When I first moved to Madrid, I wanted to find out about the area I lived in and the nearby river. As it turned out, there were no guided tours in English at all, so I decided to write my own ones!

So, why not join me to discover more about Madrid’s hidden gem: The Manzanares River. Flowing from the mountains in the north, this river runs through one of the city’s newest parks, yet has some of the oldest and most fascinating stories to tell.

Audio Guided Tours

I’ve recorded two self-guided audio tours, available through the VoiceMap app. They are accessible on your phone, you can choose a time and date to suit your schedule. To access the tours, click the links below and follow the instructions.

Madrid Walking Tour: Manzanares River’s Story from Prehistory to Popular Park: https://voicemap.me/tour/madrid/madrid-walking-tour-manzanares-river-s-story-from-prehistory-to-popular-park

This abridged version of Tour One (see below) runs from the Matadero to the Puente de Toledo, takes around an hour and costs just over €7. It covers the river’s history from the prehistoric wildlife to the modern park development and the stories behind the city’s Patron Saints San Isidro and Santa Maria.

Madrid’s Golden Age: 500 Years of History along the Manzanares River: https://voicemap.me/tour/madrid/madrid-s-golden-age-500-years-of-history-along-the-manzanares-river

This abridged version of Tour Two (see below) runs from the Puente de Segovia to the Puente del Rey, takes around an hour and costs just over €5. Learn about the Hermitage of the Virgin del Puerto, the plans to link Madrid up to Lisbon, and the Napoleon connection.

In-Person Guided Tours

I also offer two in-person and in-depth walking tours of the Manzanares River, each covering the significance of the river in the lives of Madrid’s citizens, from its practical uses to its recent transformation into one of the city’s most popular parks.

Each tour lasts around two hours and is followed by a drink and tapas at the end.

Tour One: The Early History of the River

Toledo Bridge

Starting at the Matadero, a 1920s slaughterhouse and now a cultural centre, this 2.5km walking tour explores prehistoric wildlife, Golden Age feats of canal engineering and the river’s links to Madrid’s patron saint, San Isidro. The tour finishes at one of Madrid’s oldest bridges, the Puente de Toledo (near Marques de Vadillo metro).

Tour Two: 500 Years of River History

Segovia Bridge

Starting at Madrid’s oldest bridge, the Puente de Segovia, this tour is less than 2km in distance, but packs in around 500 years of Spanish history. Touching on Felipe II’s development of Madrid as Spain’s capital, through the Napoleonic era to the role of the river during the Civil War. The tour finishes at Puente del Rey (near Principe Pio metro).


These guided walking tours cost €110 for solo travellers, €60 per person for two (€120 for the group), €45 euros per person for three (€135 for the group), €35 euros per person for four (€140 for the group), €30 euros per person for five (€150 for the group), and €25 euros per person for six (€150 for the group). The price includes a drink and a tapas.

Larger groups can negotiate a price privately. Please contact me for more information and to book a tour.

These tours are organised in collaboration with The Making of Madrid blog and Felicity Hughes: a professional writer and editor based in Madrid. Felicity also offers a number of unique tours of Madrid, check out her website for more details: https://themakingofmadrid.com

Audio guide tour reviews:

“I’ve lived next to the Matadero for 7 years now. I’ve run and cycled this park hundreds of times. This tour really made me open my eyes to see the beauty of this newly created river path. The little details and descriptions captivated me, and I’ll be seeing my running path with new eyes from now on. The tour is excellent for anyone, as her directions and pace are super clear and concise. A must for tourists and residents alike!”.

Alison, Madrid, 2023

“What an incredible tour! I’ve lived in Madrid for 13 years, and currently live by the Madrid Rio, and never knew how rich the history of it was. Highly recommend this tour by Clare!”.

Jennifer, Madrid, 2023

“This tour is honestly amazing, I live in Madrid but would recommend to locals and tourists alike. The guide is so engaging and fun, and the information completely unique and interesting. Don’t hesitate to take the tour!!!”.

Molly, Madrid, 2023

In-person tour reviews:

“The highly creative 500 Years of River History tour made me see the iconic Manzanares River through a new lens, and I learned about agriculture, kings, secret tunnels, washing customs, borders, and how the river more recently was transformed from a sad trickle by an ugly motorway into a lovely city park. Clare is a very poised and knowledgeable guide who clearly feels passionate about history, and I’m impressed with the research she did to create this unique experience!”.

Hilary, Madrid, 2022

“Fascinating. This was absolutely the ‘Real Madrid’, which you would never find in a guidebook. Not a touristy place at all but still an integral part of the city. Historic and also modern”.

Mary Edie, USA, 2023

“Clare is enthusiastic with a deep knowledge of the area. It was a respite from the more urban and hectic parts of Madrid. Especially loved learning about the Toledo bridge”.

Paul, USA, 2023