In Madrid you are never far from outdoor space and in the time I have lived here I have seen Madrid’s green spaces grow and develop. Take a stroll to the recently upgraded riverfront and you will see what I mean.
The redevelopment of the Manzanares river has successfully masked the hideous but essential motorway with lazy, winding pathways, ancient hewn stone and carpets of meadow-like grass. Amble along the path that follows the river from more urban areas, past the comparative wilderness of Casa de Campo, to the cable cars and Parque del Oeste taking in backdrops such as the Royal Palace.
An easily rentable bike will take you from one end of the river to the other in a couple of hours, at a leisurely pace. With very few inclinations you don’t have to be a pro to take part. If you are a more seasoned biker why not take it up a notch and head into the hillier Casa de Campo itself? If you do need to catch your breath there are plenty of riverside cafés and restaurants along the way.
Alternatively in the summer you can bask in the dappled shade of the trees that dot the landscaped banks. Take your friends for a drink or your family for a picnic. For children there are plenty of unusual installations and constructions they are free to climb and explore. There is also safe space for them to run, kick a ball or zigzag the varied and ingenious bridge designs that straddle the river. This is the perfect place to unwind on a Sunday afternoon, a slightly quieter area away from the bustle of city life.