Outdoor leisure in the paradise of Madrid’s parks


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Madrid is much more than the center. You only have to see what happens in one of its extremes, the northeast, where they flourish -and never better said- three of the most beautiful green areas that can be enjoyed in the city. They are my favorite places for those walks in search of lost tranquility. And since they are also close, they can be seen all at once -although slowly- on a Sunday morning; and more if the weather is good, as
the forecasts point
of the State Meteorological Agency.

No one should pass through Madrid without visiting the El Capricho Park, a museum-garden that has it all: secluded corners where you can lose yourself with a good book, monuments that surprise passers-by such as the temple of Bacchus, or the constructions that their original owners ordered to be built for fun, and that are jewels scattered randomly, with which to stumble unintentionally during an idle tour: the Casa de la Vieja, the Abejero, the Pier, the Ballroom.

Interior of the El Capricho bunker: different drawings on the floor to indicate the entrance to a different room
Interior of the El Capricho bunker: different drawings on the floor to indicate the entrance to a different room – ISABEL PERMUYN

That, without counting the Civil War bunker, which extends over 2,000 square meters, and 15 deep, and from which many operations were directed. General Miaja himself used one of the halls of the Palacete del Capricho to locate his office. The bunker can be visited, but be warned that getting a reservation for the guided tours is a very difficult task.

The Mansion of the Fifth Tower Arias
The Mansion of the Fifth Tower Arias – ABC

A stone’s throw from Capricho is the Fifth Tower Arias, Second stop on this tour. The place is reached by crossing a large iron gate on Calle de Alcalá. And it is like entering another dimension: the place, former residence of the aristocrat Tatiana Pérez de Guzmán the Good, Countess of Torre Arias, has a charm of its own.

Its gardens can still only be visited in part, but they present evocative corners, some very outstanding tree specimens, and a palace that hides a lot of beauty. Like the one in the old gym, with wooden and leather equipment, a relic from another time awaiting restoration.

The surprise in Los Molinos

A few blocks further on, on the same street, it is possible to enter the Fifth of the Mills, famous for being the paradise of almond trees in bloom. When the season arrives -now it is approaching-, it is a spectacle to discover that enormous extension of land covered with white and pink flowers, as far as one looks. It is an annual miracle that only lasts a few days, but it is advisable not to miss it. And that attracts thousands and thousands of people from Madrid to this park, cameras at the ready, eager to immortalize the moment.

Almond trees in bloom in the Qinta de Los Molinos
Almond trees in bloom in the Qinta de Los Molinos – MAYA BALANYÀ

La Quinta, however, is more than that explosion of nature: there are many places to discover, but I encourage the reader to go into his walks until find the old tennis court, reminiscent of art deco. A real delight.

From the park there is direct access to an old mansion now converted into an activity center for children and adolescents, Espacio Abierto, a place where creativity is the supreme value.

After so much walking, it is necessary to regain strength. I can’t think of a better way to do it than to head down Calle de Alcalá towards Ventas and stop at Plaza de Quintana, to relax with some patatas bravas at the Docamar. Nothing more typical of Madrid, after the squid sandwich, than some bravas. And here they boast of selling the best since 1963.

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