Where puffing steam engines and rattling trains once wound their way across wide plains and through mountains in Spain, today the Vías Verdes await you. Following former railway lines that are now cycle paths, you ride to remote places from valley to valley, passing over huge viaducts and through tunnels cut into the mountains. As you cycle along old railway lines, you won’t encounter many climbs. Join us on our journey and explore undiscovered places and landscapes throughout Spain.
In this Collection, we introduce you to 16 Tours from over 100 different Vías Verdes. The Tours showcase the stunning variety of landscapes in Spain from windmills in La Mancha to bird-rich wetlands in Extremadura, wood valleys in the Basque Country, barren mountains in Castile, impressive gorges in Catalonia, and winding rivers in La Rioja. Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Vias Verdes are the historic relics dating to the golden age of the railway such as huge stone viaducts, miles of tunnels and quaint old railway stations.
The Vías Verdes are well-maintained and suitable for all ages as they are smooth and always gentle. Even children can easily cover long distances here. Some of our Tours are also perfect for small multi-day trips with manageable distances. You can also stay overnight in style as some of the historic stations have been converted into hostels and campsites.
On all of the Tours, you cycle through beautiful, lonely landscapes away from roads, villages and towns so pack enough snacks and water in your panniers. Thanks to the mild climate, you can cycle almost all of the Tours year-round. One more tip: It can get really hot on the open road in summer, but you can cool off quickly in the long, damp tunnels. Pack a light coat to make sure you don’t get cold. You should also have your bike light on hand for the tunnels as not all of them are lit.
If you don't want to take your own bike with you on the trip, that's no problem either. In many bigger cities you can easily get a good rental bike and set off for the Vías Verdes.
Whenever possible, it is also worth trying Spanish cuisine along the way. There are numerous restaurants and tapas bars in every medium-sized town, sometimes even in an old station building right on the Vía Verde.
The Vía Verde Vegas del Guadiana takes you through almost 60 kilometers through the heart of the autonomous community of Extremadura. The region is wonderfully fertile along the Vía Verde and many wetlands characterize the landscape - a paradise for countless rare birds. The tour starts in Villanueva de la Serena, which you can easily reach from Mérida by train.Like many of the Vías Verdes, this route takes you through sparsely populated and therefore magnificent landscapes - with enough provisions and water in your backpack, the dream of every cyclist. It is best to take a long break during lunch time - for example at the nearby "Embalse de Sierra Brava". You have to plan about 13 kilometers extra for the return trip to the lake. Here you can also easily find a shady spot on the lakeshore.Your destination Logrosán is only sporadically reached by public transport - be happy about it, because this way you can expand your tour a bit: Either you cycle northwest to Trujillo or plan the tour as a lap and drive along the reservoir, for example " Embalse de Orellana ”back to Villanueva de la Serena.Our tip: Gourmets should definitely try the world-famous Iberico ham and the local cheeses Queso de La Serena and Torta del Casar. For historically interested cyclists, the world heritage cities of Merida and Caceres with their perfectly preserved old towns.
The Vía Verde de Ojos Negros winds its way from the Costa del Azahar on the route of an old mine railway, always inland through the wide, fertile valley of the Río Palancia. It starts near the beach town of Sagunto, which you can easily reach by train from Castellón de la Plana or Valencia. From Sagunto another train line will take you to the starting point at the train station near Algímia d'Alfara.The path initially leads you in a northwesterly direction in the south of the Parc Natural de la Serra d'Espadà. You follow the valley of the Río Palancia upstream until you branch off from it at Jérica just behind the "Pantano el Regajo" reservoir. From here it becomes increasingly mountainous - you will overcome the vertical meters on the train route but with a consistently gentle climb in wide loops and tunnels.From Teruel the Vía Verde leads for a little more than 30 kilometers through a wide plateau north of the Río Guadalaviar until it reaches its destination in Santa Eulalia del Campo. From here you can skilfully take the train back to Sagunto.Our tip: On many routes, a modern railway line runs parallel to the route - so you also have the option of getting on the train in between and thus only traveling a partial route. In Sagunto it is definitely worth visiting the castle and the Roman theater. After the bike tour, you can of course also fortify yourself with local specialties such as paella, a cool horchata and the famous Gambas de Vinaros.
