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Vias Verdes

Via verde of the Sierra Subbetica
Via verde of the Sierra Subbetica

Vias Verdes

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 - Almanzora

This 12km route runs along what used to be the Guadix-Almedricos railway line. More >

Via Verde - Coast

This 49km long route links the appealing border town of Ayamonte, and Gibraleón. More >

Via Verde - Countryside

This 91km route crosses the countryside between Valchillón, just southwest of Cordoba, and Marchena in Seville province. More >

Via Verde - Guadalimar River

The Guadalimar greenway is 20km long and runs between Linares-Baeza station and the old Begíjar station. More >

Via Verde - Guadiana River

The Guadiana greenway is in Huelva province and is 17 kilometres long. More >

Vía Verde - Hills

Starting in Alcalá de Guadaíra 14km south of Seville, this vía verde covers 28km and ends in Carmona. More >

Vía Verde - Huéznar River

This 18km vía verde follows the Huéznar river and the course of an old mining railway. More >

Vía Verde - Itálica

Explore the Roman archaeological site of Itálica and continue northwest to Gerena. More >

Vía Verde - Lead Mines

This route is 11km long and runs between the town of Linares and Los Salidos de Linares mine. More >

Vía Verde - Linares

The Linares greenway is 6km long and runs between Linares and the Linares-Baeza station. More >

Vía Verde - Lucainena

The Lucainena de las Torres greenway runs for 5.5km, from the Punete del Saltador at the Rambla Honda to Lucainena de las Torres. More >

Vía Verde - Odiel River

This 17km vía verde follows the former Buitrón mining railway line that once linked Mina Concepción and Zalamea la Real. More >

Via Verde - Olive Oil

This vía verde covers 55km between Jaen and the Guadajoz river, where it joins the Vía Verde of the Subbética. More >

Via Verde - Olula del Río

This is a tarmac greenway which runs for just over a kilometre and a half to the town of Olula del Río. More >

Via Verde - Olvera

Possibly the most beautiful vía verde in Andalucia is between Puerto Serrano, west of Algodonales and the former bandit haven Olvera. More >

Via Verde - Rio Tinto

Starting from the Valverde railway station is this 35km-long route to Riotinto, a historically important mining centre. More >

Vía Verde - Sierra Nevada

On the edge of the Sierra Nevada is a 6km-long vía verde that follows an old railway line between Güéjar-Sierra and the Barranco de San Juan to the east. More >

Vía Verde - Subbética

Links a series of beautiful villages, such as Zuheros, Luque and Cabra, crossing several magnificent viaducts and passing through a tunnel. More >

Vía Verde - Watermills

This route starts at San Juan del Puerto northeast of Huelva city and ends 36km further north in Valverde del Camino. More >

Vía Verde - Vadollano

The Vadollano greenway is 9km long and runs between the town of Linares and Vadollano. More >

See and Do