The “Vias Verdes” are cycling and walking trails that are to be found in many regions of Spain. Converted from abandoned railway lines, these routes make fantastic trails that cut through some of the most beautiful parts of rural Spain.
Here in the Terres de l’Ebre in Catalonia, we have two connecting routes, which run from the mountainous terrain of Terra Alta right down to Tortosa via the Ebro Valley, or beyond onto the Ebro Delta.
You can, of course, walk any section of the Via Verde too, but we think, for a great day out during your holiday, cycling is by far the best way to enjoy more of the trail. Since the routes were originally made for trains there are no steep gradients making it ideal for families or those who haven’t ridden a bike in years! In fact, much of the section from Horta de Sant Joan to Tortosa runs slightly down hill so you barely have to peddle!
The scenery en route is delightful. From Horta, spectacular mountains form the backdrop, where you may see Griffon vultures soar overhead, and if you are lucky catch a glimpse of a mountain goat or two.
The kids will love the excitement of cycling through the many tunnels and over bridges. Most of the tunnels have automatic lighting activated by a sensor as you enter the tunnel. Others don’t, so it’s even more exciting when headlamps are needed!
On a hot summers day you may decide to stop by a river or a natural pool and enjoy a cooling dip and a picnic. The photo below is taken at Fontcalda, a true beauty spot surrounded by steep sided cliffs and where there are barbeque facilities and picnic tables.
And then you have to cycle all the way back, right? Well, of course, you can if you want to! But, our recommendation is that you hire bicycles from Esgambi based in Horta de Sant Joan. For 20 Euros per person you can hire a bike for the day which includes a pick-up at your chosen end-point, so you don’t even have to tackle that return journey uphill! For an extra 7 Euros you can even have included a three-course menu plus drinks at the old railway station at Benifallet! In addition to adult bikes, Esgambi have childrens bikes which can be attached by a bar to an adult bike for towing. And for the tiny tots, there are bike seats or trailers. You can even hire a tandem or a trailer for your pet!
It’s a great value and fun day out that can be enjoyed by almost everyone. Highly recommended by all who have tried it.