As much as I love city living (and I hope you don't sense sarcasm here because really, I do love it - a lot!!), sometimes it's really good to just get out for a little break. One Saturday in mid-October we figured out how to get into the mountains just outside of Madrid by public transportation thanks to a few blogs written by people who had been there before. We took the Cercanías train from Chamartín station in Madrid to Cercedilla, and a little over an hour later, we'd arrived.
It's a 1km trek along the road to get to the trailhead for all of the hikes, and once there we opted to take the Camino del Agua, a peaceful 4.1km stroll through the forest. We met people as we first started walking, but before long it was mostly just us and the trees as we followed the blue dots marking the way.
The nice thing about the Camino del Agua trail is that it doesn't end at the trailhead where it begins (meaning that you have to walk another 1km back to the Cercanías station through town after you're done hiking), but it ends back at the train station. We enjoyed how the return part of the trail took us through the middle of town, which was pretty precious.
We weren't gone for more than 4-5 hours (including train time), but a day or half-day trip to Cercedilla from Madrid is a great way to escape the city on a weekend or on a day off. There are many trails to explore, some with ponds and streams and overlooks and more, so I hope that during our time in Madrid we can make the easy trip back into the mountains more than just this once for a relaxing getaway.