The South East Regional Park (Parque regional del Sureste) is an area of Madrid that extends from north to south along the Jarama river

South East Regional Park

  • Region: Madrid
  • Declared a Regional Park: 1994
  • Park surface area: 31,552 hectares
  • Towns and villages: Velilla de San Antonio, Ciempozuelos, Titulcia, Rivas-Vaciamadrid, San Martín de la Vega, Morata de Tajuña, Arganda del Rey, San Fernando de Henares, Pinto, Mejorada del Campo, Getafe, Valdemoro, Aranjuez, Chinchón, Torrejón de Ardoz, Coslada and Madrid

Points of interest

The South East Regional Park (Parque regional del Sureste) is an area of Madrid that extends from north to south along the Jarama river and presents a great variety of habitats some of which are considered the best and well preserved wetlands in the Comunity of Madrid such as the Mar de Ontígola close to the town of Aranjuez, Laguna de San Juan near Chinchón and the gravel pits between the rivers Jarama, Manzanares and Henares (Soto de las Juntas and El Campillo).

The natural wealth of this area also resides in the fertile cereal plains, the gypsum cliffs of the hills and the emblematic area of Cerros de la Marañosa.

Some parts have undergone quite extensive restoration since the quarries and gravel pits closed with the planting of poplars (Populus alba) and willows (Salix alba) with these areas now protected as a wildlife reserves.

The shrubby and low habitat produces a landscape with large open spaces favoring steppe birds such as bustards, little bustards and curlews and where the slopes become vertical walls forming beautiful cliffs, peregrine falcons, eagle owls, red-billed choughs and black kites are present. Booted and short-toed eagles, goshawks and small owls frequent the forests formed by pine and kermes oak, accompanied by holm oak and gall oak, along with mammalls such as stone marten, rabbit, genet and fox.

This fascinating biological diversity coexists closely with the large and (very) nearby urban population centers and it is important o remember that around 50% of the territory of the Regional Park is occupied by arable crops and farmland.

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The lagoons

There are over 100 lagoons within the limits of the South East Regional Park with the main ones to visit being.

  • Laguna del Soto de las Cuevas (Aranjuez)
  • Lagunas de las Madres (Arganda del Rey)
  • Lagunas de Ciempozuelos (Ciempozuelos)
  • Lagunas de la Presa del río Henares (Mejorada del Campo)
  • Laguna del Campillo (Rivas-Vaciamadrid) The visitor centre is located here.
  • Lagunas de El Porcal (Rivas-Vaciamadrid)
  • Laguna del Soto de las Juntas (Rivas-Vaciamadrid)
  • Lagunas de Cerro Gordo (San Fernando de Henares)
  • Lagunas de Velilla (Velilla de San Antonio)
  • Lagunas del Sotillo (Velilla de San Antonio)
  • Laguna del Picón de los Conejos (Velilla de San Antonio).

Information/Visitors Centers

There are two environmental education centers that provide information related to the fauna, flora and history ​​of the Parque regional del Sureste

Centro de educación ambiental El Campillo

Next to the Campillo Lagoon (Rivas, Vaciamadrid), take the N III and exit 19.

The El Campillo environmental education center has a 3-hectare plot in which there is a building located partly on the El Campillo lagoon. There are good views of the lagoon and the gypsiferous cliffs. There is also a permanent exhibition related to the natural and cultural resources of the area such as fauna, flora and human history of the area.

Centro de educación ambiental Caserío de Henares

Camino de la Vega, s / n San Fernando de Henares

The Caserío de Henares, owned by the Community of Madrid is well worth the visit. It has an area of ​​194 ha and is located in the fertile plain of the Henares River where there are trails and exhibitions covering the subjects of organic gardening and resposible farming practices.

In addition to the river grove and the abundant birdlife. there are also remains of archaeological and paleontological sites in the vicinity and the Castle-Palace of Soto de Aldovea

The official Madrid community website is here: https://www.comunidad.madrid/servicios/urbanismo-medio-ambiente/parque-regional-sureste

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