The route of the black villages is located in the province of Guadalajara. It is a rural area surrounded by peaceful natural spaces that make you want to lose yourself in for a weekend. In this article we show you its main charms and different routes for you to visit it.
About the route of the black villages
The black villages of Guadalajara are sheltered by the northern mountain range of the province, right at the foot of the Ocejón Peak. This route is called the route of the black villages because throughout the area it covers it is very common to find houses made of materials such as slate, which gives them their characteristic dark colour. Villages with this type of house are also known as Black Architecture 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 enter through Riaza or Ayllón. This information will be of great help to you if you plan to do the route of the black villages by car or motorbike.
Different possibilities to do 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 find 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 villages, the one with the highest number of tourists. Especially because it has a wide range of accommodation, restaurants and shops that are very attractive to visitors. Here we also find an ethnographic museum.
Umbralejo is about 8 kilometres from Valverde de los Arroyos. The nostalgia of its streets, which saw its inhabitants leave for the big cities in the seventies, leaving them empty, stands out. This state of abandonment, together with the nature that surrounds this village make it a perfect place to walk and disconnect.
It is a perfect example of the architecture of the black villages. Robledelacasa is a small village, belonging to the municipality of Campillo de Ranas, which has a great charm. The houses are usually single-storey, with very wide walls, small rooms and wooden doors that helped the inhabitants to withstand the harsh winters. If you feel like hiking, from here there is a route to the Aljibe waterfalls, which are about three kilometres away and offer beautiful views that are worth immortalising.
Campillo de Ranas
Campillo de Ranas is only 3 kilometres from the previous point. And if anything characterizes the route of the black villages is that they are located very close to each other. For this reason it is possible to make this trip in a weekend and quite calmly.
Of this small village the solar clock stands out, located in the remains of the old priest’s house next to the church. It is also interesting to take the opportunity to see the Church of Santa Maria Magdalena, the viewpoint of the frogs and a hollow oak tree whose age is unknown and which is a symbol of the village.
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In Robleluengo we advise you to take some time to stroll through its narrow streets, it is one of the best things it has to offer. It is a very pretty village where the contrast between the black stone and the vegetation that grows thanks to the climate of the area and the humidity stands out. The hermitage of San Pedro is also an interesting place to visit during this stop.
Of this town we can emphasize its landscapes of great beauty. If you like nature and hiking, from this beautiful place there are different routes that can take you to the Ocejón Peak or to the Matilla waterfall.
Alternatives to make the route of the black villages
Route Cogolludo – Tamajón – Almiruete – Palancares – Valverde de los Arroyos – Tejera Negra Beech Forest
This route starts, instead of in Tamajón, as 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 are interesting to visit when passing through the area. Almiruete offers outstanding views of the Ocejón Peak, which stands proudly at an altitude of more than 2,000 metres. Palancares is a village characterized by its small size. In 2017 there were only 8 people living there.
The third route through the black villages that we propose begins in Tamajón and takes a detour to Retiendas, where the Monastery of Bonabal is located. Then it continues through Campillejo, El Espinar and Roblelacasa, small villages that belong to the municipality of Campillo de Ranas. In Robleluengo we cannot miss one of the most beautiful 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 enjoy your trip to the fullest, don’t forget your camera, keep a curious attitude and appreciate the details. The gastronomy of the area is highly appreciated by tourists so be prepared to taste delicious delicacies, which taste better in a land like Guadalajara.