It has been nearly a year since my last real hike, and I have missed filling my Camelbak and tossing my backback over my shoulders. While there is some great hiking surrounding Madrid, we are still avoiding public transportation, so I figured I´d do the next best thing — a hike through the city.
We love Parque del Retiro, but that is only about a four-mile loop. However if you head directly west from the flat, in about 3 km you´ll reach the border of Casa de Campo. This huge park is more than 4,250 acres, about five times the size of Central Park. It was created in the early 16th century for use by the royal family as a hunting ground and was only opened to the public in 1931.
Today you can find a zoo, an amusement park, and a large artificial lake in the southern part of the park. But much of the vast space remains unrefined, criss-crossed by bike paths and hiking trails through hills studded with tall pine and oak trees. It´s a perfect spot to log some miles, get a little fresh air, and not see too many people.
There are numerous lovely sights between our flat and the park, so on Saturday afternoon I headed out with plenty of water, a tuna sandwich, and a bottle of Coppertone Sport and spent four and a half hours roaming through the city. Apple Health says I logged nearly ten miles and over 24,000 steps during my outing. As the weather cools a bit in the coming weeks, I foresee more adventures like this!