Dehesa de la Villa, Madrid, Spain

Category: Madrid

When visiting Madrid, Spain and all the historic and interesting sites and attractions it has to offer, your tour schedule is bound to be very full and active.  However, if you are looking for a bit of a respite from your busy itinerary, you should seriously consider paying a visit to Dehesa de la Villa, a paradise of a park situated near Ciudad University (where the popular Spanish University – La Complutense is located).  To illustrate why this park is such a popular oasis, below we have compiled some must-know facts regarding Dehesa de la Villa, including some information about its landscapes and walkways, the natural flora and fauna, and some helpful tips on how to get there.

Dehesa de la Villa … in a Nutshell

When you consider all of the historical architecture, gorgeous monuments and fascinating museums located in Madrid, it might be surprising to learn that the city is also one of the greenest capitals in the world, home to over 40 lush urban parks, including the Dehesa de la Villa.  Whether your goal is sport, recreation or merely relaxation, this park offers everything you need, and with such a convenient location next to the university it has never been easier to escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy inner city.

Dehesa de la Villa is not as well known as some other parks in and around Madrid, such as Buen Retiro Park, but the area is just as charming, if not more.  It has a long and distinguished history, and features lazy winding roads that seem to invite you to take a stroll beneath the cover of majestic oak trees.

Dehesa de la Villa Park was once a royal road that connected the Buen Retiro Palace in Retiro Park with the palace in El Pardo.  Today this massive and brilliantly landscaped park boasts several play areas for children and plenty of benches on which to sit and watch the world pass by.  Perhaps this is why Dehesa de la Villa is so popular among locals year-round.  The cerro de los loco, or “mad people hill,” is a must-see when visiting the park.  The highest hill in the park, it offers a spectacular view of Madrid, Monte de El Pardo, or El Pardo Mountain, and the Casa de Campo Park.

A trip to Dehesa de la Villa Park is ideal during the warm spring and summer months, a time when park-goers can laze under majestic pines and escape the blistering heat of downtown Madrid.  Autumn and Winter, too, offer a number of park pleasures, such as collecting edible mushrooms, or sipping a hot drink on the park’s terrace. Throughout the year, people can be seen jogging and cycling; people who choose Mother Nature as their fitness backdrop, as opposed to a crowded, busy gymnasium.  And if it snows?  That’s even better.  Although not common, the occasional snowfall during the winter months makes for great photo opportunities.

There is a wide variety of flora that adorns the Dehesa de la Villa.  Aside from the oaks and pines, you’ll find ash trees, black poplars, cypresses, mimosas and acacias.  Birds, including sparrows, blackbirds and goldfinches are the most prevalent form of animal life in the park, but you’ll also see many species of small mammals, particularly rabbits and squirrels.  The best part of all this experience is the knowledge that all of this beauty and majesty is just a stone’s throw from Francos Rodriguez Street and the bustling world of civilization.

Dehesa de la Villa is very easy to access.  If using the Metro, the nearest stops are Francos Rodriguez and Valdezarza, and if traveling by bus, take route 64, which will drop you right at the park’s entrance.