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Vías Verdes – Traffic-free cycling along railway history in Spain

© FFE-Vías Verdes

Vías Verdes – Traffic-free cycling along railway history in Spain

Bike Touring Collection by Tourspain

16

Tours

81:50 h

669 mi

33,400 ft

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.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    03:39
    35.9 mi
    9.8 mph
    800 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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.

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  • Difficult
    11:07
    101 mi
    9.1 mph
    5,125 ft
    2,350 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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.

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  • Difficult
    08:31
    78.2 mi
    9.2 mph
    3,175 ft
    4,000 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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 …

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  • Difficult
    04:55
    40.2 mi
    8.2 mph
    2,850 ft
    4,325 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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 …

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  • Difficult
    04:30
    39.2 mi
    8.7 mph
    1,775 ft
    1,150 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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 …

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  • Difficult
    08:22
    59.0 mi
    7.1 mph
    2,525 ft
    3,125 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    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 …

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  • Intermediate
    02:20
    21.4 mi
    9.2 mph
    925 ft
    400 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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!

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  • Difficult
    07:05
    51.0 mi
    7.2 mph
    1,025 ft
    1,725 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    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 …

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  • Intermediate
    02:55
    22.3 mi
    7.7 mph
    1,400 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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.

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  • Intermediate
    02:12
    13.1 mi
    6.0 mph
    725 ft
    0 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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 …

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  • Difficult
    05:01
    46.8 mi
    9.3 mph
    2,075 ft
    1,275 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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 …

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  • Difficult
    06:32
    52.7 mi
    8.1 mph
    4,125 ft
    2,625 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    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 …

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  • Intermediate
    02:49
    18.5 mi
    6.6 mph
    675 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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.

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  • Difficult
    03:51
    33.7 mi
    8.8 mph
    2,575 ft
    1,875 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    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 …

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  • Difficult
    06:53
    49.0 mi
    7.1 mph
    2,950 ft
    1,400 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    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.

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  • Intermediate
    01:08
    7.18 mi
    6.4 mph
    700 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    16
  • Distance
    669 mi
  • Duration
    81:50 h
  • Elevation
    33,400 ft

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Vías Verdes – Traffic-free cycling along railway history in Spain