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The Vía Verde del Aceite runs along the route of the former "oil train" as it was called by the locals. The region around Jaén is known for the intensive cultivation of olives and the world's most important producer of olive oil. Hence the name of the train that used to be used mainly for its transportation. In countless loops and on a total of 13 metal bridges from the 19th century, the Vía Verde leads you through a wonderful hilly landscape full of olive trees.You start in Jaén, which can be easily reached by train from Seville, for example. The Vía Verde leads you south-west past the towns of Torredelcampo, Torredonjimeno and Martos. As far as the eye can see, geometrically designed olive groves shape the landscape. If you want, you can make a little detour into the Sierra de Ahillos about eight kilometers behind Martos, from here you have a particularly great view. You can also simply stay on the plain and follow the Vía Verde until the route through the Sierra joins it again less than two kilometers later.From Zuheros you drive past the "Parque Natural Sierras Subbéticas" in the north - and in Zuheros it is also worth a detour to the castle and the impressive tropical stone cave "Cueva de los Murciélagos". The nature park was included in the register of protected natural areas by UNESCO in 2015 and is home to numerous fossilized remains of an ancient sea that used to cover the area here. Your destination is west of the village of Puente Genil, just a few kilometers from the local train station, from where you can take the train back to Jaén or Seville via Córdoba.Our tip: If you want to learn more about olive growing in the region, we recommend a visit to the Olive Oil Information Center in the "Estación de Cabra" station. The “Centro Cicloturista Subbetica” in Doña Mencía near Cordoba is perfect for cyclists. Here you will find everything that cyclists need - including motorhome parking spaces. And if you are already on the trail of the "oil train" you should definitely take a good supply of first-class olive oil with you.
The Plazaola railway has its origins in the mining past of the region south of San Sebastián and was initially used only as a humble mine railway. From 1914 it was expanded to San Sebastián and Pamplona and now also carried passengers. After the floods in the 1950s, large sections of the railway line were destroyed so much that the line had to be closed. Today it serves as Vía Verde and offers fantastic insights into the valleys of Larraun and Leitzarán on the border from Navarre to Guipúzcoa.The route starts at Eritze southwest of Irurtzun, which can be easily reached by train from Pamplona. It ends at Andoain, south of San Sebastián. If you want, you can drive the route in the opposite direction. Both the entry and exit points are easy to reach by train.You leave the plain very quickly and dive into the world of the Basque highlands at Irurtzun. It is hard to believe that you will be facing a comparatively few meters in altitude while you wind your way through the high peaks of the mountains, initially along the Larraun Ibaia river. In Lekunberri you leave the Vía Verde for a short distance because the Bartolo tunnel is closed due to the risk of collapse. Shortly after the village you swivel in on it again.You can easily drive through the high mountain pass thanks to the almost three (!) Kilometer long tunnel from Uitzi - by the way, it is the longest cycle tunnel in Europe. Better put on something warm here, because it can get quite fresh in such a deep cave. From the village of Leitza, follow the Leitzaran Ibaia river for the rest of the route, which will take you to your destination in Andoain. A short detour to San Sebastián from here shouldn't be a problem. There you will also find enough accommodation options.Our tip: The Leitzaran biotope and the Mendukilo cave are unique natural sites that you should definitely include in your tour.
