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The entire village is a scenic delight, where you can wander along higgledy-piggledy lanes, look at slate houses whose wild gardens overflow with luminous oleander bushes and outsize fig trees, and get enjoyably lost.

The larger town of Torrelaguna is just 7km (4 1/3 miles) away and worth a visit on its own to see its monasteries, ancient walls, and magnificent 16th-century main square and church of Santa María Magdalena. Buses run to Torrelaguna and Patones de Abajo (below Patones de Arriba) directly from Madrid's Plaza Castilla station.

One of the walks to the north leads you to the dam Presa de Atazar, bordering a huge reservoir (largest in the province) fringed by pine woods. In summer, it's a great spot for picnicking or enjoying watersports. One minibus a day runs from Torrelaguna to Presa el Atazar and the neighboring village of El Atazar, departing at 11am, with return service to Torrelaguna at 5pm from El Atazar village.

Hidden away near the Atazar dam is the small but impressive Cueva del Reguerillo, whose stalactites and prehistoric sketches earned it a rating as an artistic-historic monument in 1931. A marked footpath from Patones de Abajo leads to the Reguerillo cave; it's approximately a 3-hour walk.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.