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Cotos Forest Trail, Rascafría in Madrid

An idyllic mountain landscape and crystal clear natural pools—that's what trekking in Cotos Forest can offer!

Best time: March–November

Cotos Forest Trail, Rascafría
Cotos Forest Trail, Rascafría

If nature, tranquillity, and hiking sound tempting, you need to go to Rascafría. Cotos Forest Trail (Bosque de Cotos) is one of the most scenic routes in the area. Its length is about 8.5 km, and the route is as difficult, with a range of obstacles. As a bonus, you will get crystal waters of natural pools among green meadows.

The water temperature in them justifies their name, really cold and invigorating, but in the sultry July–August, it can be a true gift. The capital's inhabitants love this picturesque place, located in Valle del Paular.

The best time for trekking in Cotos Forest is from March to November. Take a train from Madrid to Cercedilla, and then another one to Cotos.

Practical info

What are the key features of Cotos Forest Trail?

The Cotos Forest Trail is an 8.5-kilometer trek with variable elevations and challenging obstacles that makes it difficult for even experienced hikers. It features crystal-clear natural pools, which provide a refreshing break and varying water temperatures. It is advised to wear comfortable hiking shoes, carry plenty of water and snacks, and prepare accordingly. Show more

What is unique about the natural pools on Cotos Forest Trail?

The Cotos Forest Trail natural pools are crystal-clear and offer varying water temperatures. Some of the pools found on the trail are spacious enough to allow for swimming, while others are more suited for purpose your feet. Refreshing to take a dip in, though it's essential to remember that the high heat during the summers can be a risk factor and carrying enough water is advised. Show more

What is the ideal time to visit Cotos Forest?

March to November is the best time to visit Cotos Forest Trail. The weather is more delicate and warm during this time and is suitable for hiking. The water in natural pools may be to find inviting in the summer months of July to August due to high temperatures. It is always advised to have plenty of water on hand to avoid dehydration during the day. Show more

What is the transportation to access Cotos Forest Trail?

A train can take visitors from Madrid to Cercedilla, then transfer to another train to Cotos to reach the Cotos Forest Trail. It takes roughly an hour and 45 minutes to come from Madrid. After arriving at Cotos train station, visitors can walk to the trail entrance, which is at a comfortable distance. Taxis are also available as an alternative mode of transport. Show more

What makes Valle del Paular unique compared to Cotos Forest?

Valle del Paular is the scenic valley that houses the Cotos Forest Trail and is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, riverbanks and hiking trails. The valley is a valuable ecological site with an abundance of different plants and animals. It is a favorite outdoor destination for hikers and naturalists looking to take in the surroundings, visit crystal-clear natural pools and hike across the mountains. Show more

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