The Ferrocarril del Tajuña railway line was originally designed to connect Madrid with the autonomous community of Aragon. The purpose of the train at that time was mainly of importance for agriculture. Although the railway never made it to Aragon, it ended at a train station on the banks of the Tagus (which is now completely flooded by the Entrepeñas reservoir), but the train was still in use for about 50 years, until freight traffic started to slow so slowly in the 1950s fell asleep and the tracks were gradually removed. Where the train used to roll, you can now cycle relaxed through the impressive landscape east of Madrid.You start in Arganda del Rey, which can be easily reached from Madrid by metro (line 9). On the outskirts of the city, you cycle southwards out of the city and soon reach the “El Alto” plateau, which has a small incline. In the village of Morata de Tajuña you reach the river that gave this Vía Verde its name and you can take a nice break in one of the bars in the center of the village before continuing upstream to the east.As you have probably already noticed, the route of this Vía Verde is mainly characterized by an unmistakably red road surface. This makes it easy to follow the tour, even without keeping a close eye on the navigation system. But you can let your gaze wander into the landscape, which shines in a true green, especially in spring, and sets a beautiful contrast to the red bicycle path.Shortly after Ambite you leave the banks of the Tajuña and drive a little further east via Mondéjar to Pozo de Almoguera. If you would like to cycle back to Madrid in one lap, a trip along the reservoirs in the east is a good option for the next day. From its northern end, the path winds back to the deep valley of the Tajuña and past Guadalajara back to Madrid.Our tip: Railway enthusiasts should definitely take a look at the small railway museum “Museo del Ferrocarril de la Proveda”, which is about four kilometers away from Vía Verde. This Vía Verde is also part of the “CiclaMadrid” cycling network - which offers a total of over 700 kilometers of cycle paths. You can find more information here: ciclamadrid.viasverdes.com/index-en.html
The impressive route along the railway line, which formerly connected the Basque Country and Navarre, takes you over 95 kilometers through the beautiful landscape of the Basque Highlands. As in many places in northern Spain, thanks to the humid, Atlantic climate, the vegetation is different from the rest of the country.The Vía Verde starts north of Vitoria-Gasteiz near the village of Leintz Gatzaga. The starting point cannot be reached by public transport, so it is advisable to travel to Vitoria and take this almost 20-kilometer section as a small extra tour - a signposted access route has been set up especially for cyclists. Vitoria is the basis for this.From Vitoria we continue east through the mountains and along the "Parque Natural de Izki". From your destination in Estella / Lizarra, a bus will take you back to Vitoria / Gasteiz. Alternatively, you can extend the loop from Estella via Logroño, then drive up the Ebro and follow the Zadorra river south of Miranda de Ebro back to Vitoria.Our tip: culture lovers should definitely plan a visit to the monastery church "Santuario de Estibaliz".
The Viá Verde del Pas takes you on a relaxed half-day tour right into the heart of Cantabria. You start south of Santander at the estuary of the Ría de Tijero in El Astillero. If you let your gaze wander to the west, you can even see the high, white peaks of the Picos de Europa in the distance - a fabulous sight!Inland you follow the Vía Verde slightly uphill and soon you reach the lush green nature park "Parque Natural de Peña Cabarga". Incidentally, part of this nature park is also the "Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno" - a former iron mine that has been renatured today and is home to an animal park. At La Penilla you swing into the valley of the Río Pisueña and shortly after you switch to the valley of the Río Pas at Puente Viesgo.The river bank of the Río Pas is also a recognized nature reserve, which serves as a retreat for many endemic species within a wide variety of habitats. The Vía Verde ends north of the village of Alceda. There are also a few isolated accommodation and restaurants here.You can now decide whether you want to drive the same route back towards Santander or take a large lap back to the coast. Another worthwhile destination on the Cantabrian Sea is the lagoon between Laredo and Santoña. Santoña is known as a traditional fishing village above all for its fresh, first-class anchovies, which are offered for sale directly on the street. As a dessert, you should also try Sobaos Pasiegos.Our tip: If you are already in Cantabria, you should not miss the world-famous cave of Altamira! In the cave at Santillana del Mar there are countless Stone Age paintings - the cave is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and rightly so. The cave itself can no longer be visited to protect the paintings, but there is a first-class reproduction in the adjacent museum.
