My uncle, who lives in the south of Spain, has just sent me this article about the Vias Verdes cycle routes in Spain. It was originally posted on the website Eye on Spain / Max Abroad: The Best of Spain and I hope they don’t mind me republishing it here as the routes do deserve as much exposure as they can get. I used a few of them when cycling in Spain last summer and they were a wonderful way to avoid the traffic on the roads. The surfaces of the paths didn’t always make for easy cycling but the spectacular views that they afforded compensated somewhat. Here is the article:
“This is such a wonderful initiative that I wanted to share it with you all as I have only recently discovered it…
Vías Verdes or literally, “Green-Ways” are old disused railway lines that have been recovered and reconditioned for use by walkers and cyclists. Exploring them is a different, enjoyable and environmentally friendly way of getting to know Spain, its culture and its landscapes.
This is an alternative ideal for all ages, which respects the environment and brings together sport and the great outdoors. Many years ago when the trains stopped rolling over these tracks once and for all, they fell into disrepair and were totally forgotten about. The old lines have now had their rails removed, and what was once the domain of wagons and locomotives is the realm of cyclists, walkers and day-trippers.
There are 1,800 kilometres of “Green-Ways” all over Spain. They are easy to get to, and being flat and even, provide no technical difficulties – ideal for all kinds of people: adults, children, the elderly and disabled too. It is well worth taking a trip on one of these trails where motor vehicles are forbidden. Not even mopeds are allowed on these routes, which are synonymous with safety and respect for the environment.
From north to south and east to west, there are 80 established itineraries and thousands of kilometres to be covered on fascinating routes that will take you to stunning spots and reveal a great deal about Spain’s cultural heritage. The panels and signposts along the way will keep you constantly informed about interesting artistic locations and landscapes. In some cases there are even guides and guided visits available for certain areas: you just have to choose your line. There are also many places you can hire bikes on certain routes. On your way you will also be able to find accommodation, guesthouses and restaurants where you can rest and replenish your energy.
There are a host of possibilities: routes barely reaching kilometres, urban trails, country tracks through to itineraries of up to 190 kilometres. All in all, an original, varied alternative for those who want to discover Spain’s rich landscapes and cultural sites in an easy, environmentally friendly way.
Here are a selection of some of the best routes around the country but to get full details of each itinerary and the different stages, sights and services along the way go to the interactive “Green -Ways” map and click on the route that interests you.”
GO TO “GREEN-WAYS” SPAIN INTERACTIVE MAP
1. Vía Verde de la Sierra de la Demanda / Burgos 54 Km
2. Vía Verde de la Senda del Oso / Asturias 36 Km
3. Vía Verde Tajuña I y II Guadalajara / Madrid 21 Km and 49 Km
4. Vía Verde del Pas / Cantabria 34 Km
5. Vía Verde del Cidacos / La Rioja 34 Km
6. Vía Verde de la Sierra / Cádiz – Sevilla 36 Km
7. Vía Verde del Valle de Turón / Asturias 14 Km
8. Vía Verde de la Jara / Toledo 52 Km
9. Via Verde de los Alcores / Sevilla 25 Km
10. Vía Verde de las Vegas del Guadiana y las Villuercas / Cáceres – Badajoz 56 Km
11. Vía Verde Subbética / Córdoba 56 Km
12. Vía Verde del Val de Zafán / Teruel 33.6 Km
13. Via Verde de Alcaraz / Albacete 74 Km
14. Via Verde del Noroeste / Murcia 48 Km
15. Vía Verde del Litoral / Huelva 49 Km
16. Via Verde del Aceite / Jaén 55 Km
17. Vía Verde del Campo de Cartagena / Murcia 51 Km
18. Vía Verde del Ojailén / Ciudad Real 30 Km
19. Via Verde de la Campiña I y II Córdoba / Sevilla 28 Km y 65 Km
20. Vía Verde de Ojos Negros I y II Castellón – Valencia / Teruel 67.7 Km and 92 Km
21. Via Verde del Serpis Alicante – Valencia 40 Km
22. Vía Verde del Carrilet / Girona 108 Km
23. Via Verde de Maigmó / Alicante 22 Km
24. Via Verde de Xurra / Valencia 15 Km
25. Vía Verde de la Terra Alta y el Baix Ebre / Tarragona 23 and 26 Km.
All the text and photographs are copyright Eye on Spain / Max Abroad: The Best of Spain.
I used the Ojos Negros trail from Teruel to Segunt outside of Valencia. Highly recommended. It’s mostly downhill for the last 70km, tarmac or a gravelled surface and goes over viaducts and through tunnels. There’s very few camping sites but plenty of hostals and the locals are cottoning on to the fact people come to cycle this trail.
Here is the official Spanish website for these greenways: http://www.viasverdes.com/en/principal.asp
It includes maps for every route and some translation into English.
Actually, I am spanish. I live in the south of Spain and I strongly recommend these “Vias Verdes”
All of them are great, but if you are interested in Andalucía, “la vía verde del aceite” is perfect to cycle around the well-known “pueblos blancos” (white villages) of Andalucía. MUST have Olive oil with some bread for breakfast!
Thanks for this. Noted and mentally filed for future reference.