Via Verde - Sierra DE BAZA
Via Verde Sierra de Baza follows the lower northern slopes of the Sierra de Baza. It lies just to the north and outside the Sierra de Baza natural park.
The Via Verde Sierra de Baza is 9,4 km long and runs for a few km north and south of Baza town as far as the municipal limits with Zujar and Caniles. The track of the original railway line connected villages of Zujar, Baza and Caniles and whilst this extended route can be navigated certain parts such as crossing the A-92N are blocked.
Most of the Via Verde Sierra de Baza is compressed stone and some if it, particularly through Baza town is ashphalt.
Via Verde Sierra de Baza is suitable for walkers and cyclists.
Km markers number from the north end southwards.
The Via verde slopes gently to the south. The northern limit is at altitude 937m and the southern limit is at 833m
The best access points if you are touring by car are the north or south ends :
Northern end Crossing with the A-334. (GPS: 37.503340, -2.786255)
Southern end of the Vía Verde, outside Caniles crossing A-334 y la A-92N. (GPS: 37.470109, -2.738885)
The best access point from Baza town are:
(parking is availble in these locations)
Baza town, crossing with the calle Cantarería. (GPS 37.493323, -2.781407)
Baza town, crosing with calle Adarve de las Monjas. (GPS: 37.482613, -2.772397)
Baza station is also a good starting point. You will walk wither north or south.
Railway historyThe original railway opened in Baza on the 16 December 1894. It was part of the Great Southern Railway Company Ltd (founded in London) which linked Baza with Lorca (Murcia) and Aguilas on the coast where a ship loading pier was constructed. The original consesion for the route had been let by the government in 1874 but after works started the company went bancrupt. The Great Southern Railway Company Ltd had intended to link with Guadix and Granada but suffering from lack of funds caused by the difficult terrain, this part was carried out by others. The company stayed independent but during the civil war a "Workers Cooperative" seized the line and threw the management out. General Manager - John Gillman was thrown into jail but later managed to escape to Gibraltar.After the civil war the company was administered by the large MZA railway company and was nationalised into RENFE in 1948. Steam engines pulled trains until at least 1966. Steam engine "Águilas" remains on a plinth in Águilas Harbour. RENFE closed the Lorca to Guadix line in 1984. Full story and a book (buy from Amazon - see right hand margin ) by Don Gaunt about the Great Southern Railway the can be read here.