The Vía Verde in the Eresma Valley starts in Segovia northwest of Madrid. You can easily reach the city from Madrid by train. The route leads past the train station in Segovia, but it is worth investing some time to take a closer look at the old town with its imposing aqueduct. Therefore the starting point is right there.After about 13 kilometers you join the Río Eresma, which runs through the landscape like a green ribbon due to the lush vegetation around it. You follow it up to Armuña, where you turn in a large curve around the village to the west.Although you are still in the Eresma Valley, you are now keeping some distance between yourself and the river. About 20 kilometers before your destination you will pass the place Nava de la Asunción, which is ideal for a break in one of the quaint street bars. Then you reach the end of the Vía Verde south of Olmedo. The nearest train station is about 20 kilometers west of Olmedo in Medina del Campo.Our tip: For history buffs and fans of the Middle Ages, this tour is an absolute pleasure: from the old town of Segovia, through the impressive Alcázar de Segovia castle to Castillo de Coca and the monastery of Santa Maria de Nieva, there are many side trips along the route - We have planned the two castles for you!
Originally conceived as a railway line for agriculture and ore mining, the railway line between Calahorra and Arnedillo was finally closed in the 1960s. However, it experienced a new form of use almost 30 years later than Vía Verde and has since enabled cyclists of all ages to explore the unique rock formations of this region on relaxed paths.The route starts in Calahorra in the Ebro Valley. For example, Calahorra can be easily reached by train from Logroño. Following the Río Cidacos upstream, you will soon reach Autol in the south, which invites you to take a first break. Autol in particular knows how to inspire with its surreal-looking rock formations in the center of town. To visit the village, you branch off from Vía Verde for a short distance.Then the path continues westwards along the banks of the Cidacos until you reach the end of Vía Verde and thus your destination in Arnedillo. The public thermal pools on the banks of the river invite you to relax after a relaxing day. A suitable overnight stay should also be found. If you still have energy and time left, you can of course simply cycle back the route or alternatively take a big lap towards Tudela, a little further south of the Ebro, where the Vía Verde de Tarazonica is waiting for you.Our tip: In addition to the bike path, the region has a lot more to offer - so plan a longer stay. Culture lovers take a look at the Cathedral of Calahorra and naturalists are drawn to the Dinosaur Trail - on the "Ruta de las Icnitas" you can admire fossilized dinosaur footprints.
The history of this railway line dates back to 1885. As a rather modest narrow-gauge railway, the “El Tarazonica” train connected the cities of Tudela with Tarazona in the southwest and was known to compatriots more for its slowness than for its efficiency. That was one of the reasons why the line was slowly but surely replaced by public buses and truck traffic in the middle of the 20th century and was subject to decay. This Vía Verde also bears the name “Route of the Cathedrals” because of the impressive churches in Tudela and Tarazona.You start your bike tour along the historic railway in Tudela on the banks of the Ebro. Tudela can be easily reached by train from Zaragoza or Logroño. Take some time to visit the city and its medieval heritage before heading out to Vía Verde. In all comfort, you cycle south-west past the towns of Murchante and Cascante.It doesn't take too long on this extremely pleasant route and you will already reach your destination Tarazona. Here you can again take some time to take a closer look at the city with its historical buildings. Then you can start your way back to Tudela, or if you like, take a trip to the "Embalse del Val" reservoir a few kilometers southwest of the city.Our tip: In nearby Tulebras you can visit the impressive Santa María de la Caridad monastery - the oldest female Cistercian monastery in all of Spain was founded in the 12th century. Just a few kilometers north of Tudela is the Las Bardenas Reales Nature Park - a barren semi-desert with bizarre rock formations, narrow valleys and steep mountain slopes. Several films have already been made in this setting - most recently Game of Thrones.
