Rail Trails

Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba, Valencia, Spain

What is a "rail trail", or "greenway"?

A greenway, or rail trail, is a trail found in both urban and rural settings that is frequently created out of a disused railway, canal towpath, utility or similar right of way, and converted for use as a multi-use path, typically for walking, cycling and sometimes horse riding. 

As a general rule, greenways don't accept the use of unauthorised motor vehicles and have hardly any steep slopes. 

The term used in Spain to denominate greenways is "vía verde", and with more than 2,500 kilometres of rail trails composing a network of 117 cycling and walking itineraries, Spain ranks high in the European greenways scene. 

Spain's greeways are managed or coordinated by the Spanish Railways Foundation (Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles), an institution which was created in 1985. Many of the converted tracks were originally built for the mining industry, connecting remote mountain sites with port locations on the coast, now offering picturesque rides from wild interior landscapes to the seaside. 

Taking in out of the way villages and running through spectacular countryside, they are ideal for gentle pottering about on your bike and getting to know the local surroundings.  

Greenways in the Valencia Region

The Valencia Region currently has 12 functioning greeways, offering a total of around 180 km of traffic-free routes, with more to be opened in the future.

Detailed information of the region's greeways, including descriptions, maps, profiles and points of interest, can be found in English and Spanish at the Spanish Railways Foundation website:

Spanish Railways Foundation website

Michael Dixon