The route of the black villages is in the province of Guadalajara. It’s a rural area surrounded by tranquilizing natural spaces that you feel like getting lost during a weekend. In this article we show you their main charms and different routes for you to travel.
On the route of the black villages
The black villages of Guadalajara are sheltered by the northern mountain range of the province, just at the foot of Pico Ocejón. This route is called the route of the black villages because throughout the area it covers is very common to find houses made of materials such as slate, which gives them their characteristic dark color. Villages with this type of house are also known as Black Architectural Villages.
There are several ways to get to this place, which is quite close to Madrid. One of them, the most common, is to do it from Guadalajara capital or a nearby town using the A2 road. Another alternative is to arrive from the Sierra del Rincón in Madrid or from Segovia where we will enter through Riaza or Ayllón. These data will be of great help to you if you are thinking of doing the route of the black villages by car or by motorcycle.
Different possibilities to make the route of the black villages
Route 1: Tamajón – Valverde de los Arroyos – Umbralejo – Robledelacasa – Campillo de Ranas – Robleluengo – Majaelrayo
Of all that we are going to show you, this is the most complete route through the black villages of all, and we highlight it over the others. It is perfect for those who enjoy a full or long weekend.
The village of Tamajón is considered the gateway to the black villages. Shortly before reaching it we come across the monastery of Bonaval, or its remains. A very interesting point to see. Once inside the village, we recommend you to see the Church of the Assumption.
Valverde de Arroyos
This is, of all the black peoples, the one with the greatest influx of tourism. Especially because it has a wide range of accommodations, restaurants and shops that are very attractive to the visitor. Here we also find an ethnographic museum.
Umbralejo is located about 8 kilometers from Valverde de los Arroyos. The nostalgia of its streets, which saw its inhabitants leave in the seventies for the big cities, leaving them empty, stands out. This state of abandonment, together with the nature that surrounds this town make it a perfect place to walk and disconnect.
It is a perfect example of the architecture of black villages. Robledelacasa is a small village, belonging to the municipality of Campillo de Ranas, which has a great charm. The houses are usually on one floor, made up of very wide walls, small rooms and wooden doors that helped the inhabitants to withstand the harsh winters. If you feel like hiking, here is a route to the waterfalls of the Aljibe that are about three kilometers away and offers a beautiful view that is worth immortalizing.
Campillo de Ranas
Campillo de Ranas is only 3 kilometers from the previous point. If anything characterizes the route of the black villages is that they are located very close to each other. That’s why it’s possible to make this trip in a weekend and with enough tranquility.
Of this small town the solar clock stands out, located in the remains of the old house of the priest that is next to the church. It is also interesting to take the opportunity to see the Church of Santa María Magdalena, the viewpoint of the frogs and a hollow oak whose age is unknown and which is a symbol of the village.
In Robleluengo we advise you to take some time to walk its narrow streets, it is one of the best things it has to offer. It’s a very beautiful village that highlights the contrast of the black stone with the vegetation that opens way thanks to the climate of the area and the humidity. The hermitage of San Pedro is also an interesting place to visit at this stop.
Of this town stand out its landscapes of great beauty. If you like nature and hiking, from this beautiful place start different routes that can take you to Pico Ocejón or the Matilla waterfall.
Alternatives to make the route of the black villages
Route Cogolludo – Tamajón – Almiruete – Palancares – Valverde de los Arroyos – Hayedo de Tejera Negra
This route starts, instead of in Tamajón, like the previous one, in Cogolludo, where it is worth stopping to visit the Palace of the Dukes of Medinaceli. Almirete and Palancares are two villages of great beauty that is interesting to visit when passing through the area. Almiruete offers outstanding views of Pico Ocejón, which stands proudly over 2,000 metres above sea level. Palancares is a village characterized by its small size. In 2017 it was home to just 8 people.
Route Tamajón – Retiendas – Campillo de Ranas – Robleluengo – Majaelrayo
The third route through the black villages that we propose begins in Tamajón and deviates towards Retiendas, where the Monastery of Bonabal is located. Then it continues through Campillejo, El Espinar and Roblelacasa, small population centres that belong to the municipality of Campillo de Ranas. In Robleluengo we cannot miss one of the most beautiful sets of slate buildings.
Our journey through the black villages ends in Majaelrayo where we can enjoy excellent nature walks. From here, through a path of about 13 kilometers we can reach the Pico de Ocejón.
The route of the black villages crosses an area of enigmatic architecture and abundant nature that invites you to open your mind and take a deep breath. If you want to make the most of your trip, don’t forget your camera, keep a curious attitude and appreciate the details. The gastronomy of the area is very appreciated by tourists so be prepared to taste delicious delicacies, which taste better in a land like Guadalajara.