Vias Verdes in Cadiz: the best “greenways”

22 Aug
Last update: 20 January, 2020

The Vias Verdes in Cadiz are an excellent way to discover the outskirts of the province.

Just like the Vias Verdes in Cordoba, the greenways of Cadiz were regional railways until the 1960s and got renovated and converted into traffic-free routes for cyclists, horse-riders and nature lovers.

Out of the 27 green ways in Andalucia, the province of Cadiz welcomes 4, plus 2 of recent declaration. They are easy to walk, usually flat and well-maintained, spread with gorgeous viewpoints, restaurants and rest areas.

Via Verde de la Sierra

  • Departure: Puerto Serrano
  • Arrival: Olvera
  • Length: 36 km

This greenway meanders through 36 km between the Sierra de Cadiz (in the northern area of the province) and Sierra Sur of Seville (southern area of the province). Just like other Spain’s Vias Verdes, this greenway is open year-round 24/7, and it leads nature lovers along the old railroad that used to connect Jerez-Almargen.

Fun fact
The railway was built in the 1920s but, due to the Great Depression, the work never reached an end, and the line was never used.

The actual Via Verde is a 36km-long part of the said railroad, leaving from Puerto Serrano and reaching the gorgeous white town of Olvera. It flanks the rivers Guadalete and Guadalporcún, and it offers its visitors some splendid landscapes. It is provided with rest areas and Visitor Centre, where you can receive some information regarding the environment you’re visiting.

Via Verde de la Sierra in Cadiz
©FFE-Vías Verdes

The route’s starting point is the old railway station of Olvera, a town that is part of the Route of the White Villages of Cadiz. The station has been converted into a hotel and restaurant, and it is ideal to discover the town before engaging in the route. Leaving Olvera, you will come across a series of tunnels (the greenway features 30 of them to be precise) that will lead you to the Colada de Morón, where farmers used to take their livestock, and, successively, to the basins of the rivers mentioned before.

Tunnel of the Via Verde de la Sierra
Photo courtesy of Fundacion Via Verde de la Sierra

The 8th km houses the Estación de Navalgrulla (Navalgrulla Railway Station), which is the only one that hasn’t been renovated. Its location in the middle of rural houses and olive yards will make for a great place to stop and have a rest. Four more tunnels lead you to the spectacular Peñón de Zaframagón. This crag and the surrounding area have been declared Natural Reserve, as they house Andalucia’s biggest breeding colony of griffon vultures. The Peñón is flanked by El Estrechón, a gorge excavated by River Guadalporcún.

Enjoy the views from the viaduct of Zaframagón, which leads to the Estación de Zaframagón. This old railway station has been converted into the Centro de Interpretación y Observatorio Ornitologico (Interpretation Centre and Ornithological Observatory). This centre welcomes exhibitions and informative pamphlets regarding the greenway, as well as a screen displaying the life of the griffon vultures living in the Peñón. The images are filmed through a camera located close to the nesting sites.

Interpretation Centre and Ornithological Observatory in Via Verde de la Sierra in Cadiz
Interpretation Centre and Ornithological Observatory.
Photo courtesy of Fundacion Via Verde de la Sierra

Through five more tunnels, you’ll get to the Estación de Coripe, which has also been converted into a hotel-restaurant. In the town of Coripe, stop by the Chaparro de la Vega, a 13 mt-tall holm oak declared Natural Monument. Next, you’ll pass under the longest tunnel, which crosses the Cerro del Castillo for 990 metres. It’s on the Gillete bridge that you will see the Junta de los Ríos (Spanish for “Merge of the Rivers”): the river Guadalporcún gives way to the river Guadalete, and this is the river that will accompany you until the end of the Via Verde. Here, you will find a parking area and La Toleta leisure area.

Chaparro de la Vega holm oak
Chaparro de la Vega. Photo courtesy of Fundacion Via Verde de la Sierra

The last part of the Via Verde de la Sierra passes among stunning viaducts, precious watermills and impressive landscapes, to end in the Estación de Puerto Serrano. This railway station now houses a small hotel and restaurant, as well as a parking lot.

How to get to the Via Verde de la Sierra

You can reach the Via Verde de la Sierra either by bus or by car. Buses leaving from Cadiz, Seville and Malaga reach both Puerto Serrano and Olvera for you to choose the starting point you prefer. For example, the bus company Los Amarillos leaves from Malaga to Olvera at a price of €12. The trip lasts 2 hours.

However, the fastest way to reach the Via Verde de la Sierra is by car, as displayed on the map.

Other Vias Verdes in Cadiz

The province of Cadiz welcomes other Vias Verdes, shorter than the Via Verde de la Sierra.

  • The 16-km-long Via Verde Entre Ríos connects the Gaditan town of Rota with Sanlúcar de Barrameda, through Costa Ballena and Chipiona. It flanks the Atlantic Coast, although the Ocean remains always hidden. This Via Verde also features a three-km-long cycle lane.
  • Vía Verde Puerto Real – San Fernando connects these two towns of the Bay of Cadiz. With 8 km, it’s shorter than the previous ones. You can enjoy this route starting either from Puerto Real or San Fernando (doing it the other way round).
  • The shortest greenway in Cadiz is the Vía Verde Matagorda, whose 3.6 km meander around Puerto Real.

Places to stay in Cadiz

If you long for relaxation after a hike through the Vias Verdes in Cadiz, take a look at some of the best villas and holiday homes of the province. Private pool and mesmerising views are some of the most noteworthy features of these accommodations. You don’t want to miss out on them, do you?

The Vias Verdes in Cadiz are an excellent way to discover the countryside of the province.

Tell us in the comments which your favourite greenway in Cadiz province is!

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