Sheep, goats and their shepherds fill the streets of Madrid

by Lorraine Williamson

MADRID – The date has been set for the celebration of the XXVIII Transhumance Festival in Madrid. October 24 will see the streets filled with sheep and goats and their shepherds.

The event highlights the impact of climate change and the effect if has on thousands of livestock. The law that protects the livestock routes of Spain is commemorated, including the free movement of these hers from one area to another for summer and winter.

Free activities

Before the main event, on October 22 and 23, there will be lots of free activities for everyone to enjoy. The flock starts to arrive on the morning of the 22nd at the entrance to the Casa de Campo via the Puerta del Zarón.

Family events

Then, the following day, it is the turn of the children over the age of 7, to become shepherds for the day. This is something for all the family. As well as it is fun, it is educational also.

Cogesa Expats

Also, until the end of October, you can visit the photography exhibition – “100 years of the Mesta”. It features photos from ranchers who have taken part in transhumance over the last few years. This is also free to enter and can be found at the Casa de Campo Environmental Education and Information Centre (CIEACC), on Paseo Embarcadero.


The full itinerary of the event has not yet been confirmed; however, it is expected to follow a similar format to other years. Therefore, it should begin in the Casa de Camp and continue through the Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, and finish in Cibeles. Here is where members of the City Council greet the shepherds. The tradition is for them to deliver 50 maravedis for every 1,000 livestock that crossed through La Villa. This is the price that shepherds had to pay to use the trails.

Once the ceremony is complete, the ranchers and their flocks return to the Casa de Campo. 

For more information as it becomes available, visit

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