World Heritage Sites in the Community of Madrid

Did you know that Spain is one of the countries with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites ? Yes! Yes! As you are reading it! Among the protected monuments that we can find in our country, there is no shortage of civil constructions, religious buildings, cave paintings, samples of modernism or industrial engineering, natural parks …

How could it be otherwise, the Community of Madrid is home to some of these sites. We refer to Alcalá de Henares, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Aranjuez and Hayedo de Montejo. Would you like to discover more about these corners of Madrid? Well, we recommend that you be very attentive to what we tell you below!

Alcala de Henares

First of all, we want to talk about Alcalá de Henares, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998. It is located east of the Community of Madrid, just 30 kilometers from the capital, and is known for being the hometown by Miguel de Cervantes when we have the information.

Without a doubt, Alcalá de Henares is an ideal place to go for a walk, although it is also worth visiting its museums and monuments and eating in its good restaurants. Of course, if you have the opportunity to visit this city, you will not be able to miss its typical sweets , such as caramelised almonds or crusted almonds. Of the city stand out its historical enclosure and the rectory of the University, which contains important vestiges of the Modern Age.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial

Another enclave of the Community of Madrid declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO is San Lorenzo de El Escorial, which is located in the Sierra de Guadarrama, halfway between Madrid and La Granja de San Ildefonso. Thanks to the fact that it was a royal summer residence, it houses a large number of monuments from that time.

Actually, the monuments declared a World Heritage Site are the Monastery and the Royal Site of San Lorenzo. Of course, we must also highlight the natural environment and, especially, the La Herrería forest and the Pinar de Abantos. Of course, in San Lorenzo de El Escorial you can savor authentic Madrid cuisine. Find out more about it in our article "Typical dishes of Madrid".


We must also talk about the Villa de Aranjuez, one of the Royal Sites of the Crown of Spain. It is located in a privileged natural setting, in the fertile valley formed by the basins of the Jarama and Tagus rivers. The palace gardens and the natural environment that surrounds the municipality have been inscribed on the UNESCO list as a World Heritage Cultural Landscape.

If you have the opportunity to visit this place, we recommend that you take a guided tour to learn the facts and curiosities that surround the history of Aranjuez, the gardens and the rooms in the palace. Of course, you should stroll through its gardens and taste the local specialties.

Hayedo de Montejo

Finally, we must talk about the Montejo Beech Forest which, along with other beech forests in Spain and Europe, was declared a World Heritage Site as an extension of the primary Beech forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe. It is a 250-hectare beech forest located on the slopes of the Sierra de Ayllón.

Declared a Natural Site of National Interest in the 70s, it is considered one of the southernmost beech forests on the continent. It belongs to the municipality of Montejo de la Sierra, which is located on the border with the province of Guadalajara. You can discover more about this beautiful place in our article “Hayedo de Montejo, one of the most beautiful forests in Spain”.