|Via verde of the Sierra Subbetica|
Spain´s Vías Verdes (railway paths) are one of Andalucia´s lesser known rural attractions and a great way to discover the countryside off the sometimes well-beaten track.
In the 1960s the Spanish government drastically reduced its regional railway routes and closed down many train lines. Since the early 1990s, the government has been transforming these former railway lines into over 100 routes nationwide (with 23 located in Andalucia), that can be used by cyclists, walkers, horse riders and wheelchair users.
The routes are usually clearly marked with posts marking the distance in kilometres and there are viewpoints and picnic areas along most vía verdes. Some railway stations have been converted into restaurants and bars or museums. Along these railway paths you can also appreciate the many engineering feats used to create the relatively flat surface through an often rugged landscape. Many vías verdes have tunnels, viaducts, cuttings and embankments.
Each vía verde has its own particular and often fascinating history, reflecting broader political, economic and social changes of the time. You can find out more about the background of many routes in museums and visitors' centres along the way, as well as on the information boards that line the vías verdes (although most of this is available in Spanish only).
In Spain the 'Via Verde' is translated into English as 'Greenway'. This makes little sense to a tourist, we prefer to use the phrase 'Railway path' which is occasionally used in the UK (eg. Deerness Valley, County Durham) although these paths in the UK are generally named locally ( eg. Wirral Way, Cheshire).
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… More →
The Vadollano greenway is nine kilometres long and runs between the town of Linares and Vadollano. The route can be explored on foot, by bike or on a horse. Some sections of the route are also… More →
The Guadalimar greenway is 20 kilometres long and runs between Linares-Baeza station and the old Begíjar station. The route is made up of farm tracks, natural footpaths and part of the old railway… More →
The Almanzora railway path is 12 kilometres in length and runs along what used to be the Guadix-Almedricos railway line, between El Cargadero de los Canos, where the train collected minerals from… More →
The Guadiana greenway is 17 kilometres long and runs along part of what used to be the mining railway line between Herrerias and Puerto de la Laja. Trains transported minerals to the river which… More →
This is a tarmac greenway which runs for just over a kilometre and a half to the town of Olula del Río. The route is accessible on foot, by bike and in a wheelchair. Sierra de las Estancias and… More →
The Lucainena de las Torres greenway runs for 5.5 kilometres, from the Punete del Saltador at the Rambla Honda to Lucainena de las Torres. It follows the path of the old mining train which ran… More →
On this greenway, Minas del Plomo (Lead Mines), you can explore Linares’ mining past. The route is 11 kilometres long and runs between the town of Linares and Los Salidos de Linares mine. The… More →
This route starts at San Juan del Puerto northeast of Huelva City and ends 36km further north in Valverde del Camino, passing through a region of gently rolling hills known as El Andévalo. The… More →
The Via Verde Subbeticas is a southern extention of the Vía Verde of the Olive Oil that originates in Jaen city. The Via Verde Subbeticas covers 56 km, much of it on the fringes of the limestone… More →
Starting from the Valverde railway station, at the end of the Vía Verde of the Watermills that links Valverde with San Juan del Puerto to the south, is this 35km-long route to Riotinto, a… More →
Possibly the most beautiful vía verde in Andalucia is the route between Puerto Serrano, west of Algodonales on the Ronda-Sevilla road, and the former bandit haven Olvera, sitting on its dramatic… More →
This vía verde (greenway) covers 55km between Jaen and the Guadajoz river, where it joins the Vía Verde of the Subbética. It is suitable for walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users. This greenway… More →
This 17km vía verde follows the former Buitrón mining railway line that once linked Mina Concepción and Zalamea la Real and was used exclusively for transporting mineral extracted from the mine (… More →
On the edge of the Sierra Nevada National Park is a 6km-long vía verde (greenway) that follows an old railway line along the lush valley of the Genil river, between Güéjar-Sierra, 15km southeast… More →
Until the 1960s, the Aznalcóllar mines northwest of Seville - still in operation today - were linked to the Guadalquivir river in the city by a railway, now the 27km-long Vía Verde de Itálica.… More →
In the Sierra Norte Natural Park is this 18km-long vía verde (greenway) that follows the Huéznar river and the course of an old mining railway. The trains carried iron (hierro) from the mine at… More →
Starting in Alcalá de Guadaíra 14km south of Seville, this vía verde (greenway) covers 28km and ends in Carmona, running along the foot of a string of hills (alcores) after which the route is… More →
Spain´s longest vía verde (Railway Path) at 91km, this route crosses the gently rolling campiña (countryside) between Valchillón, just southwest of Cordoba, and Marchena in Seville province, 60km… More →