The Vía Verde de la Sierra de Alcaraz used to be part of the rail project that was to connect the cities of Baeza near Jaén and Utiel near Valencia. Although the tracks were already laid, the project was abandoned during the construction phase because long-distance traffic on the roads threatened to replace rail traffic.A unique and varied landscape awaits you on the route: sometimes dry and barren, then again lush green, sometimes soft and flat, sometimes rocky and deeply incised. The only major towns you pass on this bike tour are 30 and 60 kilometers after the start, respectively. Nor are they directly on the Vía Verde. So you have to branch off briefly from this if you want to make a pit stop.You start your tour in the middle of the lowlands of la Mancha in Albacete, which is also known for the good quality of its knives - maybe you still lack one in your luggage. In the south-west direction, you initially drive through agricultural areas, before the area around Balazote becomes increasingly barren and rugged.From the end of Vía Verde it is only a few kilometers to Alcaraz. From there, a bus drives back to Albacete. If you would like to add to your tour, a trip to the Sierra de Cazorla is about 70 kilometers south-southwest of Alcaraz.Our tip: Nearby you can visit the nature reserves Laguna Ojos de Villaverde or the Laguna del Arquillo. You will also meet the distinctive windmills Don Quixote has fought against everywhere in Castilla la Mancha. If you are interested in local specialties, we definitely recommend Manchego cheese in combination with a regional wine.
The Vía Verde del Val de Zafán comes from a railway project from the 19th century. At that time, the Spanish military advocated the idea that if enemy forces ever invaded the Pyrenees, a second line of defense on the south bank of the Ebro could prove useful. A route for a supply railway should also be created as part of the defense line. However, the project was never completed. How nice, because today you can cycle wonderfully relaxed through idyllic mountain landscapes and over fascinating gorges on the route created at the time. Such great insights into untouched nature are usually only available in combination with significantly more vertical meters.You start your tour in Tortosa, not far from the mouth of the Ebro. Tortosa can be easily reached by train, for example from Tarragona. The Ebro Delta is the second largest river delta in the entire Mediterranean after the Nile Delta. So it is worthwhile to pay another visit. But it is better to come by during the day, in the evening a lot of mosquitos buzz around the area due to the rice cultivation.First you follow the course of the Ebro leisurely upstream until you go left into the mountains after about 20 kilometers. Quite right, if you look towards the mountains and take a further look at the elevation profile of the route, you will surely think that something might be wrong here. How should that fit together? The secret is hidden in the tunnels of the old railway line - you simply drive through the mountains instead of over them. On the way you land again and again in new idyllic valleys splashing through the small streams, while rugged mountains loom on the horizon. It's hard to imagine such a fascinating landscape if you haven't seen it yourself.From the village of Bot, agriculture is slowly regaining supremacy over the landscape. Between pine and almond trees, the route continues to Valdealgorfa, where the Vía Verde ends. There are also a few isolated accommodation options here. If you want to take a break in a locality on the way, remember to leave Vía Verde in good time, because the route itself usually leads past all localities at an average distance of one kilometer. From time to time you will also come across former station buildings that have since been converted into a restaurant. Here you can take a break in a historic atmosphere.The only means of public transport to reach the destination of Vía Verde are buses. Alternatively, you can cycle back the route or incorporate it into a lap. If you drive from Valdealgorfa, for example in a generous curve to the south, you will pass the "Parc Natural dels Ports". Another worthwhile destination on the coast is the Parc Natural de la Serra d'Irta. Alternatively, you can shorten the route and simply turn around at the village of Bot to return to Tortosa.Our tip: The information center of the Els Ports Natural Park is located in Roquetes, just under three kilometers from Tortosa. In the village of Bot you can also taste excellent wines from the Terra Alta region. Particularly practical if you have a lot of luggage with you: There are companies in the region that take over the luggage transport for you.
