Feature - Greenways

Vías Verdes - Rail trails in Spain

Spain has over 2,800 kilometres of disused railways that have been converted into traffic-free "greenways" for use by cyclists, walkers, horse-riders, etc.

The ever-expanding nationwide network currently includes 11 former rail routes within the Valencian Community.


FEATURE

Vías Verdes

Over 2,800 kilometres of disused railways in Spain that have been recovered and reconditioned for use by walkers and cyclists as part of the “Vías Verdes” (literally, "green-ways") Programme, which is co-ordinated by the Spanish Railways Foundation (Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles).

The Foundation’s remit is to promote all aspects related to the Spanish railway system by means of cultural activities, courses, museums, publications, studies, archives and libraries, etc.

Most of the Vías Verdes are easily-accessible, and being flat and even, provide no technical difficulties, making them a different, enjoyable and environmentally-friendly way for people of all ages and abilities to get to know Spain, its culture and its landscapes: the 500+ tunnels and 1100+ viaducts and bridges that populate the routes ensure continuity and universal accessibility.

At the time of writing there are 117 routes in total, ranging from those covering only a few kilometres, urban trails and country tracks through to itineraries of up to 190 kilometres, all closed to motor traffic and equipped with information panels, signage and, in some cases, with guides available. There are also places you can hire bikes on certain routes, and you will also find accommodation, guesthouses and restaurants where you can rest and replenish your energy. It’s worth mentioning that 98 old railway stations have been restored as rural hotels, restaurants, cafés, bike rental points, information offices or small museums

Vías Verdes in the Valencian Community

There are currently 11 Vías Verdes in the Valencian Community:

Alicante

Dénia Greenway 6 Km
  Flat route following the coast through orange groves to the historic city of Dénia.
Alcoi Greenway* 10 Km
  Following the course of the old Alcoi-Alicante railway in the Font Roja Natural Park.
Maigmó Greenway 22 Km
  A route punctuated with tunnels and viaducts in a land of potters and vineyards.
Torrevieja Greenway 6.7 Km
  Based on the old Albatera-Torrevieja railway through the Laguna Rosa salt lake.
Xixarra Greenway 15 Km
  Currently composed of 15 km of the original 84km of railway to the town of Biar.
Ibi Greenway 1.5 Km
  Running through a broad valley of farmland between the Menetjador and Cuartel ranges.
 
Serpis Greenway*
  The spectacular Serpis Greenway runs from Muro de Alcoy to the coastal city of Gandia, following the route of the "Tren dels Anglesos" railway line along the River Serpis. Work is currently underway to connect this 40km route to the Alcoi Greenway.

Castellón

Del Mar Greenway 5.7 Km
  Running along the wild and natural coast between Benicàssim and Oropesa del Mar.
Ojos Negros Greenway 67.7 Km
  Castellón section of the Sierra Menera railway greenway, which continues into Teruel.

Valencia

Ojos Negros Greenway 67.7 Km
 The Valencia section of the Sierra Menera railway greenway, continuing into Castellón.
Safor Greenway 7 Km
  A straight, flat route through orange groves from Gandia to Oliva.
Xurra Greenway 15 Km
  Through farmland from the city of Valencia to the Ojos Negros greenway in Sagunto
Llíria Greenway 6 Km
  A flat route through the hills and countryside of the rural district of Camp de Túria.

There is a full range of complete information and downloadable guides available at the Foundation’s website: Vías Verdes

The Valencian Regional Government has made a downloadable guide to the region's greenways available on its Tourisme Comunitat Valenciana website: Guide to Greenways in Valencia

Michael Dixon

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