Via Verde de la Sierra in Andalucia, southern Spain
Via Verde or Greenways
We ride on the Via Verde de la Sierra on our family cycling holidays, leisure cycling holidays and white villages of Andalucia Tour. The route meanders through the valley from Puerto Serrano to Olvera following the Guadelete and Gaudalporcun rivers crossing 4 viaducts and through 30 tunnels along the way. This is a part of Spain that you can only experience by riding or walking as no traffic is allowed.
We can also arrange bike hire and guided day rides along the Via Verde.
History of the Via Verde de la Sierra
The Via Verde, ‘Greenway’, is a great place to go riding as there is no traffic. These ‘Greenways’ have been established throughout Spain by converting unused railway lines into recreational areas for leisure cycling, walking and horse riding thus bringing, much needed, jobs into rural areas.
The one local to our home, in Montecorto, runs from Puerto Serrano to Olvera covering 36km and has 30 tunnels. The longest tunnel being the “castle tunnel” some 990m and of the 4 viaducts along the Via Verde the one at Coripe is the most impressive at 237m long. There are 5 old railway stations along the route with the stations at Olvera, Coripe and Puerto Serrano being used as restaurants and accommodation, the station at the Peñon Zaframagon is now an information centre dedicated to the colony of Griffon Vultures and the last remaining station at Navalgruilla is still derelict.
The railway line was originally built in the late 1920’s and ran from Jerez de la Frontera to Almargen but was never used. During the Spanish Civil War the tracks were ripped up and used to make weapons of mass destruction!
The Peñon Zaframagon
The Peñon Zaframagon is a large limestone outcrop of rock with a colony of Griffon Vultures, the old railway station here has been converted into a nature centre dedicated to the Griffons, inside the centre you can watch webcam images of these huge birds. This information centre is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and on all public holidays. There is an entrance fee of 2 Euros per person, however, the old man running it very rarely asks for the money. Please do pay for your entrance as this helps maintain this important facility.