We Walk Along The Banks Of The Manzanares River In Madrid

We walk along the banks of the Manzanares river in Madrid

Not only does it cross the entire community, but the Manzanares River in Madrid offers a wide variety of attractions along its course, both in the capital and far from it. We tell you everything about this tributary of the Jarama, which, in turn, is the Tagus, one of the great rivers of the Iberian Peninsula.

Course of the Manzanares river in Madrid

Without going too far, it is worth noting that the Manzanares begins in the Sierra de Guadarrama and flows into the Jarama River after traveling just 92 kilometers. “Arroyo apprentice river”, this is how Francisco de Quevedo described it.

Manzanares River in Madrid
Manzanares River – Santiago Samaniego / Flickr.com

However, in its extension the Manzanares hosts two regional parks.  And not only that, but in its urban section it can be navigated with canoes thanks to the channeling and damming of the waters.

The high course begins at more than 2,000 meters high.  A little further on, it passes through the town of Manzanares el Real (bordering the Mendoza castle) and through Colmenar Viejo and its old bridges. Kilometers later it crosses the mount of El Pardo and the homonymous town to reach the capital.

In Madrid it crosses the Puerta de Hierro and the bridge of the French, crossing the city through the old dehesa de Arganzuela, Casa de Campo, Latina and Villaverde. It is precisely in the urban section where the river has changed the most over the centuries and especially in recent years, going from being a degraded area to an oasis within the capital.

When it leaves the city, the river borders the Manzanares Linear Park, crosses the Perales del Río district (Getafe) and ends when it passes through the Southeast Madrid Regional Park, now flowing into the Jarama river.

One day in Madrid Rio

View of Madrid Rio
Madrid Río – La Citta Vita / Flickr.com

Madrid Río is the image of the radical transformation of the Manzanares River in Madrid. A huge space for leisure and recreation that extends from the bridge of the French to the Manzanares Linear Park, on both sides of the river and completely pedestrianized.

This narrow strip of land parallel to the river has an extension of 7 kilometers and a privileged location. Through here the river passes almost skimming the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral and the Parque del Oeste. A little further on it runs under the bridge of Toledo and near the gate of the same name. And almost at the end, the old slaughterhouse bathes, today a cultural center.

To this must be added his excellent communications. Madrid Río can be reached using various Metro lines and commuter trains, as well as urban buses.

Recovery example

Garden in Madrid Rio
Madrid Río – Abel de Burgos / Flickr.com

Until not many years ago, what today are pleasant walks and areas dedicated to leisure, sports and rest, was an area marked by noise and pollution. The M-30 ring road ran through these lands.

Today that road is buried and the asphalt has given way to landscaped areas, bike paths, sports areas,  playgrounds and a series of modern footbridges that cross it from one side to the other. Example of how the urban landscape can change for the better. To this day, it is here where the Manzanares River in Madrid shows one of its best faces.

Attractions of the Manzanares river in Madrid

View of Madrid Rio
Madrid Río – Oscar F. Hevia / Flickr.com

If you are already thinking of getting to know the banks of the Manzanares River in Madrid, you should know that there is much to enjoy. You can contemplate the bridge of Segovia (16th century) or that of Toledo (18th century). Around it, you will also find garden areas.

The esplanade of the Puente del Rey is the setting for events and celebrations. A little further on you can walk through the Salón de Pinos and from the Segovia bridge you can enjoy incredible views of the Royal Palace and the Cathedral.

In the Arganzuela area you will find sports courts and what was the old slaughterhouse, today a space recovered for all kinds of manifestations related to the cultural field. In addition, throughout Madrid Río there are children’s areas and a perfect bike path for walking (you can rent bikes there).

Did you imagine the Manzanares river in Madrid like this? Maybe a river apprentice, but very attractive and with many possibilities.

Cover photo: Abel de Burgos

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