Formerly part of the Jerez-Almargen railway line, the Via Verde de la Sierra or “Greenway” complete with its many tunnels and “railway stations” is today an easy-going cycle path and walking route. There are 36.5km of the remaining line to explore, with the mid point being at Corípe, connecting the towns of Puerto Serrano and Olvera at either end.
Along this route one can explore a great variety of landscapes, transitioning between agricultural land and mountainous valleys. Masses of Mediterranean forest here is home to holm oak, carob trees, mastic trees and wild olive to mention a few.
The trail is reasonably flat and follows the course of the rivers Guadalete and Guadalporcún, which peel off the route as we approach the town of Olvera. Vultures soar overhead once the thermals are strong enough to allow them to climb and the route is home to an ornithological watchtower and visitors centre close to the limestone rock of Zaframagón – a nesting area for around 200 breeding pairs. (If you fancy having even a greater and more informative bird watching experience have a look at our bird watching tours)
The old train stations of Puero Serrano, Corípe and Olvera have been brought back to life and turned into bar come restaurants – a fabulous place to lean the bike against the wall, kick back with a beer and enjoy a selection of delicious tapas.
There are 30 tunnels along the route, with the longest ones illuminated. There are 4 viaducts with the most spectacular crossing the Guadalporcún River – at 237 meters in length. Several drinking water fountains can be found along the way and each water station location is marked on the many information boards placed along the route.
Don’t have your own bike? No problem – bike hire is available at each end and at the middle of the Via Verde, should you only want to explore half of the way, saving the rest of the exploration for your second visit!