stampede – and it worked the French ran!
From that day, every February 3, the pilgrimage to the Humilladero de San Blas takes place, in which the dogs with their striking costumes are the protagonists, remembering the courage of their ancestors. It is traditional to eat potatoes with cod and on the way back to the town the party continues with the release of heifers and dancing in the Plaza de España.
May 15 San Isidro, during the s. XVII is beatified and canonized to Isidro de Merlo and Quintana as San Isidro, making the veneration of the Saint popular. In 1960 he is declared patron of Spanish farmers by Juan XXIII. Every May 15th in Miraflores de la Sierra the procession is carried out in his honor through the streets of the town while wheat grains are thrown to bless the fields. Next, an auction of typical local products is held at the door of the church. The party ends at the Plaza de España with dancing and lemonade with cookies.
During the week of August 15 celebrations are held in honor of the patron saint of the town of the Virgen de la Asunción of Miraflores de la Sierra. The Pamplonica Band entertains every moment, the encierros (of adults and children), the popular games, the procession of the Virgin through the streets of the town, and the traditional bullfighting celebrations accompany this.
How to get there.
A regular bus service with departures from Plaza Castilla – For timetable see 725 BUS