Mallorca had a rail network in the 1930s, the density of which, proportionally speaking, was about twice that of the entire Spanish mainland. At that time, however, road traffic was slowly gaining ground and the railway lines were increasingly left to decay. Nowadays, thanks to Vía Verde Manacor-Artá, you can complement your stay in Mallorca with a leisurely stroll through the east of the holiday island.You can still reach Manacor, your starting point, quite well by train, for example from Palma. On a fairly flat route, the route runs in two light loops towards the northeast. You will always come across old station buildings along the route. The relics of the former railway line are mostly empty, but are not infrequently restored and are definitely nice to look at.You pass the two towns of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar and Son Servera before your bike tour ends in the northeast at Artá. From here, a bus drives back to Manacor, or on to Palma. Alternatively, it is a good idea to end the round in a southwesterly direction back to Manacor.Our tip: Since the route is quite short, it is definitely worth thinking about a subsequent detour. Cyclists interested in history continue to the archaeological site "Poblat Talaiòtic des Ses Païsses" and if you prefer to swim, you will also find several cycle paths directly to the beaches.
The Vía Verde through the Sierra de la Demanda begins in Arlanzón, a small town east of Burgos. This can only be reached from Burgos by bus. You can also cycle it from Burgos by bike, which means about 20 kilometers more for your tour.The Río Arlanzón will be your constant companion up to the pass halfway along the Vía Verde. You only leave it for a short distance and turn cross-country into the hills. Shortly afterwards you will get back to its course on the bank of the reservoir that it flows through.Today it really goes high and you go up to 1,400 meters in the middle of the Sierra de la Demanda, the northern border of the Iberian Mountains. In the past, iron ore was transported on this route from the Sierra mountains to Burgos. A short time later, the railway line was also opened to passengers until it was no longer profitable after only nine years and was closed in 1910.From the pass it goes slowly downhill again, over the valleys of the Río Valdorcas and the Río Pedroso at Barbadillo de Herreros. From here the Vía Verde continues in a small arc to Monterrubio de la Demanda. The connection to public transport (buses) is much better in Barbadillo.Our tip: The natural oak and beech forests around Burgos are a real treat for nature lovers - and those interested in history will get their money's worth at the archaeological site "Yacimiento de Atapuerca". The site is part of the world cultural heritage and is around 15 kilometers east of Burgos.
Another railway line that was no longer profitable due to the emergence of highways in the middle of the 20th century and was decommissioned. You start your tour on the outskirts of Murcia, the capital of the region of the same name. The Murcia del Carmen train station is in the south of the city. If you want, you can combine the way to Vía Verde with a small city tour.Shortly after the city limits you join the Río Mula, whose valley accompanies you as far as Bullas. Here you have already reached the highest point of the tour and continue north-west to Cehegín before the Vía Verde ends a short time later in Caravaca de la Cruz.The region around Murcia is one of the most sun-drenched areas in Spain - even in spring and autumn it is already pleasantly warm and perfect for a long bike ride. The special hill shapes and tunnels, bridges and impressive viaducts ensure a lot of variety on this tour.In your destination Caravaca de la Cruz - a famous Christian pilgrimage site - you will find some accommodation options to rest. Here you can also decide whether you want to go back to Murcia on the Vía Verde, return by bus or complement your tour with a tour of the impressive Sierra Espuña in the southeast.Our tip: Seven of the old train stations have been renovated and now function as hostels. So you can easily split the bike tour over several days and also discover the small towns along the way.
The Vía Verde del Eo is one of the shorter former railway lines that have now been redesigned into a cycle path. It starts north of the village of O Chao and follows the river valley of the Eo all the way to A Pontenova. In one section you drive exactly on the border between the autonomous communities of Galicia and Asturias, which is naturally described by the river.The route from O Chao to A Pontenova often leads you through the vegetation that is typical of this region and lush green thanks to the humid climate. There are no other towns between the start and end points of Vía Verde, so it's best to take some provisions with you if you want to take a break along the way.The relatively short distance also opens up various options for adding to the route. So you can start your day of cycling in Vegadeo without any problems, which can also be cleverly reached by train. If you want to extend your tour to the south, Lugo is the ideal destination. The next train station is there in this direction. Until then, you should plan at least one more day through the deepest Galician province.Our tip: In the nearby town of San Tirso de Abres you can discover industrial culture from the 19th century. But gourmets are not neglected here either. The regional cider, the hearty blue cheese from Cabrales and of course fish and seafood from Galicia will make your mouth water.