Casa de Campo is actually one of the biggest parks in the world. In fact it’s five times the size of New York City’s famous Central Park. The park is situated to the west side of the historical area of Madrid and hosts a multitude of activities including the Madrid Zoo and Aquarium, an amusement park (Parque de Atracciones) and a cable car ride called the Teleferico de Madrid which boasts some awesome aerial views of the park. Our run will start at the Plaza de España which is one of Madrid’s busiest traffic intersections. We’ll meet in front of the statue which pays tribute to Spain’s most renowned author, Don Miguel de Cervantes, most famous for “Don Quixote”, the 1st novel ever written. From there we’ll head down towards the Manzanares River with the Royal Palace on display to our left.
Once we reach the bridge called Puente de Segovia, we’ll cross over the river and soon arrive at one of the main entrances of the park which is where the Lago Metro Station is situated. From here we’ll wind our way through some of the main attractions in the park which was once the hunting reserve of the Spanish monarchs. Some of these attractions include the funfair (Parque de Attraciones) with over 50 rides, and the zoo-aquarium. The park has many trails that criss cross one another and are great for running in many different directions if desired.
Many of the less frequented areas of the park showcase Madrid’s natural semi-arid beauty with red soil and scruffy looking pine trees. The pathways are fairly undulating so don’t expect a flat, easy run through the park (certainly no walk in the park but it’s fairly do-able for those with a certain level of fitness). The park is also home to many wild rabbits and has an abundance of bird life including starlings, orioles and nightingales. If you’ve done all the city sight seeing and are craving some outdoors, this might be one of the routes you’d enjoy away from the busy city life!